Oeno Files

Well-Priced Wines From a Seattle Expert

Generous guy: Dan McCarthy offers up an impressively inexpensive list of offbeat French finds, and throws in food pairings just for fun.

August 11, 2011

Dan McCarthy forages French wine country for lesser-known finds.

Photo Courtesy: Dan McCarthy

The Expert
Dan McCarthy, co-owner McCarthy and Schiering wine shops in Queen Anne and Ravenna.

The Cred
McCarthy and his partner, Jay Schiering, have been in business together since 1980. They know what they’re doing. Also, wait till you see the wines McCarthy picked. I’m buying all of them. Tonight.

So what’s this week’s theme, expert?
“French wines that are off the beaten path.”

Why did you pick that theme?
“It is fun to travel and find unique wines that have a story. These are a few of my current favorites.”

Okay, let’s get into them.

The Red
2009 Mas de la Renjarde Cotes du Rhone Villages Massif d’Uchaux ($15) “Many people have tried Cotes du Rhone wines, but few know the wines of Massif d’Uchaux. The grape varieties are the traditional grenache, cinsault, syrah, and mourvedre, with ancient carignan added for its unique bouquet and structure. The wine has a bold raspberry aroma and flavor, and a powerful mouthfeel that needs spiced meat dishes to complement it.”

The White
2009 Lamblin & Fils Bourgogne Blanc Maligny-les-Chablis ($13) “Bourgogne Blanc (white burgundy) is common, but most of it comes from the Cote de Beaune in Burgundy. This wine is from the hills around Chablis. It is a crisp, delicious chardonnay that works exceptionally well with local shellfish.”

The Rose
2010 Chateau Val Joanis Syrah Rose Cotes du Luberon ($13) “Many roses are made in the south of France but few focus on the syrah grape as their main variety. 2010 Chateau Val Joanis has a prominent aroma of red currants and it pairs well salty foods, especially garlic shrimp.”

The Rose

The Sparkler
Domaine d’Orfeuilles Sparkling Touraine Rose ($15) “There are many sparkling wines from the Loire Valley but most are blends of chardonnay, chenin blanc, or pinot noir grapes. Bernard Hérivault and his son Arnaud have crafted an elegant sparkling rose from 100 percent malbec, known locally as côt. This delicious bubbly has a scent of wild strawberries and very pleasing balance.”

Nice list, Dan! Thanks so much. Now, please let us know why you are in wine.
“I worked at a local wine shop while I was in college—I wanted to be a computer animator. Thirty-nine years later, I am more excited about the business than when I started. The travel, the access to friends around the world, and the fact that, each year, the slate is cleaned and every wine is new again keep me pumped.”

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