Region: Pays d’Oc
Where: Marks & Spencer, Walworth Road
When: 3 December 2013
Why: For a midweek evening at home
How much: £7.99
What the labels says: “A vibrant and full-bodied red wine with flavours of plum, raspberry and liquorice. The grapes are harvested from a number of the Bonfils family’s own vineyards and the wine is made using both modern and traditional techniques, depending on the fruit quality of the harvest. A wine with great balance and character for enjoying with good food and friends. This wine is a great match with game and poultry dishes such as duck breast or chicken casserole.”
How it looks: Dark, opaque and mysterious
How it smells: Fruity, like ripe musty plums and raspberries.
How it tastes: The initial fruity sharpness is a surprise, but it quickly calms down to a dark, liquorish aftertaste which lingers for a while on the tongue with a distinct burnt-rubber bitterness. The tannins are subtle, leaving a not unpleasant soft velvet coating in the mouth.
Conclusions: This wine is darker and more full bodied than I usually chose, but I enjoyed it none the less. That liquorish taste takes a bit of acquiring, but this wine is quite different to anything I have tasted recently. It could stand up well to some strong food flavours, maybe some pongy cheese, but I quite enjoyed it all by itself!