(2019) Certified organic, this Vin de France classified wine actually comes from Cabernet Franc vineyards in the Southwest of France, around Gers. It has a saturated, deep colour and an expressive, bright nose, a pinch of pepper over buouyant black fruits, perhaps a touch of carbonic maceration here? Certainly it has that lift and immediacy, as well as tell-tale Cab Franc nuances of capsicum. Juicy, vital and lithe on the palate, there's a linear flow of the black fruit, but always edged by tight tannins and juicy acidity. Very moreish, elegant and yet with a bit of food-friendly backbone too. £12.60 for Daily Drinker club members.
(2019) This is a Vin de France wine (so fruit can come from various regions) and is also non-vintage, and at a lowly £6.00 per bottle did not promise much. It did, however, deliver a pleasant surprise: a pale Provence lookalike, even down to its curvy bottle shape, it is dry and nicely balanced, a blend of 75% Grenache with Syrah, Cinsault and Caladoc. Summer fruity with good acidity, it is the epitome of easy-drinking, but sometimes that's all you need.
(2018) A blend of Grenache and Cinsault, and clearly mimicking the Provence style, this is a Vin de France, the classification that allows cross-regional blending of grapes. Pale and fairly neutral in aroma, there's a delicate, light peach and red fruit quality and a fairly obvious dollop of residual sugar. There's a sense of this being a very 'made' wine, but the recipe is successful enough to justify the £6.99 'mixed six' price in Majestic if it sounds like your cup of tea.
(2018) This rosé is a 'Vin de France', so the Merlot fruit could have come from anywhere, presumably at least some from Bordeaux where the Rothschild brands are based. It has plenty of warming red berries, a fashionably pale colour and a gentle touch of honeysuckle. I found the acidity just a little lemony and tart for my personal rosé taste.
(2018) An interesting wine, produced by négociant Pierre Chavin, it is organically certified and made, so Lidl informs me, from 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir by the charmat or tank method. It is Brut but tastes sweeter, and is crammed with soft, pulpy strawberries and berries, perhaps a lower pressure than most sparkling wines too, adding to the mouth-filling richness of easy-drinking fruit, but balanced and very summery.
(2018) A lovely Grenache that is labelled as a 'Vin de France', so the fruit probably blended from two or more different appellations. It is full of deep plum and berry fruit, spice and a perfumed, floral touch too, but the freshness of the acidity and silky tannin structure give both crunch and a bit of savoury grip. A flavour-packed, but very approachable red wine that's broadly food-friendy. Members of thedailydrinker.co.uk club get 10% off too. Watch the video for more information and food matching suggestions.
(2017) Though classified as a Vin de France, the fruit for this wine comes from the Languedoc, a blend of Carignan, Grenache and Merlot. It is boldly cherry and raspberry scented, the palate soft in tannins, medium bodied, and very much the epitome of easy-drinking with modest but sweet fruit and a nice, fresh finish.
(2016) A wine that falls into the 'natural wine' category given that the grapes are grown without chemicals, only natural yeasts are used and a minimal of sulphur. It is also aged only in large, very lightly toasted barrels. It's a blend of Grenache and Macabeau, and has a haunting floral, straw and sweet earth nose, a light touch of almond or honey. In the mouth it has texture, body and richness - serve it not too cold because it has the layered complexity and some of the meaty character of a red wine. With excellent acidity and the fruit playing against those complex terroir flavours of the Roussillon and very old vines. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.
(2016) One third Burgundy, two thirds from the Southwest close to Limoux and from Ventoux/Luberon grown at some altitude. Quite a refined raspberry nose, quite vinous with a touch of briar and sappy quality. The palate is cool and sophisticated, the juicy berry sweetness and a rounding lick of vanilla, with very smooth tannins and good, fresh, lightening acidity.
(2016) One third from Burgundy, two thirds from Luberon and Ventoux. Nutty and creamy, a touch of exotic ripeness. Fine, sweet palate, plenty of sun-kissed ripeness and sweetness, but a nice bit of tight northern freshness and acid structure. Very drinkable and versatile.