Here are three bottlings to add to your look-for list in your wine travels:
1. 2009 Chateau de Flaugergues, France ($16) — From the Languedoc comes this full-bodied red blend of Grenache Noir, Syrah and Mourvedre that is a superb overachiever at this price. A small shop owner in Saratoga Springs said it was the best buy in his store. It opens like a bouquet of dew-dripping flowers and has an intriguing cherry liquorice taste. Velvety smooth. Wine Spectator magazine rates this wine highly year after year.
2. 2010 Chateau de Paraz Minervois Special Rouge ($11) — How do the French do it? Here’s another red blend, using the same varietals as above, with a bit more spice on the finish. A great pairing with grilled meats and vegetables.
3. Beso di Vino, Spain ($9) — Robert Parker and Steven Tanzer both rated this Garnacha-Syrah blend at 90 points, describing it as a “stunning” value for its concentrated black cherry and blueberry tastes and “savory” finish. I bought a bottle at the Wine ConneXtion in North Andover and was amazed how well it paired with a sausage/meatball and pasta dish. Look for the friendly bull on the distinctive label. By the way, Beso di vino translates to “Kiss of Wine.”