£9 used to be quite a lot to spend on a bottle of wine. Now, with duty increases and exchange rates, it really isn’t.
I’m not saying that £9 is a trifling amount; rather, that to get a decent bottle of wine, you need to spend a bit more than you used to. We’ve got too comfortable with £5-6 as a price range for decent (if quite selective) drinking, but I remember this being my sweet spot for everyday wine 18 years ago. Things have changed.
This is a Carignan from the south of France that really delivers, in a modern, fruit-forward style. It’s not profound, but it is really tasty and well made, showing good balance.
Paul Mas Estate Carignan Vieilles Vignes Savignac Vineyard 2010 Pays l’Herault IGP, France
13.5% alcohol. Dense but fresh with a spicy frame to the sweet berry fruits. Very smooth and cultured with ripe black fruit character and some peppery, grippy tannins right on the finish. Stylish and delicious; modern but balanced. 90/100 (£8.99 Majestic)