Anyone who has not made it out of the UK this summer may want to turn away for the next sentence or two, We have just returned from four glorious weeks around France which have, inevitably, included a fair amount of sampling. We visited some areas for the first time (Cahors) and spent time in other very familiar regions (the Southern Rhône, now there's a surprise!). Our mission was to find some of the more unusual wines being made - these included a Rhône Tannat, pure Mourvèdre wines and some late-harested, botrytised Grenache. The only disappointment was a VDP Cabernet from one of the Côtes du Rhône Villages' leading producers (no names!) which should have been better. A silver lining to this very slight wisp of a cloud is blogged on 17th August below.
Took possession of a small parcel of VDP de Vaucluse Cabernet Sauvignon from Domaine des Anges as a favour to the estate (a long story) and thought I should open a bottle straight away as I hadn't tasted it for about a year. It's a wine I have always thought pretty good but, perhaps, a little overpriced at the estate's desired price point of around £7-£8. At £6, however, it's a steal. The fruit is superb: lovely, rich blackcurrant with a trace of oak and none of that leafiness that dogs so many Bordeaux wines or olive character that can make some southern Cabernets frankly a bit weird (and certainly none of the overt jaminess that renders so many New World examples at this price point undrinkable). Unlike the weather, this was something worth coming home to.