All summer long I've been happily sipping evidence that delicious French wines don't have to cost a small fortune. In support of my argument, I present three wonderful and affordable wines produced by respected winemaker E.Guigal from the Rhône Valley in the south of France. Founded in 1946 by Etienne Guigal, today Etienne's grandson Philippe is the winemaker.
Guigal Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2014 ($15)
Juicy, rich, and crisp; this white wine is an elegant thirst-quencher. A blend of Viognier (65%), Roussanne (15%), Marsanne (10%), Clairette (8%) and Bourboulenc (2%); this aromatic sip has lovely flavors of peach, honeysuckle, green apple, and citrus. Luscious and structured with a mineral core. A great match with seafood, shellfish, and poultry.
Guigal Côtes du Rhône Rosé 2015 ($15)
Expressive and dry, this medium-bodied rosé has layers of balanced flavor. Well-chilled but not ice cold is the best temperature to really taste its flavors of cherry, raspberry, strawberry, watermelon, orange peel, and a hint of white pepper and Provençal herbs on the finish. This blend of Grenache (60%), Cinsault (30%), and Syrah (10%) is absolutely delightful. Marcel Guigal, son of the founder and father of winemaker Philippe, has more than 50 vintages under his belt and calls the 2015 "the vintage of a lifetime." Suggested food pairings include ratatouille and quiche.
Guigal Côtes du Rhône Rouge ($15)
A gorgeous blend of Syrah (50%), Grenache (45%) and Mourvèdre (5%), this supple red wine has smooth tannins and rich flavors of dark berries, black cherries, violets, and a hint of spice. Pair this luscious beauty with steak, ribs, burgers, and charcuterie.