Wednesday Wines – Episode 30

Episode 30 – 21st October 2020

Two rather toothsome reds this week and you will be pleased to see that I have reverted to promise of finding one exceptional wine under a tenner and also one over for your pleasure!

2018 Chianti, Governo All’uso Tuscany, Cecchi, Italy (£11.99, reduced to £8.99 in a Mix Six deal, www.majestic.co.uk).

Ignore the rather simplistic label and bathe your palate in this rather hedonistic Sangiovese.  There is a shocking amount of flavour and succulence here and this is presumably because this wine is made in the 14th century Governo method!  In the olden days, weaker wines and slow ferments were boosted by the addition of grape must from partially dried grapes.  This gave the wines a boost of intensity and depth of flavour and while we don’t necessarily need to employ this sort of technique today, because we are so much more knowledgeable in the vineyard, it is a quirky way of turbo-charging your wine!  This new discovery at Majestic is mind-blowing value at the Mis Six rate given the super-smooth palate, varietal accuracy and prodigious length of this wine.  It is unmissable!

2018 Calmel & Joseph, Les Crus, Terrasses du Larzac, Languedoc, France (£13.99, Waitrose & www.waitrosecellar.com).

Coming from the north-west of Montpellier, this is another densely appointed red wine and it hails from one of the newer appellations in the Languedoc, Terrasses du Larzac, which gained AOC status in 2004.   Made from 50% Mourvèdre, 25% Syrah and 25% Grenache and aged for 12 months in oak barrels (30% new, 40% one-year-old and 30% two-year-old) this is a spectacular red wine and the value for money here is bonkers.  The unmistakable warm earth heartbeat in Les Crus is extraordinary.  The red and black fruit notes envelop this elemental core and it manages to weave in wild herb and dried flower notes as well making this a delicious, mouth-watering and hearty creation.  Layered and deep, this is a stunning autumnal red and the tannins are in harmony, so there is no drying on the finish whatsoever.