Normans (Australia) Old Vine Grenache 1998
Well, there's a thing: mid November and racing in from nowhere comes this wine, opening up a gap against the field not only as wine of the week, but as my potential wine of the year in the budget red category. This is an absolutely super wine, bound to delight lovers of full-fruited, juicy reds and those who have become jaded by Australia's supercharged style. This blends a wonderful nose of juicy, full blackberries and rich chocolate and plum with a gorgeously spicy but subtle oak. The beautifully-honed palate is just like biting into ripe, crunchy raspberries and blackberries with bittersweet fruit flooding the mouth and again that warming, deep, velvety depth of fruit and silky, ripe tannins endowing the wine with a sumptuous quality. It is all kept fresh by gentle but crucial acidity. Long and just gorgeous, this has concentration, ripeness and power, yet superb balance and lots of class.
UK stockist: Safeway £7.99