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WINE OF THE WEEK: Les Argelières Pinot Noir Grande Cuvée 2021, Pays d'Oc, France

£9.49, House of Townend

I thought that naming this Grande Cuvée might be a bit over the top, but it turns out to be an impressive French Pinot Noir showing textbook varietal character and charm at rather less than you would expect to pay for a wine of similar quality from the southern hemisphere.

It's an appetising mid-ruby colour – not the paler side of Pinot – with immaculate floral aromas and succulent black cherry and rosehip fruit, all cushioned by polished, toasty oak and a nip of tannin and acidity to give definition and backbone.

It comes from Les Producteurs Réunis à Cébazan, a co-operative about 25km northwest of Béziers in Languedoc, and was partly aged in French oak barrels under the watchful eye of oenologist Marilyn Lasserre.

In terms of food, it spans fish such as salmon, tuna, red mullet and prosciutto-wrapped monkfish or cod, poultry, especially quail and duck, meat including lamb and pork chops, and creamy, cheesy vegetable tarts. It's good without food, too. Either way, serve it cool, not at room temperature.

Les Argelières Pinot Noir Grande Cuvée by Marilyn Lasserre

£9.49, House of Townend; £10.20, Vinissimus UK; £10.99, Drinks Aisle; £11.49, Vino Fandango; £11.95, Butlers Wine Cellar

#wine #France #PinotNoir #wineandfood #winepairing #red

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