Cotes du Rhone, Domaine de la Janasse
£13.50

Country : France

Grape Varieties : Grenache; Syrah; Mourvèdre; Cinsault.

A top example of Cotes du Rhone - amazingly concentrated, spicy and ripe. Better than many a Chateauneuf-du-Pape at a fraction of the price.

Tasting Note : Warm fruit and spicy notes on the nose. On the palate the wine is ripe and generous, with blackberry and strawberry fruit, notes of fragrant garrigue, warm spice and hints of liquorice.

Food Pairing : Grilled red meats, tomato tartlet, roasted Mediterranean vegetables. Or how about crusty bread and tapenade on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

More info : Cotes du Rhones can vary greatly in quality and style, but this delicious example from top producer Domaine de la Janasse is one of the best we have tasted. The heat of the Southern French sun reflected off the rocky, stony soil brings warmth and richness to the wine, whilst the grape varieties Grenache, Mourvedre, Carignan and Syrah lend their characteristic black fruits and spice. Produced from grapes grown on a single vineyard plot in Courthezan near Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

Winery : Aime Sabon took over his father's vineyard in 1967, and since then has made it his mission to expand his vineyards to exploit the excellent soils of the area. The estate has grown from the original 15 hectares to 90 today. Since then, Aime has been joined by son Christophe and daughter Isabelle, who have developed the range and been instrumental in the export of their wines throughout the world.

The Sabon family are careful to limit the use of chemical herbicides and pesticides and use natural manure. The hard work they put into the vineyard, including de-budding and green pruning to keep yields down, delivers its rewards in the fabulous quality of their wines.