As we cruise into the last third of February, you don't have to be a meteorological magi to discern that we're not out of winter yet.
A friend recently trudged up to my office at around 6:30pm to find me opening a bottle of Romain Duvernay, 2011 from Côtes-du-Rhône. Anticipating pleasure he seized the bottle from my hands and inspected the label, nodding sage-like and exclaiming, "Nice… it is definitely Côtes-du-Rhône season!"
Ordinary Rhône wines night suffice if the conversation is established in flow and you are trying to hold distraction-by-pleasure at bay, but when we're damp, a little testy and tired, we want quality in bags! Thus I am pleased to say that the Romain Duvernay delivered a mouthful of pleasure that stopped us both in our tracks. After a sniff and sip, Ricardo paused for thought before exclaiming that he thought I was being extravagant with my choices but - and here's the tip - this bottle only costs a tenner.
Made from old grenache, syrah and mourvèdre vines, this wine has hints of rich dark fruits that are balanced with good tannin that cuts across the palate leaving it fresh and wanting another sip. Just how I like it! The blend ensures a combination of emergent flavours. I noticed liquorice and Ricardo picked out some spices before musing on a plate of roasted winter vegetables. The scene was set!
I was sent this to taste by Roberson Wine and asked to give a frank response. Well, frankly, it is delicious and a bargain! I would recommend it with pleasure. Buy a case or two, one to drink and one hide under the stairs… in the children's playpen, or wherever you choose, but bring out a bottle every six months or so, and see how it develops.
CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2011, ROMAIN DUVERNAY
Available from Romain Duvernay Cotes du Rhone
Bottle price £9.95
Bottle price when buying case of twelve £8.46
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Wine Tasting in Abruzzo - tasting notes
Winemaker and owner Nicola D’Auria greeted us at the entrance of this fascinating cantina. The winery and cellars have been designed by Rocco valentini in the shape of a vertical barrel in order to immerse the tasters senses in wine.
Abruzzo: fine wine in an Italian idyll
East from Roma to Abruzzo
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Watch: Wine Tips from the Grape-Pickers Party
After days of picking grapes in one of the world’s most famous wine regions, the pickers get together to drink, chat and enjoy the drinks they are meticulously involved in the making of.
Also check out local winemaker, Nico’s, top tip for a white Burgundy from Saint Aubin that you don’t have to travel to Burgundy to get!
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