Le Petit Chat Malin, Rouge 2012, France
I don't normally feature really heavily branded wines as my wines of the week. Such wines, produced on a vast, industrial scale and available in multiple supermarkets and grocery chains, barely need any help such is the marketing clout behind them. Though it doesn't quite represent the biggest of these super-wine-brands, Le Petit Chat Malin is a pretty ubiquitous brand and is even promoted via its own cutesy web site. Whilst such wines are rarely the most interesting, and I figure my job should mostly be to unearth more obscure gems, on tasting this little wine from the Languedoc I was struck by its really good quality and its sense of authenticity, so in the end it is a good candidate for review. It is made from Grenache with a splash of Syrah, and offers abundantly fruity aromas of sweet summer berries, but with a nice background of warm southern French earth and spice - reflecting the herb-strewn garrigue of the south - that adds authenticity. In the mouth it overflows with that berry fruit, but there's a rustic, un-smoothed edge to the tannins and the acidity that gives a hint of structure and savoury appeal. In all, a rather nice litte pussy cat this. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas. £5.99, Waitrose, Wine Rack, Budgens, Booths, Nisa, Londis, Bargain Booze. See more stockists on wine-searcher.com.