£7–£9, Marks & Spencer
Madiran from southwest France is definitely one of France’s wilder, more rugged red wines. If you’ve bumped into it before, you’ll know that it can be a bit of a bruising experience, but this one has been tamed just enough to make you feel you can drink it rather than carve it. It has the tannic grip to keep it real, but it’s been smoothed down around a core of rich, dark fruit and spice. The grape that gives Madiran its distinctive character is the local Tannat – Tannat by name, tannic by nature – but Terres de Moraines also has some Cabernet Sauvignon in the mix, to make it more approachable without taking away the authentic character. It’s a big wine that takes red meat, chunky sausages and duck in its stride, but it also loves pulses with plenty of flavourings and can spot a cassoulet before it’s out of the oven. Good value at the full price of £9; on offer at a bargain £7 until Monday.
Terres de Moraines Madiran 2012, France
£7 (down from £9 until 7 March), Marks & Spencer, marksandspencer.com