Domaine de Linquière, Le Chant des Cigales Saint-Chinian 2010, France
Saint-Chinian is one of the Languedoc's more robust red wine appellations. Like neighbouring Fougères, the wines have the reputation of being full, masculine and tannic. Although this top cuvée from Domaine de Linquière is no shrinking violet with its 14.5% alcohol and rich, full character, it is also a beautifully supple and refined take on Saint Chinian. A blend of 70% Syrah with Mourvèdre and Carignan, aged 12 months in barrel, the nose offers not only deep-set, ripe black fruit and copious spice and hot earth, but some garrigue notes of herbs and flowers. In the mouth it caresses with a plush underpinning of really silky, chocolate-rich tannins, but the acidity is also gentle and ripe, and the fruit floods across the mid-palate with a rush of dense blackcurrant and bittersweet plum and plum skins. Beautiful stuff indeed, and such a good match for red meats, especially venison and roasted game birds perhaps. Watch the video for much more information, including more food matching suggestions and background on the area, the wine and the estate. £14.45 from Berry Bros. & Rudd (£13.00 when bought by the case).