Flavours: Big full fruit flavours here (black currants, cherry /kirsch in wine speak). Really well balanced wine (i.e. no element overpowers the other, acid, tannin (that feeling of your mouth drying when you taste) etc…). There’s also a lovely meaty, smokiness to it adding to its length (how long you can taste the wine after you’ve swallowed it, try it!)
Grape: Southern Rhone Red Blend – Usually made up of Grenache (Granacha in Spain), Syrah (Shiraz in Australia) and Mourvedre, in varying proportions, typically with Grenache and Syrah as the dominant varietals (grape type J). Specifically a blend of 30% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre, and the rest Syrah, Counoise and other permitted varietal!
Year: Rain in early September diluted what was otherwise a very promising year. This can be crucial to the success of a vintage. Harvest normally takes place around the month of September, so when it rains (excessively) the grapes absorb this and swell, meaning the overall flavours are diluted, (think of it like adding too much water to Ribena!) The overall quality was still good, but definitely not at the level of 2010 or 2009 (both really good years in the Rhone).
Colour: Dark/deep ruby. You’ll notice (if you tilt the glass slightly) that the edges of the wine are less intense in colour than the rest of the glass. This happens with red wines as they age, as a general rule, reds get lighter with age and whites get darker
Aroma: Black and red cherry with and lovely smoky spiciness.
Food: Big hearty meat dishes. Roast lamb or shepherd’s pie would work really well.
Buy it here for £19.99 (as of date of review).