Wines of the Week

(by peter)

Two wines this week, both of which I name-check on Saturday Kitchen but, for various reasons outlined in the show, I don’t end up choosing.

So I wanted to headline them here because I think they deserve more than just a supporting role.

First up is Craggy Range’s outstanding Te Kahu Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2005, Gimblett Gravels, 14% (£12.99, M&S).

We didn’t try this one when we visited the winery, perhaps because it’s a label made exclusively for M&S, but it’s a beauty. It’s the kind of wine, as one of my wine writing colleagues put it, that “makes you want to slaughter a lamb”.

Grown on the famous Gimblett Gravels, this blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet was aged for 19 months in 55% new French oak barrels.

On the nose it’s ripe but with an attractive herbal/red pepper freshness and graphite/tobacco hints from that bit of development in bottle. On the palate it’s lighter and more elegant than the nose (and the 14% alcohol level) suggests, but it’s firm and grippy, with fine silky tannin, and a lovely savoury edge. Layered and mature, it’s succulent and delicious. Fantastic value for money. 8/10

The other featured wine of the week is La Forge Paul Mas Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, 13.5% (£8, Asda).

This brand is a good one to try if you haven’t before, even if it can sometimes vary in quality. This particular wine is showing brilliantly now, full of brooding black fruit and gorgeously meaty firmness. 6.5/10

Both these wines will work best with some decent grub: ideally along the lines of roast lamb or beef with plenty of Mediterranean herb flavours.

While neither is on offer, they are both brilliant value for money and would make an excellent Easter treat.