Superb Vin de France
Dômaine Aonghusa Mazuelo 63+, 2011, Vin de France, 14%, €15.30 Karwig Wines.
Irish winemaker Pat Neville made this dark red aromatic wine in his hilly Languedoc vineyard. The word Mazuelo is sometimes used for Carignan in Spain and the 63+ apparently refers to the youngest Carignan vines that were part of the blend.
Unorthodox or not, this is a gorgeous fruity wine, a superb lip smacking red, well balanced and with a good dry finish. Vin de France is a designation that has been used since 2010, partly to replace the Vin de Table. But it is a lucky table that has one of these Aonghusa bottles on it. Very Highly Recommended.
You may read some of Neville's winemaking philosophy - he does have some wines with Corbieres AOC designation - on his website or wait until the Autumn (September 5th) when Karwig Wines will have Pat and his wines at a dinner in Fresco Bistro as part of the WineGeeese Series.
Cave d`Irouleguy, Mignaberry 2010, 13.5℅.
From the western edge of the Pyrenees to the eastern and to what is the smallest French AOC, that of the Basque area called Irouleguy. They use the Tannat grape a lot in their red (and rose) wines, good for the heart but with a reputation of being tough on the palate.
But I reckon the local winemakers have it spot-on here in this award winning red. Harvested by hand and raised in barriques, this wine, purple coloured by the time you pour, is delicious and generous, with good fruit concentration and crisp acidity.
My only problem was that I drank it too soon, should have kept it for a few years. Looks as if I'll have to return to the Pays Basque. Meanwhile, if you are in south west France on hols or at a rugby game, didn’t hesitate to treat yourself to a bottle of Mignaberry and see if you handle the Tannat!