An Argentinian initiative but, frankly, when you get beyond the £6 or £7 wines they do well, I think you are better off looking at Cahors. OK, so I am spoilt for choice with my relationships with Cedre, Lamartine and Haut-Monplaisir but these estates all prove that it is possible to make wines that burst with fruit (in the same way as the Argentinian wines do) but don't leave a saccharine taste in the mouth; rather, they have superb structures to go with burly meats like duck (an obvious choice given they come from the South-West), lamb (think Agneau de Quercy) and a juicy, bloody steak. Sadly, I didn't have any input into last night's meal which was chicken wings so no Malbec for me. Tonight, however, lamb shanks - not the most obvious dish for Cahors but I have to make amends somehow.
The moratorium is over. Decanter’s December issue has been published and I can announce our successes in the recent tasting undertaken by their Rhône expert, Matt Walls who has recently returned from a year and a half in the region. If you look on Decanter.com today (November 2020), you will see a link to ‘Top Côtes du Rhône wines under £20’. What the article doesn’t tell you is that the brief of its writer was to taste and rate wines from across the valley in that price range and that the top scoring white wine was actually a Ventoux. No prizes for guessing that it was Château Juvenal’s 2019 ‘Ribes de Vallat’ Blanc , awarded 91 points, which, at £12.60 is also the best value of any of the white wines on the list: 'From 30- to 40-year-old vines grown on granite south-facing slopes; half of the wine is matured for six months in demi-muid leaving no overt oakiness to the aromatics. Full-bodied, rich and opulent style, very ripe and fulsome. Some mango and pineapple juice. Unmist