I will definitely give French wine this much: no matter the quality, no matter the price, they can stylize and make their wines seem exquisitely noble, even on their corks!

Yes, I know I've opined on this topic before, i.e. French wines and snooty appearances (or politely, aristocratic labelling/marketing), but trying to be creative in these things is getting harder! Either that, or I'm not drinking enough wine...

But I do admit I outdid myself in stylized photography this time around...thanks to a clearance sale at a museum years ago, I got that dandy statue of Venus for a song...and it just adds that extra something!

And now for the something you came here for: the booze!

Domaine Berthoumieu originates from South West France (surprise!) and is a three blend wine, of 55% Tannat (which grows predominantly in the Madiran region, and is known for its tannins), 35% Cabernet Sauvignon (my favourite), and 10% Pinenc (also known as Fer, and widely used in Madiran wines as well). It even won an award at the Decanter World Wine Awards in 2008 (a bronze). Here endeth the lesson (...on this wine, in any case).

Naturally corked (but of course, with regal stamping and date), this wine looks juicy and rich, dripping slowly off the sides of the glass as one sloshes it about, with a lovely deep red crimson like the blood of Democrats being shed in Massachusetts. Its fuller body reflects in the fact that very little light penetrates said glass and said wine.

This wine produces a dark flavourful nose of dark fruit, reminiscent of blackberries, dark blueberries, with wild rich and flavoured notes prevailing in this medium to full bodied drink.

Upon taste, this wine is VERY dry on the mouth, giving off dark cherry tastes, with some bitterness definitely appearing. 'Tisn't very smooth, but is very full, somewhat acidic, with an aftertaste I noted being of dark blueberries.

Dark fruity wines are hard to judge...they often taste very similar and I'm afraid I am repeating myself (which I do), but it's just simply what my taste buds are telling me...as uneducated as they are!

A pleasing glass of wine indeed, quality, like most French reds, certainly worth purchasing to enjoy.

*** out of 4

Purchased at a Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) store for C$16.30 (US$15.75).

From LCBO.com:

DOMAINE BERTHOUMIEU HAUTE TRADITION MADIRAN 2005, 750 mL bottle
LCBO/Vintages #102996
Wine, Red Wine
13.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content: XD
Made in: France
By: Didier Barré

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