Bonpas Grande Réserve des Challières Ventoux

Bonpas Ventoux

Bonpas 2019 Grande Réserve des Challières Ventoux offers the characteristic aromas and flavors of the Southern Rhône and Provence in its mix of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre grapes plus a splash of Carignan. Ripe raspberries show up first in the aroma, but juicy black plums are there too, with notes of freshly ground black pepper showing as the wine opens up in the glass.

Oddly, shows only Canadian vendors for Bonpas Grande Réserve des Challières Ventoux.

If the Ventoux Grande Reserve de Challieres is hard to find, check Wine’Searcher for the similar Cotes du Rhone Reserve de Bonpas.

Follow this Wine-Searcher link to find listings for dozens of other wines from Ventoux. Read article.

Montepulciano: Best cheap wine?

Montepulciano vineyards in Abruzzo.

“One of my favorite wines!” My friend Meghan Levins, a local chef, jumped happily into the discussion when I posted a photo of today’s featured wine, a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, on social media. “Even the cheap stuff is awesome!”
“Exactly,” I posted back. “I’ve never seen a pricey one.”

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Bennati Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

Bennati Castellano Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is a good, food-friendly Italian red, a bit on the rustic side, as is typical of the affordable wines of this region. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Dark reddish-purple in the glass, it offers pleasant dark cherry-berry aromas. Flavors follow the nose with blackberries and tart cherries shaped by pleasant mouth-watering acidity.

You may have a hard time finding the Castellano label. Importer Emanuele Magnani tells me it was originally designed for sale to a group of restaurants, but now is available in limited quantities in a few states. However, it’s very similar to Bennati’s Ca Brigiano Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, which you’ll find at this Wine-Searcher link.

You can also browse this extensive list of other wines from Casa Vinicola Bennati on

Finally, you can follow this Wine-Searcher link to look for scores of other wines of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, virtuallly all of them affordable and worth it. Read article.

Bonterra California Zinfandel

Bonterra California Zinfandel

Bonterra Zinfandel, a good-value California Zin made with certified organic grapes, offers an appealing introduction to Zinfandel at a rational price. Characteristic Zin raspberries and strawberries, blueberry and black plum add a heady overtone of strawberry liqueur on the nose, with plums and blueberries evident in the flavor with food-friendly acidity and a light buzz of tannins. Sturdy 15.3% alcohol is worth noting, but to the wine’s credit, it handles the high alcohol well.

Check prices and find vendors for Bonterra California Zinfandel on

Follow this Wine-Searcher link to find listings for dozens of other Bonterra wines with vendor and price information. Read article.

Mas de Gourgonnier Rosé

Mas de Gourgonnier

An excellent Provence blend of Grenache and Mourvèdre with a glug of Cabernet Sauvignon, this organically grown rosé is a pretty, rosy pink. Delicious red-berry aromas of raspberries and strawberries invite a taste. Red berries and zippy lemon-lime flavors add brisk acidity and intriguing rainwater-over-rocks minerality. Berries and citrus join in a long finish.

Check prices and find vendors for Mas de Gourgonnier Rosé on

Follow this Wine-Searcher link to browse Wine-Searcher’s listings for all the wines produced by Mas de Gourgonnier.

Learn about Les Baux de Provence and browse listings for the region’s wines at this Wine-Searcher link. Read article.