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WINE OF THE WEEK: L'Arpenty Chinon 2018, Loire, France

£14.75, Yapp Brothers

I've enjoyed a lot of vintages of the Desbourdes family's l'Arpenty Chinon over the years, so I'm surprised that it hasn't featured here before. High time it did – and just the wine to anticipate some slightly more spring-like weather.

The summer of 2018 was strikingly hot and sunny in France, so this is darker, riper and more velvet-textured than usual, although still reassuringly fresh and moderate in alcohol. Depending how you like your Chinon Cabernet Franc, that could mean all the more delicious or no less delicious. I like it all ways: crisper and leafier in cooler years (but not too green, obviously); and I love it like this – luscious and vibrant with plump, blackberryish fruit and a hint of elderberry, yet still showing the characterisitic graphite and herb of Loire Cabernet Franc. It's best drunk just lightly chilled, but don't overdo it.

It's a winner with new lamb, or match it to cotecchino with lentils and salsa verde (it'll cut the fattiness of the sausage and pick up on the green freshness of the salsa verde), or tuna, rillettes or a goat's cheese, onion and spinach tart. 12.5%

Francis et Françoise Debourdes Chinon L'Arpenty 2018, Chinon, Loire, France

£14.75, Yapp Brothers


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