Wine of the week: my favourite new find of the year

ôtes-du-Vivarais

2007 Domaine Gallety, Côtes-du-Vivarais, Southern Rhône, France (£15.95, Vine Trail, 0117-921 1770,

www.vinetrail.co.uk).

This week’s wine came out of nowhere and shocked me so much that it has leap-frogged a load of other worthy candidates straight onto this page. Nick Brookes, from Vine Trail, is a very clever man indeed, with a faultless palate and incredible eye for detail. His wines are unerringly accurate and often heart-achingly delicious. Coming from the unfashionable Ardèche region of the southern Rhône, this 50/50, grenache/syrah, from 40-year-old, organically farmed vines is made by Alain and David-Alexandre Gallety. Their wine is hearty and rich, with layers and layers of wild berry fruits and savoury, herbal notes. It is also perfectly balanced.

The 2007 vintage was a cracker down there and the temptation might have been to slap it into new oak, but they left it to mellow for a year in old barrels – this caressed the wine gently rather than manhandling it. The results are incredible – a totally unadulterated, natural, beautiful wine. It is my favourite new find of the year so far and it could teach top Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Aussie shiraz producers a lot about restraint, poise and complexity. It is also about half the price that it should be.

• Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (www.matthewjukes.com).

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