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Abbe Rous (France) Collioure Cuvée des Peintres 2003
Collioure is a beautiful French seaside town and wine region in the Mediterranean Catalunya, so far south that the influences which have shaped it seem as much Spanish as French in many ways. Once home to the Fauvist school of painters (after which this cuvée is named), the grapes grown here are the sun-worshipping black Grenache and Carignan (85%, and 15% repectively in this bottle). It has a delicate, quite pale colour, and a soaring, crunchy-fruited nose of cherry and rose-hip, with a definite peppery spice and emerging meaty, schisty qualities. On the palate there is much more attack than you might think, with powerful flavours of black fruits, a smoky, grilled meat quality and a decisive twin-pronged attack of acidity and forceful tannins that suggest this will benefit from a few years in the cellar. A lot of bangs for the buck here.
£6.99 Luvians Bottleshop (01334 477752)