Magazine article The Spectator

Spectator Mini-Bar Offer

Magazine article The Spectator

Spectator Mini-Bar Offer

Article excerpt

In the scrubby Languedoc they used to make some terrible wine, which only the French - convinced that theirs is the best, while everyone else produces mere alcoholic grapejuice could enjoy or even drink. That's changed. Prodded by world competition, the Languedoc has recreated itself and become one of the fine wine-producing regions of France, making bottles which can match Bordeaux and Burgundy at a much lower price. Stone, Vine & Sun, an enterprising merchant near Winchester, are offering this selection of treats - a delicious white, plus three full, rich and velvety reds, perfect for longer autumn evenings, when you close the windows and seek out forgotten woolly clothes.

The 2002 Viognier Classic^sup (1)^, made by Gerard Bertrand, a former French rugby international, is a luscious wine from the finest of all southern white grapes. Scented, fruity, and very nicely balanced, it is wonderful value at L5.75, perfect with food or as an aperitif. I'll have lots on hand for when friends drop in.

The Domaine La Croix Belle 2002^sup (2)^ includes Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, so not surprisingly it reminded me of a good claret from a petit chateau - only far cheaper. It has nice nutty and smoky flavours too. …

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