thank you, Nouvelle France
Mr. Depardieu owns several vineyards around the world. This one is from Anjou in the Loire Valley area of France. Not an region known for heavy duty blockbuster wines, but I thought I'd give it a try coz I have been impressed with some of his other efforts and it was, well, relatively cheap at $17.70 a pop. The predominant red wine grape for anjou is Cabernet Franc, I'm not sure which one Gerard uses.
The Depardieu, Chateau de Tigne, Anjou 1999 is labelled "en hommage a la nouvelle-France" meaning, for you non francophones, that it is dedicted to "new France", which once encompassed a good chunk of North America but is now basically down to St Pierre and Miquelon, two tiny islands off Newfoundland. This wine is rusty in the glass, showing its age. Very dry palate, the fruit has faded, a little rough at first but it yelled for food. This is a food wine - a little ham cut right through the roughness revealing a pleasant easy drinking effort. Very old world in style, never mind "new France". Not a sipper while curled up in front of a fire, all you Chilean wine addicts, stay away. The verdict: I give it an "OK". For value, not so good...unless you want a nice aged dry wine to soak up that big fat turkey, then I'd say give it a shot.
Some loose ends: While in BC recently I tried the Finca Flinchman Oak Aged Shiraz 2005 from Argentina. For the inflated BC price of $14 a bottle this is still good value. It is right up there with their malbecs and cabernets - rich, mildy tannic, fruity - buy it by the case!
I also recently re-tried the Candidato Oro, 2003, barrique from Spain; this was better than the bottle we recently had (that had been purchased in ontario). This Quebec bottle was much better - was more what I expected - oaky and medium bodied, quite pleasant and an absolute steal at $9 a pop. So, maybe there is some bottle to bottle variation - and the Quebec bottle is worth every penny and more.