Red wine lovers are in for a real treat with this month’s My Vitibox as there’s a double dose of the finest French red wine included to celebrate the festive season with your nearest and dearest! As always, the wines have been hand selected by the famed sommelier Philippe Defleur (former sommelier of La Tour d’Argent and the Élysée Palace), and they arrived in perfect condition in a ‘shockproof’ box, all the way from France.
Inside the box, you’ll also receive Phillipe’s ‘Tasting Notes’ so that you can sample the wines like a professional, and impress your guests over the holidays with your newly acquired knowledge.
So then, onto the wines that are in December’s My Vitibox as part of their popular Colours and Flavours subscription:
Les Tours de Plagnac 2015, Château Plagnac, Médoc (13%)
Located in Médoc, north Bordeaux, lies the Château Plagnac, which was bought by Jean-Michel Lapalu in 2011, and was taken over by an ambitious team of winemakers when he retired. This region is famed for its hard soil which lies near the seashore, and has a composition of tertiary limestones and red sands that give the grapes a depth of character, and brings an interesting structure to the resulting wines of this area.
This may be the reason why this 2015 vintage is classed as a typical Médoc blend and is made from 66% Cabernet Sauvignon and 34% Merlot grapes. In the glass it as a shiny and rich garnet colour, and on the nose a pleasant aroma of Black Fruits with Woody undertones can be detected. I was surprised by how dry this medium-bodied wine was, but it soon grew on me and I enjoyed the smooth texture and flavours of Blackcurrant and Blueberries, with a little Peppery spice. Very festive!
Être et Renaître 2014, AOP Corbières-Boutenac (14%)
The Corbières region has been growing grapes and making wines since Roman soldiers set foot on the land in the first century, so it may come as a surprise to learn that this region was only officially recognised as an AOP in 1985. The Corbières-Boutenac area, in particular, manages to harvest grapes that give a much deeper complex to the wines than elsewhere in the area, and Être et Renaître is a collaboration between two winemakers who grow different grapes and put their harvests together to create well-balanced wines.
2014 was a difficult year for the region due to severe flooding, but some incredible wines managed to be born out of the bad weather including this one. Made from a tri-blend of 10% Syrah, 40% Grenache and 50% Carignan, this wine has a beautiful thick and shiny garnet colour and a fruity and expressive aroma. It’s medium-bodied with a semi-sweet and fresh composition that has a wonderfully silky texture. Notes of Blackberries, Coffee and Licorice give it a fruity and spicy flavour that pairs well with dishes such as Lamb Tajine and desserts like Chocolate Pie. Delicious!