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SnowTrees6pmBeen monitoring the dog and the snowfall in Central Indiana throughout the day. Weather forecast called for 8-12 inches of snow with sub-zero temperatures tomorrow. As I write, about 6 p.m., we seem to have reached the 8-inch level already!

And … it’s still snowing!!!!!

I waited until 5 p.m. to pop open a bottle of wine and chose Bordeaux. I also wanted to give props to a French sparkler I opened New Year’s Eve.

DinnerChateau Lassègue  2007 Grand Cru – This is a wonderfully smooth Saint Emilion Grand Cru wine for under $50. That can be hard to find.

I wasn’t in mood to cook but had lots of freshly made frozen chili. Snowed in and probably snowed in tomorrow with work called off — I thought I should open something really good.

I pulled this trade sample Bordeaux from the rack and it just keeps getting better with each sip as it opens up. It matched up with the chili pretty good too – I don’t make my chili spicy at all so it was great pairing.

The wine has some blueberry feel in the mouth along with the kind of limestone secondary hints one would expect from Saint Emilion. It’s a Merlot, Cab Franc, Cab Sauvignon blend that may not be as well structured and rewarding as better (but higher priced) offerings, but definitely satisfies.

This is a great example of affordable Bordeaux and part of the Bordeaux Today marketing campaign aimed at making that point. Online I found prices ranging from $39.99 to $69.99 – the lower end makes the most sense for this one

BertrandChateau Lassègue  2007 Grand Cru, SRP $50, Trade Sample, Highly Recommended at this price.

Gerard Bertrand 2010 Cremant de Limoux Brut – The Limoux region of Languedoc has actually been making sparkling wine longer than Champagne!

This is widely available wine from one of southern France’s best known producers. All of his wines are good value and usually very good wine. Production in the region dates back to the 1500s!

The Cremant was delightful. The bubbles come off on the milder side. The taste was a nice combo of apple, pear and maybe even Grandma’s apple pie! The wine is  70 percent chardonnay, 20 percent chenin blanc and 10 percent mauzac, the indigenousness grape that used to dominate all Limoux sparkling wine.

For those who want less fizz and smooth taste, this is an easy drinker at really great price.

Gerard Bertrand 2010 Cremant de Limoux Brut, $18, Highly Recommended.