Assorted reds from France, South Africa & Portugal


gigondas-001Guigal Gigondas 2011, Rhône, France (£24.26 Chordale Wine Merchants, Bubbles And Wine Ltd, Roberts and Speight Ltd, Portland Wine Company, Fenwick Ltd, R Campbell & Sons Ltd, Clifton Cellars, Hailsham Cellars, Liquorice)
Dumb initially, this opens up over the course of a couple of hours to reveal its core of ripe dark plum, cherry and berry flesh, notes of spice and brown sugar, and an intense herby finish. Approachable now, but its best is still to come – the last glass tasted much better than the first.

chiroubles-001Alain Passot Domaine de la Grosse Pierre Chiroubles 2015, Burgundy, France (£13.40 Haynes Hanson & Clark)
Lovely gentle earthy cherry and re berry, with a waft of violets in the background. Full-flavoured, medium bodied, very tasty. S(-)

spier-north-bankSpier North Bank Malbec 2015, Western Cape, South Africa (£10.49 Laithwaites)
There’s a lightly smoky edge to the minty blackberry flavours, fresh enough and with a touch of spice, but just a touch dilute. B-

prazo-de-rorizPrats & Symington Prazo de Roriz Douro 2012, Portugal (£14.49 Harrods, Hedonism, Fortnum & Mason, Soho Wine Supply, Farr Vintners, The Wine Society, thedrinkshop.com)
Almost a Calvados-like assault of woodiness, an apple edge alongside the more conventional blackcurrant, not shy in alcohol, but there’s a green edge here that’s not so great, would have worked in a riper vintage, but here, feels a bit too controlled for real pleasure. But still decent enough B(-)

calmel-chinian-001Calmel & Joseph St Chinian Les Terroirs 2014, Languedoc, France (£10-£11 Viader Wines, Ellie’s Cellar)
Bright, spicy, sappy style, has a perfumed almost ginger biscuit-like spice to its vibrant, rounded b/c pastille flavours, maybe just a touch stalky on the finish but decent glug. B+

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