People often ask me, when they find out I spend some manner of time writing about wine, what my favorite “value” wine is. And this has different meanings for different people. To one, spending $20 on a bottle of wine may seem like a splurge, reserved only for special occasions; to another, a good wine for $20 may seem like the steal of the century. Neither of these hypothetical people is wrong.
For me, I consider a wine a “value wine” if it clocks in at under $15 and tastes like it costs at least twice that. One of my all-time favorite value wines is the Perrin et Fils Cotes-du-Rhone, to which I gave a 91, and for which you need only slap down between $8-$10. Not too shabby.
Here’s a white, from the same part of the world, with similar results. The 2008 Vidal-Fleury Cotes-du-Rhone Blanc is 100% viognier, which I have been enjoying tremendously for a few years. We have a thing, viognier and I.
The ‘08 Vidal-Fleury is a bright, almost glowing, golden in the glass. Very pretty. The nose is sweet in a pleasant way, and the notes that dance around your nostrils will delight you: honey and apricot mingle with fresh flower beds along a mountain stream. On the prettiest damn April day you ever saw.
On the palate, the experience continues, and the wine doesn’t disappoint. Light-bodied, crisp and bright, the honey and apricot notes continue to show themselves, and there is a summery grassiness to the mid-palate that I found absolutely divine. Of course, I like stinky barnyard sauvignon blanc (and this is not anything like that, I’m just saying) so a little grassiness is great for me. Others may not love it, but it is right up my alley.
So, I said this is a value wine… what’ll it run you? About $11 for the bottle. None too shabby, that. A fantastic wine, at any price.