I have always liked red Bergerac wines – strong, aromatic wines from the region east of Bordeaux, along the Dordogne river. Bergerac wines are usually made mainly from Cabernet and Merlot grapes. They are tannin-rich and fruity with red fruit, black fruit and vanilla aromas.
Bergerac wines are not as dry as Bordeaux wines and much more easily combined with many sorts of dishes. They are great for meat and cheese and also go very well with pastas or risottos with cream sauce. Some people will even combine a red Bergerac with fish in a buttery sauce.
Another advantage is that – as a region – Bergerac is a lot less famous and renowned as Bordeaux. So while you pay for the reputation of a Bordeaux, you mainly pay for the quality of a Bergerac. My price range for buying an everyday wine is usually between 5 and 10 euros. Anything below 5 euros is too risky – there might be some great finds but the majority is just plain bad. And spending more than 10 euros is not only a lot of money for drinks. But also not many people have a fine enough palette to taste the difference every day.
So I was quite pleased to find a great Bergerac at the Tromp Winkel – a cheese store on Beethovenstraat – the other day. It’s a 2005 Chevalier de la Rogère, made by a Dutch couple who emigrated to the south of France to make wine:
The Tromp winkel on Beethovenstraat frequently has some great wines next to its great selection of cheeses. The Chevalier de la Rogère will set you back 9,95 euros per bottle. During the special offer in October you can get 24 bottles for the price of 15.
The wine has a dark red color and is full of fruity aromas. I find that it still has a rather alcoholic nose, so I might leave it in the cellar for another one or two years. It’s made almost 100% from Merlot grapes.
One of my favorite restaurants, De Witte Uyl, used to have a great Bergerac, the Château Grinou 1999, which was 100% Merlot. Guess I was not the only one who liked it – they ran out.
If you like red wine and cheese, head over to Tromp for some Epoisse and a bottle of 2005 Bergerac before they run out, too!