2007 Domaine Yves Cuilleron Syrah Signé, Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes
This is a brilliant, benchmark northern Rhône syrah – with a little viognier, co-fermented in Côte Rôtie style. If you’re not a member of The Wine Society, its worth the £40 life membership just to be able to buy this wine - glorious black pepper, raspberry and tar aromas, a silky, supple texture and only 12.5% abv. Drink any time over the next two to three years.
£12.95, The Wine Society
2008 Grant Burge Benchmark Shiraz
A very different style of syrah from the one above, but also true to type. To call it ‘benchmark’ is pushing it a bit, especially as it’s a wine to drink, not keep, but it’s got real Australian shiraz character – a rarity at this sort of price these days. It’s plump and smooth, with sweet, but not jammy, blackberry fruit, milk chocolate and fresh peppery spice flavours. 14.5% abv.
£6.49, Booth; £5.95 The Wine Society
2008 Domaine Bellegarde Jurançon Sec
Lightly peachy, nutty nose; dry, tangy, quince and peach flavours on the palate; medium-bodied with citrus zest acidity. A delicious, reviving aperitif and a good accompaniment to seafood or salad/veggie first courses. Made from gros manseng and a little petit manseng, and oak-free. 13.5% abv.
£10.95, Yapp Brothers