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Senior editor James Molesworth joined Wine Spectator in 1997. He reviews Bordeaux, the Loire, the Rhône, South Africa and New York's Finger Lakes.
James Molesworth

A Hearty French Red That's Burger-Friendly

Du Galis Vin de Table Français d'Agalis Yo no puedo màs VII

James Molesworth
Posted: December 2, 2009

I was at the Belgian-themed Resto in New York for lunch with friends recently. We wanted something hearty to go with our burgers and pasta, but didn’t want to break the bank. This southern French red made from a blend of Syrah, Carignane and Mourvèdre was a friendly $40 on the wine list and wound up doing just the trick.

Winemaker Lionel Maurel, who farms biodynamically, vinifies the grapes separately in a mix of stainless steel, fiberglass and used oak vessels before blending. The wine is aged for less than a year before bottling.

The result is a fresh, juicy wine that lets its dark fruit, violet and bright iron notes play out on an open-knit frame. It’s got plenty of acidity and a nice hot stone note too. 89 points, non-blind.

Du Galis is a small estate located in an unclassified area of the Languedoc region, in the town of Nébian, a short drive west of Montpellier. Maurel worked with Thierry Allemand in the Northern Rhône appellation of Cornas and at domaine Leon Barral in the Languedoc appellation of Faugères before taking over his family vines. The Maurel family had been selling their grapes off to the local co-op before Lionel (the fourth generation) decided in 2004 to begin bottling some production himself.

Since it carries a vin de table designation, French wine laws prohibit the bottle from listing a vintage—so the addition of "VII" tips you off that it’s from the 2007 harvest.

WineSpectator.com members: Get our quick list of Easy Finds among French reds.

Jean-francois Peletier
Osnabrueck, Germany —  December 2, 2009 3:50pm ET
I'm a wine merchant in Germany. I was actually thinking about ordering this wine. Do you think the fact that it is a Vin de Table is making it more difficult to sell?
Thanks for you comments. They are always helpful.

James Molesworth
Senior Editor, Wine Spectator —  December 2, 2009 4:09pm ET
Jean-François: Well, the nomenclature and lack of a AOC might hinder it from flying off the shelves by itself. So maybe a little extra hand selling is needed. And isn't that worth it to turn people on to good wine?

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