Bargain Beauties from France

Continuing my blog on French bargain wines leads us to La Forge Estate Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon from the Languedoc region.  Both these wines are labeled by type of grape rather than region possibly to attract more import drinkers.The Pinot Noir is medium to full bodied with surprising complexity and a dark, rich, color. There are notes of black currant, cherry, spice and vanilla which made me think it tasted more like a Grenache, Syrah blend with some Cinsault perhaps. Pair this with a hearty beef, mushroom, and barely soup with crusty bread.

The Cabernet Sauvignon is also medium to full bodied and is somewhat more earthy than the Pinot Noir.  It has notes of raspberry, blueberry, pepper, and some tobacco. This would pair nicely with a venison stew with potatoes, carrots and parsnips.

The Languedoc region is known for wine and beautiful scenery that inspired artists. Vincent Van Gogh did his last paintings in this region.  Two films: Lust for Life and Vincent and Theo depict the tragic life of the tormented painter.  Both films are excellent with wonderful direction by Vincent Minelli and Robert Altman.  Lust for Life, directed by Minelli and starring Kirk Douglas as Van Gogh, was a techno-color marvel when it came out in1956 was based on the biographical novel by Irving Stone. It co-starred Anthony Quinn who earned a best supporting Oscar for his portrayal of Paul Gauguin who was another famous artist. Altman’s film, Vincent and Theo from 1990 with Tim Roth focused on the relationship between Vincent and his brother and advocate Theo.  Both are excellent and well worth your time.