Loire Valley producer Philippe Delesvaux is known for his Chenin Blancs, but this Cabernet Sauvignon is one gorgeous wine. You'd expect Cabernet Franc for a rouge from this region. Instead his "La Montee de l'Epine" is pure Cabernet Sauvignon, supple and graceful, with the touch of earth that you find in the Loire's Chinons and Bourgeuils. And at a fantastic price for the quality.
Delesvaux farms his vineyards biodynamically, which is to say organically, and relies on the quality of his grapes more than on any sleight of hand in the cellar. Straightforward and lush, this Anjou red is a wine for all occasions.
Enjoy it with beef Stroganoff, noodles with sausages, braised lamb shank and white beans, and, of course, roasts and stews. It would make a great pal for a burger too.
-- S. Irene Virbila
Region: Loire Valley
Price: Under $20
Style: Earthy yet supple
Food it goes with: Pasta with meat sauce, braised lamb shank, roasts and stews
Where you find it: Amazing Grapes Wine Store in Rancho Santa Margarita, (949) 888-9463 and (888) 299-9463; the Cheese Store of Beverly Hills, (310) 278-2855 and (800) 547-1515; Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, (949) 650-8463 and (800) 331-3005, www.hitimewine .net; Vinatero Wine Shop in Whittier, (562) 464-9463, www.vinatero wineshop.com; and Woodland Hills Wine Co. in Woodland Hills, (818) 222-1111 and (800) 678-9463, www.whwc.com.