Here's a $9.99 beauty that a lot of folks would ignore. It is after all a Vin de Pays, which basically means "country wine". In particular, this is a Vin de Pays du Gard from Costieres de Nimes in Southern France. Vins de Pays is the next to lowest designation in the French wine legal hierarchy, but in the hands of a good producer like the family that produces this wine or from a top importer like Robert Kacher, they can be great values. This estate, roughly 15 miles from the Mediterranean Sea, uses no chemical herbicides or pesticides in the vineyard. The soil here is rocky and in a vintage like '09 it produces a wine of complexity and great flavor intensity. It has a nose of dark fruits, earth and a touch of pepper and in the mouth it has great concentration, a bit of spice and is quite smooth. This is a red wine you can have with meatier fishes like we did last night - grilled salmon with a black olive tapenade. Cheers.