2008 Côtes de Thongue ‘Tradition’, Domaine les Filles de Septembre, Hugues & Roland Géraud, South of France (£7.50, Yapp Brothers Ltd, tel. 01747 860423 & www.yapp.co.uk). I think that the text-message abbreviation for the impact that this wine has on your senses is ‘OMG’. I spent a rather wonderful afternoon last week lunching with Jason Yapp – an extreme sport if ever there was one. He showed me a stunning red Rhône from the little-known appellation of Brézème, made by the mercurial Jean-Maire Lombard, called the 2006 Eugène de Monicault (£16.95) – it was a revelation. Wintry, swarthy and pagan, yet with underlying, suave notes of game, tack rooms and hedgerow fruits – I was bowled over. We supped an old Faugères, the 2000 vintage from Estanilles (£18.50) which was perfectly à point, and, more importantly, it is still in stock. But the wine that took my breath away and elicited the ‘Oh My God’ from my own mouth was this cracking, inexpensive red from the up-and-coming VdP region of Côtes de Thongue. A blend of Merlot, Grenache and Carignan, with silkiness hitherto unknown in a wine of this price tag, this is a delicious fusion between generous Bordeaux notes and more rustic, yet cultured Rhône nuances. This is, without doubt, your ‘house red wine of the season’.