The south of France, with its varying appellations, was one of the first wine regions that I fell in love with. I still retain an affection for the likes of Pic St Loup, Corbieres, Faugeres and Cotes du Roussillon, but it’s ages since I have visited – something I should try to address next year. Here are two attractive, quite ambitious wines of differing personalities and prices.
Château de Lancyre Coste D’Aleyrac 2008 Pic St Loup, Languedoc, France
14% alcohol. A blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan. Fresh, bright raspberry and cherry fruit with nice acidity. Bright and focused with a nicely peppery, meaty personality. A bit of garrigue herbiness, too, as well as grippy structure. A delicious unoaked style. 90/100 (£9.95 Berry Bros & Rudd)
La Devèze 2007 Côtes du Roussillon Villages, France
14.5% alcohol. Made by Anne-Lise and Olivier Bernstein, who are now working in Burgundy also, this is a dark coloured wine. It’s concentrated with smooth, sweet, lush blackberry and blackcurrant fruit and a hint of roasted oak. There’s a nice savoury twist to the sweet fruit. The palate is dense, sweet and spice. Modern in style: satisfyingly rich, but perhaps just a touch too ripe? 90/100 (£17.95 Berry Bros & Rudd)