Mas de Libian Bout d’Zan, Côtes du Rhône 2012
If you’re after a bright, fruity, sunshine-filled red to carry you through the dark, dreary days of winter you couldn't do better than this delicious Côtes du Rhône.
It’s made by a young woman winemaker Hélène Thibon from 40-45 year old vines on an estate the family has farmed since 1670 and at £9.90 a bottle (from Les Caves de Pyrène*) it’s ridiculously good value for a biodynamic wine.
It’s a typically southern Rhone blend of grenache (80%) and Syrah (20%) but has amazing, mouthwateringly vivid fruit you just don’t get from conventionally made wine - certainly at this price. Only 30% of the wine spends time in oak - big foudres rather than barrels.
You could drink it with practically anything from charcuterie to cheese - roast chicken, pork belly, garlicky sausages, grilled lamb - even the Christmas turkey. Certainly the Boxing Day leftovers. Caves’ Doug Wregg suggests “lamb meatballs impregnated with fennel and herbes de Provence and pasta” which I imagine would be a terrific match. Or a pizza, maybe - as I say, practically anything.
The quirky name apparently means bits of liquorice and refers to the liquorice flavour in the wine though I don’t personally find it that liquoricey and wouldn’t like it so much if it was. The wine is made without sulphur but I’d defy any natural wine sceptic not to like it. Pure happiness in a glass.
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