Domaine de Cassagnau, Rouge 2014, Languedoc, France
This is a 'Pays d'Oc' wine from the Languedoc in the south of France. Unlike the traditional 'Appellation Controllee' wine regions of France where strict rules govern everything from what grapes can be planted to when they can be harvested, the introduction of new appellations like Pays d'Oc allows winemakers to experiment and step outside the rules a little. This is a case in point, a wine that blends the Rhône varieties Syrah and Grenache with the Bordeaux variety Merlot - something that would never happen in a traditional region of the Languedoc, but which has been done to rather good, easy-drinking effect here. The wine is all about smooth, plum and blackcurrant fruit on the nose, a creaminess but also a hint of spice, just a little fragrant herbal lift too. On the palate that creamy full-bodied fruit continues, smooth and supple though finishing with crunch and freshness with only 13% alcohol. Watch the video for my full review, including much more detail and food matching suggestions. £7.95, FromVineyardsDirect.com.