Our wine of the week

(by susie and peter)

St. Joseph ‘Les Chaponnes’ 2008, Sainsburys, £10.99

Just about to hit the shelves of your local Sainsburys is this fabulous Northern Rhône red.

It was shown last week at the Sainsburys Spring press tasting and it’s a wine that blows you away with its typicity, harmony, and sheer value for money – especially when you consider what you often end up paying for pretty tasteless examples of St. Joseph.

The problem with St. Joseph is that it produces an awful lot of wine, so you really need a good recommendation or to find a producer you consistently trust if you’re going to avoid disappointment.

So back to this delicious bottle.  Well, as you’d expect this it’s made from 100% Syrah and it exudes a restrained but utterly compelling mix of savoury / sweet flavours.  There’s a touch of oak which adds texture but certainly doesn’t dominate the wine.  Dark fruit is off-set by crushed black pepper and meaty notes, while an alcohol level of just 12.5% gives the wine beautiful balance and makes it the perfect red to drink with a meal.

Try it with roast leg of lamb or shin of beef, or, as we’ve finally hit the barbeque season, why not crack open a bottle to drink with a smoky, barbequed rump steak or a couple of plump Toulouse sausages.