(2022) Lovers of the Gamay grape variety have all of Beaujolais to explore, but outside of south-eastern French region, there's not a lot of choice to be had. This comes from a producer in Gaillac in the southwest of France, originally planted to soften some of the more tannic local grapes. Vivid crimson in colour, the nose has a little meat and pepper character to berry fruit, just a hint of florals too. In the mouth the sweetness is what strikes the palate first, a bursting berry sweet juiciness, cherry-ripe and charming. There's no tannin to speak of, but nicely judged acid and a bit of dark chocolate character gives some weight and smoothness to the finish. £10.49 as part of a mixed dozen. Watch the video for more information.
(2022) From one of the great estates of Madiran, this is a blend of 60% tannat, 20% cabernet franc, 20% cabernet sauvignon aged 12-16 months in barrel, then eight months in large wooden vats. Big, meaty and chunky on the nose, there is depth here but a sense of polish too. Hints of violet lift lead on to a palate of svelte and full dark vine fruits, forceful but relatively svelte tannins and lovely acid balance. Powerful and another food wine, but lovely.
(2021) Quite a distinctive peach tone to the colour of this certified organic rosé, a blend of Tannat, Pinenc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Small redcurrant aromas are joined by a little pomegranate, before a palate that is bone dry, again focused on those smaller red berries - redcurrants and raspberry - with plenty of pithy, sour orange and lemon acidity.
(2021) A successful Provence style this, from the Southwest of France using local varieties Pinenc and Tannat, as well as the two Cabernets. Small redcurrant fruits and orange on the nose, onto a palate that is limey and fresh, again a little firm red fruit character, but stylish and long, if arguably lacking the final energising shot of typical Provence acidity.
(2021) Producer Leroy Chevalier appears to be a négociant bottling wines from various appellations, and the grape varieties here are unstated buy most be local varieties such as Mauzac and Muscadelle. Pale green in colour, the nose is pretty and attractive with the floral and leafy, soft green herbal notes, a touch of elderflower typical of this region's dry whites. The palate is bright, softly-fruity and the epitome of easy-drinking, with a nice juicy tangerine core of acidity for a very pleasant summery mouthful of wine. Part of Lidl's summer wine tour 2021.
(2021) Pungent stuff, lots of thiols giving elderflower and for me just verging on a sweaty character. The palate has very good fruit, dry and sharply defined by its chalky acidity, the dry melon rind and apple core fruit adding to the freshness, a little bitters note too.
(2020) Alain Brumont's Montus is one of the superstar wines of the Madiran appellation in South West France. Mostly Tannat with a litle Cabernet Sauvignon, it spends 12 to 14 months in barriques, which are 80% new. It's a true vin de garde, so this 12-year-old is just hitting its stride. It throws a lot of sediment so decanting is recommended. I also decanted it around 90 minutes before serving. Deep, plum and mulberry colour, the nose refined with graphite and taut black fruit, quite meaty and a little bit spicy. In the mouth a delightfully digestible wine, sour plum and Asian spice into soy flavours, the dark stripe of chocolate to the tannins and firm acidity gives agility, the mid-palate builds fruit sweetness, before a long, again quite spicy finish. Terrific with rib-eye. Price quoted is for the most recent vintage at time of review. Use the wine-searcher link to see all available vintages.
(2020) Made fron the local speciality, Négrette (55%) along with Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, this has an interesting nose of blackberry, leather and a slightly balsamic quality, definitely some herbal notes flitting in and out of the picture too. In the mouth it's full of juicy, tart plum-edged black fruit, buoyant and keen, there's lots of berry fruit but the stripe of tannin and that punchy acidity power through. Needs food I think, maybe a cassoulet or wintery casserole.
(2020) There is some Cabernet Franc blended with the Tannat here, in a forward and juicy Madiran from Southwest France. Spices, black plum and some floral highlights aromatically, some oak too giving a little creamy and chocolaty background note. The fruit on the palate is very sweet on first impression: real blackcurrant and blueberry, almost pastille sweetness, quite soft in texture and structure for Madiran, though acidity and a little liquorice or endive bittering quality tightens up the finish.
(2020) From the Côtes du Marmandais in teh southwest of France close to Bordeaux, this is a blend of Bordeaux varieties plus Syrah. It has a very nice, gently rustic nose, game and leather, but fruit to and a certain peppery quality. In the mouth it is savoury and nicely balanced - though quite dry, there is an honest and rustic charm about this, and there is decent black fruit at the core.