I like the label on this one. Modern, minimal, but still with a touch of art, of wildness.
Its understated nature suits what’s inside quite well.
It’s from the Faugeres region of the south of France, which only got its own appellation in 1982 but has by many accounts been producing excellent – and good value, thanks to its slightly off-the-radar nature – wine.
Domaine Marie are no newcomers, however. Its small hillside estate has been producing wine here for four generations. The blend is typical for the area of France, containing Grenache, Syrah and also the unpronounceable Mourvèdre.
The latter grape is a dark, thick-skinned, slow-ripening variety that’s most often blended to add depth to other varietals but has recently been getting something of a name for itself in its own right.
One of its most-mentioned characteristics is a strong almost gamey aroma, and a hint of this can be found in the complex, multi-layered nose of this wine.
There are also ripe raspberries and a hint of spice. It’s an exciting combination, with an intensity that belies its youthful, light, purple-tinged-with-pink appearance.
Sadly this excitement doesn’t quite make it to the mouth. The taste takes a moment to come, and when it does it’s slightly underwhelming. There’s plenty of ripe blackberry here – it doesn’t lack in the fruit department. And there’s a pleasant mingling of savoury notes which marks it out as something different to the usual supermarket fare.
But to me this medium-bodied wine just seems a little too youthful, too tight and acidic. It’s uptight, unafraid to let go and have fun, and the finish is a bit sharp.
Food brings it out of its shell to a degree, however (blue cheese is out of the question but it went surprisingly well with a heavily spiced vegetable curry).
As an introduction to Faugeres this has certainly piqued my interest, though I can’t help thinking the region has better bottles to offer. But they’re probably not on the shelves of my local supermarket like this one is.
It cost about £6 from Waitrose, where it was in a sale. Online, you can only seem to get the 2009 vintage.