Cheap Wines That Don't Suck: 2005 Grange Tiphaine Touraine Bécarre

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Damien Delecheneau of Grange Tiphane is part of the new wave of French winemakers who have been adopting a more natural approach to making wine: lavish lots of attention on the grapes, ferment with only the wild yeasts that grow on the grapes, avoid chemicals, and keep the technological interventions to a minimum. The result is balanced wines with strong individual characters.

The 2005 Grange Tiphaine Touraine Bécarre (Touraine is the part of the Loire around the city of Tours; bécarre is the French word for the natural sign (♮) in musical notation), made from 100 percent Cabernet Franc, was a great buy at $13.99, but on closeout for $9.99 at K&L (638 Fourth St.) it's a steal.  This is lighter-bodied than many Loire Cab Francs, but it has a classic smoky, mineral aroma, lots of fruit, and a long, complex finish. This is a great wine for grilled steaks or roast beef, or with good French cheese.

K&L has heavily discounted a few other Tiphane wines, including a Montlouis Demi-Sec (slightly sweet Chenin Blanc) for $4.99, a Gamay for $6.99, and a Côt (Malbec) for $9.99.



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