Wine Tasting Video: Spicy Reds from the Languedoc, New Zealand & Chile


Domaine Castan Carignan Pays d’Hérault 2012, Languedoc, France (~£10.50 Smithfield Wine)
Soft, sweet, clean and fresh, a touch of jammy dodger to the red cherry and raspberry flavours, hints of herbs and a chewy finish. Also a slightly peppery edge that speaks of reduction. B

Domaine Castan Grenache Pays d’Hérault 2012, Languedoc, France (£10.79 Smithfield Wine)
As with the Carignan above, there’s some reduction, but here, it’s a little stinky and rubbery to start with. However, as it opens up, the juicy, herb-scented berry flesh gets a chance to shine, and there’s a long spicy finish. B(+)
PS: Watched these two wines over three days: The Carignan was looking a little jaded by Day 3, but the Grenache was still coming out of its shell…

Vidal Reserve Series Syrah 2010, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand (£14.99 Cambridge Wine Merchants, North & South, nzhouseofwine.co.uk)
Delightful, grown-up wine, with intense peppery/herbal aromas and a touch of vanilla backed up by fleshy plum, damson, blackberry and blackcurrant flavours. And not hollow like some Hawkes Bay Syrahs can be. S

Errázuriz Max Reserva Syrah 2011, Aconcagua, Chile (£13.99, Cambridge Wine Merchants, Hailsham Cellars, The Vineyard, Ann et Vin, North & South, Noble Green Wines, Winedirect.co.uk)
The slightly medicinal/reduced blackcurrant pastille aromas are classic Errázuriz, but there’s also a peppery, Mediterranean-style olive scent, along with warm plummy berries, and a creamy, almost mealy note. Nearly very good, but just a little ‘controlled’ for real class. S-

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