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The fine French country shortlist case
In this cuvée, made from grenache and cinsault, Pierre Borie is determined to reproduce the kind of style found in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The absence of syrah means the colour is relatively pale, and the wine is very silky, round and spicy and with great length and complexity.
A very fine expression of Faugeres and made from syrah and grenache, planted on north-facing schists and mourvèdre, planted fully south facing. This is complex and quite exquisite.
Alain Brumont has been the ambassador for the wines of Madiran and he remains the leading producer. This is Madiran at its most refined – dark, full and rich but also with complexity and length of flavour.
The top wine from one of the outstanding estates of the Languedoc. distinguishes Cabardès from the rest is the choice of varieties, which has to include both Bordeaux and Rhône grapes. The result is dark and truffle-like, with the polish that comes from long barrel ageing.
Appropriately dark, full-flavoured south-western red from one of France's iconic vineyards, popular here since the days of Queen Eleanor. Ripe with some concentration and plenty of dark fruit flavours, and perfect with a Sunday roast.
2015 was an outstanding vintage for this richly scented cabernet-syrah blend. There is blackcurrant and blackberry with a touch of olive, sprinkled with Provençal herbs. Smooth tannins are the result of long ageing in barrel and bottle.