We had a 2006 Merlot, I expected big plummy fruit, fresh and juicy, so when the glass was poured and the colour was a deep mahogany with a smidge of orange creeping in I had to check I’d opened the right bottle. It smelled spicy, toasty and even a tad meaty. So far it had the look and smell of a much older wine.
It tasted more mature too. There was integrated spicy oak, rich dark fruit, Marmite and even a hint of leatheriness. It was good.
At £6 it seemed to be a great deal, I looked it up, the wine comes from ‘Cotes de Thongue’ which made me laugh – an added bonus. It lurks in Languedoc. The wine maker likes making Merlot from his 35 year old vines so he does. So there. To get the local Appellation it would need to be a more standard southern Syrah blend.
Well done on ignoring the over-zealous French wine police! This wine is good value from Laithwaite’s, different to other wines and there and with a uniue personality. Maybe if the French want to sell more wine they should encourage more personality.