Rene Barbier Mediterranean Red

 A nice surprise, this Spanish cheapo. An unknown brand to me, and I’ve had no anecdotal evidence as to its merits, or lack thereof. I must admit I was drawn in by: A) The $5.99 sale price (a buck off regular) and B) the label-a pastel sketch of a table and chair on, apparently, a beach near sunset. Wishing very much to be seated in that chair, gazing out over the sea at sunset, I had to buy the bottle in hopes of being transported by the contents, in at least some small way, into that idyllic scene.

A little Googleing, and I discovered Rene Barbier is one of many labels owned by Freixenet, the makers Cordon Negro cava, the familiar Spanish sparkling wine in the black bottle. I also discovered that “Catalunya, Denominacion de Origin”, as featured on the label just under the beach scene refers to the Barcelona area in the north east corner of Spain, bordering southern France, and on the Mediterranean. So one can easily imagine this colorful little sketch, with the empty chair, being an invitation to come and sit by the sea, and sip some red wine. You don’t have to ask me twice!

Mediterranean Red is a blend of Tempranillo (one of Spain’s signature grape varieties) and Merlot. And it is deee-licious! The unavoidable word here is smooth. Velvety smooth. Not sweet, most definitely a dry wine, but no bite or harshness at all. Very approachable, to use one of the wine cliches, but it’s true. Nice fruitiness, nice full mouth feel, dark in color. But eeezzeee to drink…and enjoy.

I regret buying only 1 bottle of this while it was on sale. But it’s only a dollar more now, so I will fight off my inclination to buy only what’s reduced and pick up more of this on the next wine buying excursion. Because I wish to return to the chair by the sea, squish my toes in the shiny sand, and stare at the colorful evening sky…with a smooth red wine in hand.

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6 Responses to Rene Barbier Mediterranean Red

  1. oooohyeah says:

    This is my most recent favorite, only $4 (regular price) here in TX! I had become a bit concerned that in my quest to be thrifty my taste had begun to suffer and perhaps I could no longer distinguish between a “drinkable” table wine and one that is actually good. Thankfully we have holidays!! I had the chance to compare this wine side by side with higher priced ones and with another budget one. It was right up there with the higher priced ones, and far surpassed the budget one. This is not one of those wines where you have to say, “it’s good for $4” You can just say “It’s good”

    Thanks for this great info, I sure wish the local stores would carry glen ellen wines other than their Chardonnay. You have me intrigued!

  2. Redlover says:

    I just pick up a bottle of Rene Barbier the other day. I heard it was “very drinkable” and couldn’t pass it up for $4.49 for a 750ml. I wanted to mention that you should try an Aussie Cab from Gumdale winery. It was about $7.50 here in Virginia and not bad. Love your site…keep up the good work!!!

  3. Redlover says:

    Update: I found the Rene Barbier not very good. Even at $4.49. I would have rather spent that money on some Flip Flop merlot or even Yellow Tail Merlot.

  4. zaley44 says:

    First tried this red in 2009, bought from the local grocer in Idaho. At that time it actually had a real cork. I was no red aficionado then, but the taste and price (4.99) was agreeable.

    Since then I only drink Cab, Malbec, or Bordeaux and have tasted many well-rated bargain wines. I recently noticed that Total Wine carries this nostalgic favorite in 2013 (still 4.99). The current bottle features an identical label, but now has a screw cap. Review: I’m honestly surprised I find it still very agreeable. It is dry, slightly fruit forward, and is well-balanced for such a cheap red. It has a good tannic finish vs the no-flavor no-finish of other cheap reds. Worth every penny. Sadly, I’m sure quality could vary wildly over time with such cheaply produced wine… but I’m stocking up now.

  5. Jim Zee says:

    We love it for Sangria (and their white for white Sangria) …both are also OK as quaffing wine.

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