You Bet I’ll Have the $11 Bottle of Merlot!

Why not?  It is one of the most planted grapes in the world because it freakin rules!

2009 Domaine de la Patience Merlot Vin de Pays des Coteaux du Pont du Gard. $11.  Imported by Jenny & Francois Selections.

Forget Château Petrus and the rest of Pomerol, the real action is down near Costières de Nîmes where the Languedoc and the Côtes du Rhône meet.  Among rolling hills and olive trees, lavender fields and the Mediterranean sun sits Domaine de la Patience, an estate that is a reborn baby.  Re-established, replanted and modernized in 1994 by Christophe Aguilar whose grandfather before farmed the land and sold the grapes to the local coop, it took Christophe six years to bottle his own wines under the  Domain’s new name.

This dark, plummy Merlot falls under France’s Vin de Pays category which is basically elevated table wine that has a geographical context, in this case the area is Coteaux du Pont du Gard, a smaller area within Vin de Pays d’Oc (which covers all of the Languedoc and Roussillon). Vin de Pays wines are allowed to use a wide variety of locally approved varietals and require minimum alcohol and acidity levels along with a cap on permitted yields.  Does this mean a Merlot from Coteaux du Pont du Gard is better than Merlot from Anywhere France?  Not really but an Estate bottled wine (where the same guy grew and bottled the fruit ) might be. This Merlot comes from young 10 year old vines and after fermentation it sits in concrete vats for 3 short months retaining its freshness and stiff power.  It is full and rich and great with all sorts of cuisine, try it next to you grill.

The Pont du Gard!  Where the Romans used to pee.

Also this wine happens to be imported by Jenny & Francois Selections which specializes in organic, naturally made, honest wines.  Look at the back label, and look for others like it.  A search on their website and you will find that Jenny & Francois Selections comes to Virginia through Downey Selections.  If you see their name on the back of a wine label it probably means that it too will be a thoughtful, honest wine..

3 Responses to “You Bet I’ll Have the $11 Bottle of Merlot!”

  1. plug12001 Says:


    Can you say here where you picked this up? I’d like to try it.


  2. richmondwineculture Says:

    I’ve seen it at J. Emerson and over at Ellwood Thompson. They do a great cheap white too.

  3. stump Says:

    Great. I’ll give it a go… Thanks again.

    I don’t know where the name “plug12001” came from????


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