I hope you have all been enjoying Chris’s recent pieces as much as I have. They have resoundingly made up for the fact that wine has been an infrequent visitor to my household of late, owing to a confluence of circumstances including a pile of study and a lot of travel for work. Tonight, though, I’m home and selected this bottle from the sample pile. Considering it’s a straightforward commercial style, I’ve begun to look forward to this wine each vintage the way one anticipates a favourite local take-away on a Friday evening. You know it’s not going to be haute cuisine, but that doesn’t in any way detract from the generous enjoyment you know you’ll experience.
There’s a big hit of spicy plum and raspberry on the nose, both engorged and nicely detailed, that immediately sets the tone. It’s expressive and heady and not even close to the sort of industrial anonymity that can plague wines at this price point. Indeed, within the confines of the style this is full of character and the smell of vintage conditions, some caramel and slightly overripe fruit contributing personality to the clean, correct aroma profile.
Very well judged on the palate, this wine starts and ends with mouthfilling fruit. In between, there is a range of spice and twig notes and an undercurrent of nougat oak that is set to the right volume. Structure, such as it is, encourages gulps rather than sips. There’s some bright acid and relaxed tannins, sure, but the fruit is so dominant here that one never questions the intent behind the style. This wine is just all about the mid-palate; fleshy, fresh, delicious. It’s not a remarkable wine in any particular way, but it succeeds so well in what it sets out to do that one can’t but praise it wholeheartedly.