Let's face it dear reader, when it comes to "value added wines," those from la belle France don't instantly spring to mind. Many French wines carry some very steep price tags, and I'm sure Monsieur Expert-Wine-Connoisseur could go in depth to explain why this is.

Well, I'm sure as hell not M. E-W-C, more like Mr. Write-Whatever-the-Hell-I-Think, but this delight from France will pleasantly surprise any drinker, erm, wine enthusiast, with not only its taste, but it's under $10 price tag! Quelle surprise!

This wine is a Syrah, otherwise known as Shiraz (well I'll be damned I didn't know that, maybe you didn't either! If you did, maybe you should be writing this!), and is named after the many types of winds that blow in the South of France (I kid you not), so much so that it could be called "the land of winds" (to quote the bottle), or "Rafales." All right then!

Rafale comes with a screw-top cap and gives a nice ruby cherry red hue. Slooshing it around the glass gives a little lingering on the sides, again showing via my half-arsed theory that this wine has some nice body.

The nose produces a medium-strength smell of dark fruits and berries, although the aforementioned bottle notes blackcurrants (that's a dark fruit!) and liquorice. I always defer to the label, but you'll taste what you want to taste!

Taste time reflects much of what one sniffed prior, so marks for consistency! This dry red does indeed have a good, medium body, with tastes of aforementioned dark fruits, such as dark cherry, as well as some berries; standard French fare is what I noted. Its aftertaste was non-offensive, with the usual little seediness/grapiness one would expect in the background.

Smooth, and with a good degree of alcohol which does not interfere with the taste, and with nice flavours in both the nose and taste, Rafales Syrah was a great buy and easily tastes as good as ones twice its price. A definite buy! And hey, they even slashed 15% of CO2 emissions from producing their wine. Now you can enjoy a glass (or three) with an environmentally clear conscience too!

***1/4 out of 4

Purchased at a Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) store for C$8.90 (US$8.78) (look at that Canadian dollar fly again!).


RAFALES SYRAH, 750 mL bottle

LCBO #157891


13% Alcohol/Vol.

Sugar Content: 1

Made in: Roussillon, France

By: Vignerons Catalans

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