Gentle Riot, M Squared Merlot-Malbec

(2022) 'Gentle Riot' is a brand Laithwaites have introduced for some less orthodox wines in their range - there's an orange wine, for example. This is a chunky and boisterous blend of Malbec and Merlot. That in itself is not terribly unusual, as Cahors in the southwest of France, spiritual home of Malbec, has often blended in a softening dollop of Merlot to its wines. What's a bit different here is that the wine is not vintage dated, so is presumably a blend of two or more vintages, and it's a Vin de France cross-regional blend, the Malbec from Cahors, the Merlot from Bordeaux. There's a high-toned, charry oak note and loads of plum and raspberry ripe fruit. There's nothing subtle here, the palate savoury with more plum and a liquorice and leather, tannic finish. It is a rustic and substantial wine, that will be best with the right food. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas. £10.99 as part of a mixed dozen, which is the right price for this one.

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