Wine of the week: a heroic red with a thrilling finish

Matthew Jukes tastes a jaw-droppingly serious vin de pays de l’Hérault.


2014 Domaine de Moncalms Rouge, Terrasses du Larzac, Vin de Pays de l'Hrault, France (£27.50, Yapp Brothers, 01747-860423;

I popped into Yapp the other day to load up with some Loire and Rhne classics. The exemplary team pushed a few bottles into my hand to taste at my leisure. Every one was superb, and the fast movers will pop up in my Daily Mail Weekend column, but there were two heroic reds that are so "MoneyWeek Style", it's incredible.

My featured red is a 60% syrah, 20% grenache and 20% mourvdre blend, made by Frdric Pourtali. His father founded their estate in 1998 in the hamlet of Montcalms, on the edge of the Massif Central, a decade after superstar neighbour Grange des Pres brought stardust to the area. Frdric trained with des Pres and Alain Graillot (heroic Crozes-Hermitage estate, also a Yapp wine) and I can tell you that this wine is jaw-droppingly serious.

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Unlike many, it starts off so calmly that it is like drinking a thriller as you page through each chapter, the tension and flavour build with drama and conviction, and you are left panting with joy when the wine is fully open and it parades its full array of swarthy power. One other wine not to miss is 2013 Hermitage, Maison Lombard, J&E Montagnon (£42.00). Only 1,000 bottles were made of this budget Hermitage by the dashing Julien Montagnon, of Brzme fame, and it is utterly delicious.

Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year (

Matthew Jukes

Matthew Jukes has worked in the UK wine business for well over three decades and during this time has written 14 wine books.  

Matthew regularly lectures, judges, speaks at wine conferences and runs masterclass tastings for both corporate and private clients all over the world. Matthew is also the creator of his ground-breaking initiative, the One Day Wine School, an indulgent day of tasting and learning first performed in 2006.

He has been the MoneyWeek wine correspondent since 2006 and has written a weekly column for the Daily Mail’s Weekend Magazine since 1999. His four highly-acclaimed, annual wine reports – the Burgundy En Primeur Report, the Bordeaux En Primeur Report, the Piemonte Report and the 100 Best Australian Wines – are published on his website,

Matthew is one of the world’s leading experts on Australian wine and, with Brisbane-based wine writer Tyson Stelzer, runs an annual competition in Australia to find ‘The Great Australian Red’.  He was made Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK at the 2012 Australia Day Foundation Gala dinner. 

Matthew is a winner of the International Wine and Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year Trophy.  His thoughts, recommendations and tastings notes are followed very closely by the wine world at large.