The Languedoc-Roussillon (1,2) chapter in Parker's Wine Buyer's Guide (6th Ed.) has the sub-heading "Where the Quality and the Values Are", and gushes about the Midi:
"...one of the undiscovered bastions of delicious, value-priced wines. Its relative importance to consumers continues to increase as wine prices from many of the world's best-know regions have reached absurd levels."
Well said, and it was these comments, combined with a rather good selection of Midi wines at the local monopoly, that led me to start my wine adventures in the Languedoc.
In that vein, I must commend Marcus for focusing the wine blogosphere on "Mid-priced wines from the Midi", as well as his rather extensive supporting info for the uninitiated.
My choice came to me by 'chance'. After agonizing for weeks over what to open for WBW 33 (yes, I do that sort of thing), my brother-in-law brought over a wine from Collioure, the 2004 Domaine La Tour Vieille 'La Pinède'. Having recently returned from the Midi, he told me how he loved the wines, and having stayed close to Collioure he thought he'd bring this wine over to share. I assume he meant I was supposed to share it with him...
In the glass this youngster displayed a dense, dark purple hue. On the nose this blend of 75% Grenache and 25% Carignan lead with butterscotch and stawberries, followed by cocoa, cedar, undergrowth, and wet fur, also showing a minty/nail polish remover finish. Very nice, very interesting. On the palate this dry, full-bodied red was very smooth and balanced. Inky, with chocolatey strawberries that concealed firm tannins, La Pinede had mild acidity and a short finish indicating that this wine is ready for drinking. A bit heavy on the alcohol, and a bit too much for the pasta in a goat cheese rose sauce, I would suggest this wine for sipping all by itself, or with some lamb off the grill.
Cost: C$24 (SAQ)
Thanks, Marcus! And thanks to Lenn of Lenndevours for inventing WBW.