I'm not letting go of summer yet, but this will deal with shortening days, cooler nights and meatier food – cassoulet, anyone? – and it'll step up to the barbecue plate if the weather allows. That said, it's not a strapping, young Madiran with muscular tannins. It's Madiran showing its softer side – velvety tannins, ripe damson, black cherry and blackberry fruit and savoury liquorice and minerally graphite freshness.
The local Tannat is the predominant grape variety, as it has to be in southwest France's Madiran appellation, but it's cut with some Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon and aged in stainless steel rather than oak, all of which helps to make it ready for drinking now, although you could keep it another couple of years if you have somewhere suitably cool and dark. And at this price you might want to stock up.
In brief, Madiran is a small, historic region in Gascony, in the foothills of the Pyrenees about 40km from Pau, and the innovative Plaimont co-operative group that dominates wine production in Gascony makes Réserve des Tuguets. The appellation is for red wines only, so the white wines, both dry and late-harvest sweet, have a different appellation: Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh. They're few and far between but well worth looking out for.
Aside from cassoulet, roast and barbecued meat and duck, this is good with hard cheeses such as aged Grana Padana, Comté or Manchego and with roast root vegetables and casseroles. 13%
Réserve des Tuguets Madiran 2017, France