Wine editor MARY DOWEY selects this LANGUEDOC RED as her bottle of the week …
Château Les Auzines Hautes Terres Corbières 2015
Right, full disclosure. I’ve tracked the progress of young Languedoc winemaker Laurent Miquel and his Irish wife Neasa for years, writing many times about their most enjoyable bottles. In 2016 I even managed to visit their latest venture (and the source of this red), Château Les Auzines. So yes, I might be biased. That’s why I re-tasted this bottle ‘blind’ alongside several others from O’Briens’ monster September sale – and alongside my dear husband, the sternest wine critic in the house, it still came out on top.
The Les Auzines vineyard is one of the most striking in the rugged Corbières region, stretching over a vast, rocky plateau 350 metres above the pretty village of Lagrasse. Together, the altititude and the stony soil bring freshness and a savoury, almost salty tang to the wines. (Les Auzines whites are terrific too.)
This silky blend of Syrah and Grenache also has deliciously pure fruit flavours. Blackberries, blueberries, cherries… there are hints of them all, together with what tastes like a sprinkling of southern French herbs and a dash of pepper for extra élan.
Even at the standard price it’s an excellent buy – which means that, during the September sale it’s a steal. Although the label suggests lamb shanks and ragoûts as the best food matches, my view is that Les Auzines Hautes Terres will go with robustly flavoured, savoury dishes from a much wider spectrum including meatballs in a rich tomato sauce; stuffed aubergines; venison steaks; roast pork.
This is just one of many cracking bargains on offer at the moment from O’Briens retailers whose wine range keeps on growing in breadth and appeal at a rollicking pace.
From O’Briens outlets nationwide, usually €14.95, reduced to €11.95 in the sale which runs September 1-24.
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