From the heart of this appellation in the southerly Cote Chalonnaise sub-region of Burgundy, this is a gorgeous wine with delicious primary aromas of spiced cherries, berries and rhubarb, notes of clove and cigarbox – lovely refinement and complexity.
Burgundy can be frustrating and very expensive but this is a great example of finding quality and value from lesser-known villages. If this was slightly further north it would be considerably more expensive!A great wine for roast lamb or pork, or even chicken.
This is a beautiful dessert wine from John & Nicola Bojanowski's organic winery in St.Jean de Minervois, deep in the Languedoc countryside. Made from that grapiest of grapes Muscat, this is floral and fruity with aromas of orange flower and honeysuckle combining with flavours of sweet pink grapefruit and mandarin. The finish has such a refreshing tang that you can drink it on its own as an aperitif, but it would also take kindly to strawberries and fruit pastries.
Picpoul is having something of a fashionable moment right now, everyone seems to have woken up to the fact that this is one of the most refreshing, delicious, reliable and affordable wine styles around.
This version, from the organic La Mirande estate is pure pleasure, offering real depth and flavour (more than most), whilst still retaining that fresh zippyness that we all love. A versatile food wine and a good fridge stand-by, it goes well will most seafood and salad dishes.
Carignan/Grenache/SyrahThierry Navarre has a dozen hectares of vines planted on dark brown schist terraces around Roquebrun. The achingly beautiful countryside is an amphitheatre of small mountains clad in a sea of green, a forest of small trees and bushes and the familiar clumps of fragrant rosemary and thyme which captures the scented spirit of the high Languedoc. The culture in the vines revolves around the respect for the soil, the cycles, the seasons. No chemical products are used, simply composting, natural preparation, plant infusions and working the soil. The harvest is manual and carried out by a small team.
This wine is full of red fruits, liquorice tones and plenty of herbs and spice, yet is unforced, supple and fresh.A proper southern French wine to accompany roast lamb or great with some good sausages or a hearty stew.
Jean-Paul Deville is situated in Verzy and produces great wines and provides excellent value. The blend is dominated by Grand Cru Pinot Noir grapes (75%); it is an elegant style but with some richness and depth.
Jean-Bernard Larrieu makes some of the best wines in Jurancon at Clos Lapeyre. This isolated area lies inland in the foothills of the Pyranees and is home to some of the best sweet wines France has to offer (without paying Sauternes prices). Petit Manseng is the main grape for producing these delicious, honeyed wines and it's bright acidity is what makes it so successful; no matter how rich and unctuous the wine, it still feels fresh and mouth-watering on the finish. In case you were wondering, La Magendia means 'the best' in the local Occitane dialect; very fitting, as this is truly stunning.
Perfect with fruit desserts (rhubarb or apple crumble...?) and is a star with blue and rind-washed cheeses.