Wine Tasting Video: Grenache-based reds from France & Spain

Sacha Lichine Le Coq Rouge Vin de France 2010 (£9.95 Wine HoundLast Try Wines, Wine Reserve, Living In Store, E. H. Booths, Clear Black Wine Shop, Zoran’s)
Fresh, sappy style, reasonably berry and blackcurrant, but slightly bubblegum-y and simple, and finishes a little too dry. C-

Domaine Andre Brunel Vin de Pays de Vaucluse 2010, Rhône, France (£9.99 Virgin Wines)
Earthy, hearty, stew-friendly style of red, with punchy dark berry and plum flavours pepped up by notes of spice, tar and cocoa, juicy but fresh and satisfying. B+

Perrin La Grange St Martin Côtes du Rhône Réserve 2009, France (£10.99 selected Cooperative stores)
Another warm-hearted, gamey style, combines southern herby/spicy warmth with plush black cherry and blackberry character, and adds in notes of tar and crystallised orange peel. Still plenty of life ahead of it too. S(-)

Vidal-Fleury Côtes du Rhone 2009, France (£9.49-£10.99 Majestic, Bablake Wines, Constantine Stores, Francis Fine Wines, Hennings Wine Merchants, Mounts Bay Wines, Slurp.co.uk)
More forward than the Perrin wine, but equally tasty, with welcoming fleshy forest fruit flavours, sprightly herb and spice notes and a long gamey finish that reins in its power in admirable fashion. S(-)

Caves Saint-Pierre Côtes du Rhône Villages 2009, France (£8.99 Tesco)
Quite light, fruity and simple after the previous two, with red berry rather than darker fruit, some reasonable chewy tannin, but overall quite simple and lacking oomph. B

Artazuri Navarra Garnacha 2010, Spain (£10.99 Virgin Wines)
Curate’s egg of a wine… I like the warm, dusty loganberry flavours with a just-ripe herbal edge to add character, gut there’s also a slightly jammy edge, plus a gamey note that veers a little bit to close to brettanomyces for comfort. B

Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Priorat 2008, Catalunya, Spain (£9.99 Sainsbury’s)
Another that I’m in two minds about. I like the smooth juicy dark berry flavour and dusty spice, but I’m not so keen on the overripe raisinny character that pushes ‘rustic’ just a little too far. B(+)

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