Wines of the week: Château de Ciffre Faugères Terroirs d'Altitude, 2008; Montgravet Chardonnay, 2009; Ravenswood Vintners Blend Zinfandel, 2007
Terry Kirby selects the best bottles to buy
Sunday 06 February 2011
Château de Ciffre Faugères Terroirs d'Altitude, 2008
The Languedoc of southern France is one of the most up-and-coming wine regions in Europe and this is a fabulous example from the Faugères area, one only given appellation d'origine contrôlée approval in 1982. Blended from Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre grapes grown on southern-facing slopes north of Béziers, it is a spicy wine, tannic and structured, with lots of dark fruit and savoury herbal flavours that will linger long after you've drained your glass. Bring on the roast meats and blue cheese. £15.30, slurp.co.uk
Montgravet Chardonnay, 2009
Moving to the south-west of France, this is a wine that does what it says on the label – a screw-capped crisp combination of the strict minerality of Gascony and the tropical fruit and citrus flavours of wines grown closer to the Mediterranean, all of which gives it a slight New World feeling. Ideal with grilled chicken or simple fish dishes. £4.99, waitrose.com (5 per cent reduction on cases of 12); ocado.com
Ravenswood Vintners Blend Zinfandel, 2007
At Majestic's price this might be the perfect example of what I term a "pizza'n'pasta" red – something unpretentious, easily quaffable with everyday dishes that will neither break the bank nor disgrace the table. But it may be much better than that: a very well-made wine from the American grape, full-bodied, bold but balanced between some spicy oak and lots of very forward fruits, that is deserving of a decent steak or confit of duck. £4.99 (six-bottle minimum order), majestic.co.uk
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