Wine of the week: a perfectly balanced beauty
This insanely inexpensive, obscenely-easy-to-get-hold-of wine is the best-value Rhône-shaped red in the country.
2018 Les Hauts de Saint Martin, Saint-Chinian, Languedoc, France
This week I am sharing a wine with you that is not only insanely inexpensive, but is also obscenely easy to get hold of. It is, that is to say, quite the opposite of most of the bottles that appear in this column. I adore rare, unique and delicious bottles as much as the next hedonist, but once in a while, I feel the need to shock, and this shock is exclusively available in 547 branches of the Co-op.
Every year, I organise an event called the Daily Mail Wine Awards, which involves an enormous amount of tasting to determine the finest 60 wines available on the high street. This very wine made the grade, but I have a rule, a rather silly rule, but a rule nevertheless – and that is a wine cannot appear in the awards twice. This 2018 vintage made the grade last year, and so I already know it is a star wine, but I wasn’t looking at the vintage when I tasted the bottle.
Unfortunately, when I looked back at last year’s list, it disqualified itself from this year’s list, and so you are reading about it today before the stock runs out! Made from a 45% syrah, 30% grenache, 15% carignan and 10% mourvèdre blend, this wine is a spicy, meaty, berry-stuffed, earthy, perfectly balanced beauty. In short, it is the best value Rhône-shaped red in the country! (fires starting gun…)
Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (matthewjukes.com)