Domaine Horgelus Merlot/Tannat

Country : France

Grape Varieties : Merlot; Tannat.

Dark-coloured, well structured red from South West France. The powerful Tannat is nicely rounded out by juicy Merlot, giving lovely concentration and balance. From the family-owned Horgelus estate.

Tasting Note : Smokey dark plum fruit on the nose. The palate is silky in texture, with blackcurrant and red fruit flavours leading on to a long, spicy finish.

Pairing : Enjoy with grilled or barbecued red meats, meatballs in tomato sauce, vegetable kebabs.

More info : The Tannat grape is known for being austere, tannic and astringent in style. On its own it produces wines that can be quite tough and chewy. However, it is a great ingredient in blending, and in this wine the much softer Merlot adds flesh and charm to the dark, brooding fruit of the Tannat. Whites predominate in the Cotes de Gascogne, but the reds offer a classic, European elegance which is a nice contrast to the fuller-bodied, higher-alcohol wines of the New World.

Winery : Joseph le Menn established Domaine Horgelus in 1978 when he moved to Gascony from his native Brittany – attracted by the weather and the lifestyle of the South West. The estate, now 90 hectares in size, is currently run by Joseph's son Yoann, one of a generation of young winemakers who are bringing modern techniques to traditional wine estates. Yoann's main focus is on preserving the freshness and aromatics of the wine by avoiding oxidation. For this reason the grapes are picked between 3 and 11am, avoiding the heat of the day, and the juice is protected by CO2 which is a natural by-product of fermentation. The resulting wines are bursting with freshness and exotic fruit.