One of the ways we've been exploring the further reaches of artisanal wine is by buying mixed cases from specialist wine merchants. This bottle, which is surprisingly bright in colour for a 2004, came from our local Bristol merchant Vine Trail (at £17.95) and is made from 50 year old vines. The producer Gilles Berlioz farms organically and biodynamically and only adds sulphur at bottling.
Vine Trail draws comparisons with a northern Rhone Syrah but in fact I found it more similar to a Teroldego from Northern Italy. Wild hedgerow fruit (I can pick up brambles and sloes) clean, dry, a little hard without Syrah’s more sensuous edge. The sort of wine you need to drink with food (it went very well with a pot-roasted mallard and root veg and I suspect would be good with pasta with a wild mushroom sauce and with charcuterie, especially rough-hewn patés.)
If I was putting it into one of the categories we discussed in my last post I’d say it was an amber wine. Slightly out of most drinkers’ comfort zones but not especially challenging. It’s OK though I’m not as enraptured as my colleagues The Wine Gang recently were. I expect my wines to have rather more personality for this price but, hey, it’s good to find a red that’s only 12%.