£7.99, in any 12 bottle mix Laithwaites
I think this is a first for me – and likely to be for most wine drinkers – a Coteaux de la Cabrerisse. It’s the only wine sold in the UK from this tiny IGP (formerly Vin de Pays) and Domaine Garrigue Grande is one of only two producers using the designation (Château de Caraguilhes is the other).
The producers are Anne and Xavier Volontat, the seventh generation to run their family wine estate, Château Les Palais, based in a 12th-century former convent close to Saint-Laurent-de-la-Cabrerisse, a village in the heart of the prestigious Corbières Boutenac appellation (and a village where, incidentally, Xavier has been mayor since 2008).
The Volontats make Corbières and Corbières Boutenac under the Château Les Palais label, but they have 20 hectares outside these appellations (AOPs) and this red is a blend dominated by two grape varieties, Marselan (40%) and Merlot (30%), that aren’t permitted for Corbières. They could label the wine IGP Aude, but would you if you could call it the much more evocative sounding Coteaux de la Cabrerisse?
The remaining 30% of the blend is Syrah. And in case anyone is pondering, Marselan is a cross of Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache, a very good one, although it’s taken a while for it to establish its own deep-coloured, fruit-rich identity.
Across the blend the average age of the vines is 40 years. Vinification is traditional, without oak, giving a full-bodied, warm-hearted wine in which the fruit – a burst of juicy black fruit and ripe plums – really shines, complemented by touches of garrigue, earthy spice and liquorice freshness.
If there’s a last chance for a barbecue, wheel this out. If the weather is more autumnal, think along the lines of cassoulet (duck, pork or veg), root vegetable gratin, chorizo, chilli con carne (as long as you rein in the chilli), moussaka or toad in the hole. 14%. Bottle weight: 395g.
Domaine Garrigue Grande 2020, Coteaux de la Cabrerisse, Languedoc, France
£7.99 in any 12-bottle mix, £10.99 single, Laithwaites