£11.95–£13, Cheers Wines, The Jolly Vintner, The Stroud Wine Company, Shaftsbury Wines
I'm delighted to have found a red Fronton this week – such a distinctive but appealing wine, made predominantly from a grape variety, Négrette, that's grown almost nowhere else in the world (there's a tiny amount in San Benito County California). Fronton is an appellation in south-west France about 30km north-west of Toulouse between the Garonne and Tarn rivers and west of the larger Gaillac appellation.
Vigneron Guy Salmona's Château Laurou Tradition is organic and vegan and is 55% Négrette (there has to be a at least 50% in Fronton) with Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon making up the balance. It's typically dark in colour, perfumed and supple, with fleshy blackberry and red fruit, black pepper spiciness and a characteristic fresh liquorice note and suggestion of leather.
I enjoyed it with roast duck legs (lightly spiced with cumin, coriander, fennel and sumac), roast romanesco, red and orange peppers and then with a sheep's cheese (from south-west France), so you can see it's quite versatile. You could equally well drink it with steak (even though it's low in tannin) or with charcuterie, cassoulet, a good, flavoursome chicken or roast root vegetables. 13.7%
Château Laurou Fronton Tradition 2019, Fronton, France
£11.95–£13, Cheers Wine, The Stroud Wine Company, Shaftsbury Wines, New Forest Wines, The Jolly Vintner, Grape & Grain (Tiverton), Wild & Lees, Aitken Wines, Smith's Wines (Exeter), Auriol Wines, Chesters Wine