Domaine de la Grande Bellane (France) Côtes du Rhône Villages 2006
This organic wine is from an estate in the village of Valréas, and is a long-time favourite of mine. Both vineyard and winery are operated on strict organic principles, and this bottling is composed of a blend of indigenous grapes, 75% Syrah and 25% Grenache. It has a beautifully nutty richness on the nose, with robust, ripe, red plum fruit as well as spicy notes of nutmeg and a certain smokiness. The palate has real juiciness, with plenty of life about it and excellent balance, as refined, creamy tannins and gently supportive acidity extend the finish. A cracking little wine like a mini-Châteauneuf-du-Pape, that has energy and savory zest, and is as drinkable on its own as it with most red meat and even mildly spicy dishes. £5.99, Tesco.