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wine of the week 18/01/2009

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  Domaine Cazes (France) Hospice de Catalans Côtes de Roussillon Villages 2006
An interesting wine this, not only because it blends Carignan, Grenache and Syrah with an average vine age of 80-years-old, but because it is made by young Scottish winemaker Norrel Robertson, who also made the excellent The Pilgrimage wine from Bierzo, Spain, which was a Wine of the Week last year. This screams of the hot, rocky soils and garrigue of the south, with notes of crisp, bright, juicy cherry and berry fruit and black peppery nuances, and that schisty, stony minerality persisting. On the palate it balances exuberant, bold fruitiness with a certain darkness and tension from a gamy, sauvage undertone and grippy, intense tannins. A striking style this, with an edgy character through that mineral racininess to the fruit, tannins and acidity. It packs a lot into the bottle for its '3-4-2' price of just 5.99. £8.99, Thresher, or £5.99 each when you buy three.