This one is more specifically denominated as being from Ventoux (also southern Rhône), with the front label noting the grapes as a mix of the the noble Syrah and the more blowsy Grenache.
With previous experience in mind, I poured this one into the decanter at the start of our meal, but despite this, initial impressions were a little underwhelming - yes, there were some classic "southern French" ripe dark fruits on the nose, but it was all quite restrained and in the mouth the acidity felt a little thin.
In fact, despite some bottle age, it did not really start to open up properly and come into its own until after the end of the meal and later again when resampled after a couple of days; at this stage, the nose had become much more pronounced with prunes and a hint of spice, whilst on the palate the fruit acidity feels fuller and more rounded. There is some ripe blackcurrant and pencil shavings and, whilst the texture is soft with low tannin levels, the finish is gently grippy.
Sampled a further day later and it has developed again - the perfume on the nose has died down and what remains is a really well-made, food-friendly acidity on the palate. It is dark and feels mouthfillingly inky with some savouriness, black-cherry aromas, and hints of pencil shavings and peppery spice.
Rather, with its prominent and sophisticated acidic structure, this is much more of an Italian-style food wine, intended to cut through the richness of something like a beef stew or a bolognese sauce, rather than being an easy-drinker straight out of the bottle.
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