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Stone Road (France) Shiraz 2004
This southern French red sends out a deliberately New World call signal. It is 100 per cent Shiraz from vineyards around the town of Pezenas in the Languedoc, and comes in with a modest 12.5% alcohol. The nose brims with spicy, engagingly peppery fruit suggesting ripe cherry and black plum. On the palate it is quite deep and smooth, with an edge of tart, juicy, cherry-skin acidity and a bite of tannin adding savoury freshness. Unusually, I can also heartily recommend the white partner to this wine, also in the Co-op at the same price. The Chardonnay Colombard is juicy and mouthwatering, yet has richness and texture. Co-op 4.49