2009 Paul Mas Vermentino, Pays d’Oc
Another good wine from Jean-Claude Mas’ Languedoc vineyard empire. It doesn’t give a lot away on the nose – that’s vermentino for you – but there’s plenty to it: fresh lemon-peel flavours with a touch of green olive and herbs, a smooth, lanoline texture and a lively, dry finish. 13% abv and food friendly.
£7.99, or £5.99 if you buy 2 or more, Majestic
2008 Château La Dournie, Saint-Chinian
An excellent follow-up to the 2007 which I recommended back in July of last year. The 2008 has the same mouthwatering stony, smoky smell and taste, with scents of the garrigue and spicy, sweet berry fruit – all beautifully modulated and balanced. It’s a syrah-dominated blend with carignan and grenache grown on schist. 13% abv. La Dournie has been handed down from mother to daughter for six generations, with Véronique Etienne currently at the helm.
£7.99, or £6.99 if you buy 2 or more, Majestic.
2008 Domaine Les Yeuses, Les Epices Syrah, Pays d’Oc
Expressive, pure Syrah in Crozes-Hermitage style. Smoky and briny aromas with flavours of crushed black peppercorns and fresh raspberries, supple tannins and a dry refreshing finish. 13.5% abv. The vineyards are on limestone hills close to the Mediterranean in the Thau lagoon area and the estate is one to watch. It’s been in the Darde family for several generations and the two brothers now in charge are doing good things.
£8.99, or £6.99 if you buy 2 or more, Majestic