The now not so new team at Oddbins is making a great effort to revamp what had become a rather boring range of wines under the Castel ownership. At their tasting last week, it was clear that the Midi had been given some attention, to good effect.
2009 Equilibre de l’Arjolle - £10.99
Domaine l'Arjolle is one of the leading estates of the Côtes de Thongue, with the Teisserenc family amongst the pioneers of the area. This is a blend of 60% Sauvignon and 40% Sauvignon, aged on the lees in stainless steel tanks for six months.
It was more Sauvignon on the nose, with some fresh pithy fruit, while on the palate the Viognier added weight and texture and some peachy hints, with a rounded finish, with balancing acidity from the Sauvignon. An unusual and successful blend.
2008 Collioure Blanc Domaine Madeloc, £15.49
This is the Roussillon estate of Pierre Gaillard, who produces Côte Rôtie, as well as Faugères at Domaine Cottebrune – see my earlier posting. The wine is a blend of 60% Grenache Gris, 20% Vermentino and 20% Roussanne. I liked this a lot. It is light golden in colour, with an intriguing nose, a touch resinous, a little honey, with lots of nuances, and on the palate it is full and ripe, with sufficient acidity, again some honeyed notes, as well as white blossom. A full-bodied floral finish.
2008 Corbières Château Ollieux Romanis - £10.99
A blend of 40% Carignan, 30% Grenache Noir and 30% Syrah. Medium young colour; some firm spicy notes on the nose, while the palate is rounded and intense with ripe berry fruit and some leathery hints. Lots of southern spice with a leathery finish.
2007 Corbières, Boutenac, Château Ollieux Romanis - £19.99
40% Carignan, 30% Grenache, 25% Mourvèdre and 5% Syrah. Boutenac is the cru of the Corbières, from vineyards around the village. Again some lovely ripe spicy fruit on the nose, but the palate was more elegant and refined’ nicely rounded with a peppery, tannic finish. Drinking well now, but also with ageing potential.
2006 Minervois, Domaine St. Jacques d’Albas - £8.79
A blend of 40% each of Carignan and Greanche, with 20% Syrah. This property has been renovated by a dynamic Anglo-French couple and Graham Nutter employs an Australian winemaker, Richard Osborne, who has a surprisingly European approach to wine-making. Good colour. Rounded red fruit nose. Quite a rounded palate, with more red fruit, some peppery notes and some fresh tannins on the finish.
2007 Collioure Rouge, Domaine Madeloc, Cuvée Serral - £15.49
80% Grenache 20% Mourvèdre. Aged in used barrels for 15 months. Young colour; medium depth. Quite a firm nose, with a touch oak, and more oak on the palate. Some ripe red berry fruit; vanilla notes and a tannic backbone. Still very young, with good ageing potential.
I’m off to discover the delights of Calabria, the toe of Italy, this week, so there will be no more from me, until at least the middle of next week, and then I shall probably be enthusing about southern Italy rather than the south of France.