An Organic Languedoc-Roussillon Red Blend

Can you go organic at this price?...

Côtes du Roussillon

Côtes du Roussillon

We’ll start the New Year with an organic wine from the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southeastern France. The winery was founded in 1993 by a winegrower and a trade union official. Their 44 hectare (about 110 acre) vineyard is situated about 15 kilometers (some 10 miles) southwest of Perpignon, between the sea and the mountains. Unfortunately their website is French language only but they do provide detailed wine data sheets. If you are lucky enough to be in the neighborhood stop by the Abbaye de Saint-Martin du Canigou Romanesque monastery built in 1007. The site is ultra-spectacular and you may not want to look down. Or you can visit the Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa Cloister that predates the nearby Abbaye by more than a century. The companion wine is made from Austria’s most widely planted red, a crossing of two fairly unknown grapes that came in at two/thirds the price.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed
Domaine Ferrer-Ribière Tradition 2007 Côtes du Roussillon AOC 13.5 % alcohol about $15

Let’s start by quoting the marketing materials. “Description : Winner of a Silver Medal at the 2009 Concours des Grands Vins de France de Mâcon. This wine, made with organically grown grapes, is a blend of 40% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 20% Carignan and 10% Mourvèdre. Raspberry, blackberry, garrigue and cedar aromas and flavors all come to the front. Match it to organic beef or lamb. Our Quality Assurance Laboratory has determined that this wine contains 18 mg/L of free sulphur.” And now for my review.

At the first sips this wine provided dark plums and soft tannins. Japanese rice crackers increased its acidity, but the Wasabi peas actually softened the wine. My initial meal centered on broiled beef ribs. The drink had great length and offered some chocolate. In the face of potato salad with pickles this libation provided a tinge of sweetness and some oak. It was round. It exuded chocolate when paired with eggplant and mushrooms. I finished the meat with a generous dousing of Louisiana hot sauce and our L-R red was somewhat sweet. Its dominant feature was dark cherries.

The next meal consisted of no cheese ground beef lasagna made with spicy salsa. This wine provided dark cherries and chocolate. I got lots of tannins but they were under control and accompanied well the zesty food. Dessert was bittersweet chocolate that weakened the liquid, which was oaky with dark cherries.

My final meal featured baked Ziti Siciliano accompanied by a generous portion of grated Parmesan cheese. The libation responded with cedar and berries. It was somewhat thin, albeit fairly long. Fresh strawberries rendered this drink dark but flabby, just not enough acidity. The other dessert was a Ferro-Rocher hazelnut candy. Now the wine was mouthfilling with dark cherries and pleasant sweetness.

Final verdict. If I only drank organic wine I would probably buy this one again. But since I am an eclectic I will pass, even if some of the pairings were quite favorable.

Access the companion wine A Wine Lover's Weekly Review Of $10 Wines - A Zvy-Gelt Zweigelt

About the Author

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine French or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. His wine websites include    and

Visit his website devoted to Italian travel

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