Les Hauts Castelmaure Corbieres 2009

Rummaging through my wines I came across this Corbieres which I must have bought a few years ago and forgot about so, I thought it’s about time I opened it.

Corbieres, not a wine I drink a lot of but when I do I always enjoy it and this bottle was no different. I think I bought it at Majestic maybe six or seven years ago, can’t remember how much it cost, maybe around £8-£9.

For those that don’t know Corbieres is a fairly rustic wine which most times tends to get a raw deal. Usually a blend of Carignan, Grenache and Syrah and you can just imagine drinking this with a hunk of bread and some cheese, which I can say from experience pairs very well.

When I first poured in the glass it showed a slightly rusty colour from a little ageing with very pronounced aromas of ripe dark fruits, smoke and peat. Taste wise again ripe dark fruits namely black plums, vanilla and very earthy with a smokiness about it. A little on the sweet side but not overly but still retaining a brightness of fruit.

Really do like Corbieres,  I must make a mental note to drink more of it, a good honest enjoyable bottle.

My Rating 7.5/10 Corks

Various around £9

My holiday takeaway

Trioamaronepetit&corbieresWent away for the weekend with family and friends, ended up with around 20 of us going to Elveden Forest Centre Parcs in Suffolk staying in 4 different self catering chalets/villas.

Now I’m not a particularly sporty person and being an activity type holiday it maybe wasn’t the ideal choice but while the others were swimming, playing football, riding bikes and all manner of sporting things I went armed with a good book and wine. Although it sounds like I was missing out, I assure you I wasn’t, the Parc itself is really nice set in woodland and surrounded by a lake with all manner of wildlife roaming around which added up to a relaxing holiday if you wanted it to be.

The wines I brought were a Single variety Petit Verdot from the Stobi winery in Macedonia, An Italian Amarone Valpolicelli, a French Corbieres and a Medoc Bordeaux 2000 also brought along a couple of bottles of Chilean Errazuriz Aconcagua Costa Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc. Ended up drinking mostly in the chalet as I wouldn’t pay nearly £6 for a glass of wine in the bars that you could get in the local supermarket for £6 a bottle.

What were they like? well, starting with…..

Stobi Petit Verdot 2011 (8.5/10 Corks)

From Macedonia this was a big rich brute of a wine featuring the single variety Petit Verdot, dark purple in colour with bags of dark berry fruits and dense mouth drying tannins. Lovely smooth texture, slightly on the sweet side, 14% alcohol and I loved it but not for the fainthearted.

Amarone Della Valpolicelli 2010 (7.5/10 Corks)

Deep garnet colour with typically dark Raisiny flavours, rich dark cherries with dark chocolate and a slight smokiness. This will keep and mature for a few years. Alcohol 14.5 % but didn’t taste like it. lovely to drink on its own or with rich pasta meals.

Les Hauts Castelmaure Corbieres 2009 (8/10 Corks)

Very herby and rustic blend of Carignan, Grenache and Syrah. Heady nose of country wild flowers and dried herbs. tastes a little creamy with sweetish dark berries, caramel and spice. Another winner !

Grand Vin De Bordeaux Medoc 2000Medoc 2000          (8/10 Corks)

Lightish Purple colour with a rusty tinge around the rim, aromas of wood and prunes along with cinnamon. Taste wise, lost its fruit flavour although there is a little blackcurrant/Cassis with liquorice and cloves. Surprisingly this was enjoyed by all who tasted it.

Errazuriz Aconcagua Costa Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (8.5/10 Corks)

Lovely pale straw colour with intense tropical fruit aromas not exactly leaping out of the glass like New Zealand SB’s but the smell is kind of thick, not a proper wine tasting term I know but that is my first reaction when sticking my nose in the glass, there was also a little whiff of herbs and lime.

Complex flavours, mild acidity, lush & rich mouth feel but not cloying, slightly sweet, tropical fruits again, passion fruit, lychees, limes, even sweet peppers. This was a beauty, also my daughters favourite.

Out of all the wines I still thought the Stobi Petit Verdot was the stand out drink over the weekend and at price of around £12.99 at the Wine Rack chain, not particularly cheap but worth it.

Great time, great company and lovely wines,  Salud !

Corbieres the ‘Unsung Hero’

winesocietycorbieres(450 x 600)France 14%

Rummaging around in my rack, pulling bottles out putting them back searching for a everyday red to accompany my dinner I eventually settled for the  Wine Society’s own brand Corbieres , ingeniously labelled ‘The Society’s Corbieres’.

Now I know Corbieres usually gets a raw deal, having been known in the past for cheap rough, rustic wine but having tasted a few now I’ve come to the conclusion that I like Corbieres a lot, especially that wild, rural flavour, so you may well ask, what does that say about  me ?

A blend of mainly Carignan with Grenache and a touch of Syrah, this was an impressively dark ruby red in colour and had a lovely sweet blackcurrant almost Kirsch like smell as well as a touch of smokiness mixed with a handful of earth.

Swishing around my mouth, there was initially some heat (maybe a little too much) and Spice, very juicy with blackcurrants, fleshy plums and Strawberries giving it a punchiness and bite. There was also a meaty, gamey and sweetness about it that enjoyed. Don’t like using an over used phrase ‘this was very drinkable’ but this  certainly was with or without food (not the U2 song) and I urge everyone if you’ve not tried it, to give Corbieres a go, you may well be surprised.

I still find myself continually being impressed with a lot of the Wine Society’s offerings , especially at the sub £10 range and this Corbieres from the Languedoc-Rousillon region is a very nice drink that won’t break the bank .

8.5corksMy Rating 8.5/10 Corks especially for the price

Wine Society £7.50