The Wine Idiot Reviews: Pontificis Grenache-Syrah-Mourvedre, 2013 ($6.99)
I felt like doing a completely random cheap French wine, so I picked this one based half on the label (looks fancy!) and half on the blend (I've had a similar California blend before and really enjoyed it).
DAMN I'm good. This was FABULOUS.
It's not "smooth," per se--it doesn't taste like an alcoholic grape juice. It's maybe cinnamon-y? Spicy and complex and...I don't know...earthy?? It's just more interesting than one would expect a $7 wine to be.
Maaaaaaybe it's because I know it's French--and therefore fancy--AND a blend of three wines I couldn't confidently identify were I to sample them individually.... But something about this makes me think I could be served this at a wine bar at $12 a glass and not think twice. It just does not taste like cheap wine. Put another way--if I tasted this and someone told me it was $40 a bottle, I'd absolutely believe them.
I remember that the tag on the shelf declared this would be good with falafel, so I did pair it with a mediterranean dish--the Trader Joe's Greek Chicken with Orzo Pasta and Kalamata Olives ready-to-eat dinner thingy. AND IT WAS AMAZING. Normally I'm the first person to always pair chicken or exceptionally herb-y dishes with white wine, but I'm glad I didn't this time. This pairing was EXCELLENT, and I would absolutely recommend this as a red to pair with Greek or Middle Eastern food!
What the bottle says: "Produced in the Languedob-Roussillon, between sea and mountain, from the three local grape varieties grenache (45%), Syrah (40%), and Mourvèdre (15%), Pontific is a deep purple in color, with aromas of spice, black fruits and herbs and a palate of supple, yet rich spicy fruit. It is a beautiful representation of the best of the South of France. Enjoy at 64°F with meats in sauce, mediterranean dishes, marinated game and cheeses."
What the Wine Idiot says: Yup. All of that. I mean, "supple, yet rich spicy fruit" is a bit much? But seriously this is damn good wine for $7.
Who's responsible for this? "Bottled at Chânes for Badet Clément & Co... Imported by Latitude Wines, Inc, Danville, CA" Boy I gotta look into this Latitude Wines, I feel like they import quite a lot of Trader Joe's wines...
Do I need a corkscrew? Yes, you do.
What do smarter people say about it? Red Red Wine on a Sunday says:
"Found this blend called Pontificis down at my local Trader Joe's with a sign in front of the bin saying that this one was a "Crew Favorite", meaning that the work crew at the store has blessed this one. Hey, it was only $6.99, so what could I loose? Wow - this blend is really nice. Complex - with wonderful fruit notes and earthy spice to complement them. Plum, Raspbery, Coffee, Oak, Vanilla - wonderful - I'll be going back for more."
Should I bring it to a friend's house? Heck yeah, actually! I mean, I would actually for sure bring this to a dinner party, especially if your host is serving mediterranean food.