Red wine value? En Gard!

As if to teach me a lesson for whining about the disappearance of quality everyday wine at prices I can afford, the Fates have shown me a delicious, old-style French red for just $7.99.

Mega Wine Sale – Ending Soon!

Don’t miss your chance to stock up and save during The California Wine Club‘s Mega Wine Sale. You can save up to 65% on award-winning, handcrafted wines priced as low as $7.99. Plus you’ll enjoy $1 shipping on every case or half case purchase. Be sure to check out the Super Savers category for the best values.
Sale ends March 31. Shop Now

Subscribe to The 30 Second Wine Advisor! Click here.

I’m not saying that this is something that happens often, and I have to confess that the wine in question may not be easy for all of you to find wherever you live. But it’s worth a shot.

Perhaps more important, this specific wine illustrates a broader principle that I’ve suggested before: If you’re looking for value, focus your search on the regions and grape varieties that aren’t widely sought after or known for their “trophy” status or critical acclaim.

Like Gard, for example, a French wine region that is not, for most people, a household name. I have a certain affection for it because, in French, it’s prounounced “Gar,” with only that throaty French “r” distinguishing it from my own more Germanic last name.

L'Échansonnerie des Papes

The “Pope’s wine cellar key” of Chateauneuf-du-Pape’s L’Échansonnerie des Papes.

This coincidence prompted some gentle bilingual punning and ribbing when I had the honor of being inducted into Chateauneuf-du-Pape’s L’Èchansonnerie des Papes some years ago, and given a (non-working) key to the Pope’s wine cellar on a velvet ribbon as a wine writer who had said nice things about the region’s wine. So there’s that.

But that’s not important right now. We’re here to talk about Gard, which is strategically placed on the east bank of the Rhone opposite Avignon, where the Southern Rhone, Provence and Languedoc meet. Much of the wine there is labeled IGP (“Indication Géographique Protégée“) the regulated moniker for regional wines that has replaced the old “Vin de Pays” (“wine of the country”).

Today’s bargain wine, Reserve de la Saurine 2014 Gard IGP from Vignerons Laudun Chusclan, is a typical regional blend of Grenache, Carignane and Syrah, a tasty red mix that could come from just about anywhere in Southern France.

These grapes, plus Mourvedre, are typical of Gard, according to’s excellent report on the region.

But, Wine-Searcher adds, Gard IGP wines may be made from a large list of grape varieties. Most are made from the classic Mediterranean blends, but Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are also used by growers, along with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc for the whites. “Rosé also makes up a sizeable chunk of Gard IGP wines, betraying the department’s location on the edge of Provence.”

I would have been happy with this wine at twice the price. As reported below, it’s a bit on the rustic side with its acidity and tannins, but it’s fine with food, and one heck of a value!

Want to talk about the affordable wines from Gard, or this wine in particular? You’re welcome to join this discussion on the WineLovers Discussion Group (WLDG) or on our WineLoversPage Facebook page.

You can read the discussion on the forum without registering, but if you’d like to participate in our conversations, you can quickly and easily join the forum via Facebook, using the “Social Login” button at the upper right corner of any forum page to log in.

I look forward to seeing you in our wine social media. Welcome!


Today’s Sponsor:

Mega Wine Sale – Ending Soon!

Mega Wine Sale - Ending Soon!Don’t miss your chance to stock up and save during The California Wine Club‘s Mega Wine Sale. You can save up to 65% on award-winning, handcrafted wines priced as low as $7.99. Plus you’ll enjoy $1 shipping on every case or half case purchase. Be sure to check out the Super Savers category for the best values.
Shop Now
Mega Wine Sale ends on March 31, 2016. Half, full and/or mixed cases all ship via ground for $1.

 About The California Wine Club:
There are thousands of small family wineries handcrafting extraordinary wine in quantities too limited to be found in local stores or shops. In 1990 wine club founders Bruce and Pam Boring discovered that these winemaking families were the most passionate in the wine world and that their wines were the hidden gems of wine country! Together Bruce and Pam embarked on a journey to help these artisan wineries introduce their exquisite wines to the world. Learn more. 1-800-777-4443


Today’s Tasting Report

Reserve de la Saurine 2014 Gard ($7.99)

Reserve de la Saurine

Dark ruby in color, it’s clear but not transparent. Its attractive aromas center on red fruit, raspberry and a little strawberry and plum. It’s not a “fruit bomb,” but fresh and appealing. Crisp and tart, good raspberry flavor fills the mouth with food-friendly acidity, modest 12.5% alcohol, and slightly rough yet palatable tannins. Light berries and a hint of stony minerality linger in a good, long finish. A bit “rustic,” but a great value at this price! U.S. importer: Cutting Edge Selections Inc., Mariemont, Ohio (March 16, 2016)

FOOD MATCH: Linguine with fennel, onions and garlic and fresh tomato sauce.

WHEN TO DRINK: These modest French country table wines aren’t meant for cellaring, and yet … its good balance and perceptible tannins make me wonder if it might evolve a bit over three or four years in a good, temperature-controlled cellar.

VALUE: It doesn’t get any better than this! Yes, it’s more “rustic” than “elegant,” but it’s a fun, old-style French table wine at a 1980s price. If you can find it, load up. If you can’t find this one, ask your merchant about other value reds from Gard.

The producers, Vignerons Laudun Chusclan, have an extensive website in French only, but you can read the front page in English at this link.

The bloggers at the British Demi Tour Wine Blog have an informative article about Laudun Chusclan and its wines here.

Compare prices and find vendors for a limited selection of Reserve de la Saurine Gard on

The U.S. importer, Cutting Edge Selections, may be able to offer suggestions on finding the wine in the U.S. through the contacts listed here.

To find other wines and producers from Gard, check the Gard page on and page down to the long list of wines at the foot of the page.


Social Media

If you use Facebook, we’d be delighted to have you “Like” our WineLovers Facebook Page. This way you can get Facebook notifications when there’s a new The 30 Second Wine Advisor issue or a topic of particular interest on the WineLovers Discussion Group (WLDG).

If you’re a Facebook user, you can join our forum with a single click! All you need to do is visit the forum and click the “Social Login” link at upper right.

Finally, I welcome social media connections, but if I won’t recognize your name, I suggest that you contact me via Email to to let me know that you’ve requested a connection.

Connect with Robin Garr on LinkedIn

Friend Robin Garr on Facebook

Follow @RobinGarr on Twitter


Talk About Wine Online

If you have questions, comments or ideas to share about today’s article or wine in general, you’re always welcome to drop by our online WineLovers Discussion Group, the Internet’s first and still the most civil online community. To find our forums, click:

Wine Lovers Discussion Group

Discussions are open for public viewing, but you must register to post. If you’re a Facebook user, you can also now join our forum with a single click! All you need to do is visit the forum and click the “Social Login” link at upper right.

We use only your name and Email to identify you and make no other claim on your Facebook information or privacy. However, if you prefer not to use Facebook, contact me at for information about registration.


Subscriptions and Administrivia


We’re sorry if you must leave us, but simply click the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of your Email edition to be instantly removed from the mailing list.

Change address:

The quickest and easiest way to change your Email address is simply to register anew, using the link below. If you are keeping your old address but no longer wish to get the Wine Advisor there, click the unsubscribe link below to take it off our list; if you are closing the mailbox, you needn’t take any action, as our system will delete your old address as soon as the mail to your old address starts to “bounce.”

Subscribe to this weekly E-letter (free)

Wine Advisor Archives

Sponsorship Opportunities:
For information, E-mail

Bookmark the permalink.

Read more articles from The 30 Second Wine Advisor

Comments are closed