Never judge a book by it’s cover… or a wine by it’s label
I was very happy when a package from Roberson with a new wine to review arrived in the post; Roberson is one of my favourite wine shops in London, has won numerous awards including Decanter London Wine Merchant of the Year, and just happens to be a ten minute walk from my place of work.
So imagine my shock and horror when I opened the package to reveal what looked like the kind of label I associate with a supermarket shelf on Valentine’s Day or Mothers’ Day! The pink label is one I wouldn’t even consider picking up in a supermarket, never mind a top-end wine merchant! But we need to look beyond the nasty neon-pinkness and see what lies within (although I do love the wax closure).
The label may not suggest so, but this is a very serious wine. The wines of Mas Coutelou are made in the village of Puimisson in the Languedoc by winemaker Jeff Coutelou. The estate was one of the earliest to be officially certified as organic in 1987, and these days are renowned for their ‘natural’ wines. The subject of natural wines is hotly debated and for me, this is what good natural winemaking is all about, a wine that simply tastes great and just happens to be made in a ‘natural’ way.
The Classé 2012 is a blend of 40% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 20% Carignan and is classified merely as Vin de France. If what you’re after is a wine to awaken and play with all of your senses then pop open a bottle of Classé 2012 and let the fireworks begin…
Mas Coutelou Classé 2012 (Roberson £14.95)
To be fair, I’m not so keen on the smell either! The nose gives off a funky waft of southern French heat; plums and dark cherries, quite jammy, even a touch burnt – certainly smells more alcoholic than the 13.5% on the label.
But hold your horses readers… the first mouthful is absolutely wonderful! Red fruit explodes across the palate; raspberries, redcurrants and cranberries burst with freshness before the underlying notes of plum and blackberry take hold. The generous acidity certainly gets the juices flowing and is delightfully balanced by the fine tannins, which provide a sturdy yet elegant structure. The finish is lingering and satisfying with hints of lavender and dried herbs persisting for what seems like minutes.
A rollercoaster of a wine but one that will certainly get you back for another glass… if you can close your eyes for the label and put a peg on your nose for the smell! 92 points
To order a bottle (or a case!) click here: