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Monday 18 May 2020

Zoom Party Two

Two more wines for a zoom lockdown tasting - Cambridge Wine Merchants and Hourlier Wines

Another week, another zoom wine tasting with friends and neighbours. We followed the same formula as previously, crisp white and big red.

Colombard is a Gascon grape from south west France; historically made into Armagnac, it has very high acidity and here is blended with 25% Sauvignon.

Cambridge Wine Merchants' "vin rouge" is a southern Rhône made by Roger Sabon, based in Chateauneuf du Pape. At 15%, it's something of a Beast, but not jammy and there is plenty of understated grip. Tasted straight from the bottle, it is does not yet feel harmonious; it improves with air, however, and only after almost a week does it start to show its best.

Horgelus Colombard-Sauvignon, Cotes de Gascongne (£7.50, Hourlier) herbaceous, pungent and aromatic with lemongrass and white pepper; lychee, melon and limey grapefruit; mineral with piercing, linear acidity. Crisp, well-made and flawless.

Thoroughly enjoyable.

Dink as an aperitif or match with starters such as soused mackerel.

Cambridge Wine Merchants "vin rouge", 2019 (£10, CWM) undisclosed southern Rhône blend with 15% alcohol; floral with juicy dark-berry and black-cherry fruits and spice; warming and alcoholic but with enough freshness to keep it in check, supple with very fine tannins. Excellent winemaking from very ripe fruit.

Will repay cellaring; benefits from extensive aeration or failing that, a light chilling.

Thoroughly enjoyable on opening to Good with aeration.

Match with autumnal stews or barbecue foods.

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