Thursday, February 08, 2007

La Revue du Vin de France

La Revue du Vin de France, or RVF, is one of the most important wine journals in the world. Despite so much media bemoaning the state of the French wine industry, France has the second most acreage under vine in the world, and it is still the most important source of quality, ageworthy wines. The RVF is probably the best chronicler of these wines - especially those from quirky appelations.

The RVF is my only magazine subscription at present, for a couple of reasons:
  1. It's coverage of the French wine industry is unparalleled, and it also provides an interesting counterpoint to the Anglo-centric Wine Spectator and the like.

  2. I live in Quebec, and the local liquor monopoly has a strong interest in French wines. As a result, I can actually buy some of the things they review (not always the case here with Spectator, for example).

  3. As a Montreal 'immigrant', my high school French could use some work. The RVF is also my French tutor!

This month's RVF cover story hits on a good topic - Bordeaux "Seconds vins des crus classes". With Bordeaux prices skyrocketing, you either go new world or seek out more obscure Bordeaux wineries. Unfortunately, the second wines of the major Chateaux are also experiencing serious price appreciation . In their review of the 2004s, the only "second vin" that comes close to good value for the money appears to be the "Reserve de Leoville Barton". Other wines that seem to be highly rated and reasonably priced include the "Chateau Moulin-Riche" (Leoville-Poyferre), "Chateau Haut-Bages Averous" (Lynch-Bages), and "Duluc de Branaire-Ducru". In my experience, second wines are not the place to find the values - lesser known wineries that focus on quality are your best bet (check out my cellar choices here).

I expect that most of my readers are English-speaking North Americans, so pitching a French wine rag may be futile, but for those of you looking for a change of pace pick up a French dictionary for $6 bucks, stop by the international magazine shop, and enjoy a change of pace in your wine reading. Cheers!

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