Corbières is a French wine region located below the southern Rhone valley in an area called Languedoc Roussillon. The sun-splashed vineyards produce ripe grapes that create wines that are lush and quaffable, which in really good vintages have structure and balance to rival their cousins in the Rhone. Domaine Sainte-Eugénie is located in the heart of the region in an area called Fontfroide and has a wine making tradition going back over 800 years. The soils in the vineyards are primarily clay and chalk, largely due to their proximity to the Pyrénées Mountains. The dry, sunny and warm Mediterranean climate provides near-perfect growing conditions for the blend of Carignan (50%), Grenache (25%) and Syrah (25%) that make up this wine. I only just started following this producer in 2005, but the two successive vintages I have tasted, 2007 and 2009 have been tremendous. At an average price of $9.99 per bottle, clearly this is another southern French producer I will be adding to my list.

My tasting note:

Spicy, earthy nose with fresh herb, black cherry and violet hints. Medium-to-full-bodied with moderate acidity and supple, well-integrated tannin – good balance. Dark cherry palate with cocoa, rosemary and tarry notes. Moderate length, smooth and seductive with echoing spice and violets off the nose. Drinking well now and should hold for another 2 to 3 years in bottle. Great Value!