Food & Wine Photo Credit: Trialto

The Best Deal at the BCLDB?

French pedigree, sexy palate and super cool name—all for under $20. What else could you want?

Ortas Cave de Rasteau La Domelière 2014 $18

I’m not prone to hyperbole, but this wine is the greatest deal ever to grace the sad, sparse shelves of the BCLDB.

At least that was my initial thought when I took a solid slug of it last Friday night. And while my initial enthusiasm may have been a tad overblown even when I revisited the wine the following day, I was still struck by its just awesome balance of nimbleness and subtle power. Sipping it, all I could think of is an NFL running back who’s as strong as a tank, but can move like a ballerina.

And truth be told for those raised on the powerhouse Shirazes of Australia or even some the bruising wines from neighbouring Rhone vineyards, the heft of this wine will seem almost light, but in the hands of a master rapier is every bit as deadly as a broadsword and a lot more fun. The key to this wine in the 70 percent Grenache, a noble grape that is so over-planted and mistreated in the world that even new wine regions willing to try anything stay away from it in droves (in the Okanagan, the exception is the amazing Grenache from Stag’s Hollow). Here it gives the wine a dark brooding colour, but because it’s not been over-extracted it never gets away from the winemaker (and at 14 percent it’s not boozy by southern Rhone standards). Twenty percent Syrah and 10 percent Mourvedre work together to add a jolt of spice. And the gang is held together by a core of acidity that keeps it nimble and light.

And the best part: try saying Rasteau without a French accent—it’s impossible.

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