Jonathan Ray

October Wine Club | 1 October 2015

October Wine Club | 1 October 2015
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Jason Yapp has been even more ebullient than usual, if such a thing was possible, Yapp Brothers having scooped three awards at the International Wine Challenge, including ‘Languedoc-Roussillon Specialist Merchant of the Year’.

Jason knows Languedoc-Roussillon like nobody else: he and I had a memorable trip there recently thanks not only to the spectacular wines we tasted but to the transvestite nightclub in Avignon we found ourselves in, for reasons that now escape me, surrounded by French truckers in summer frocks discussing brake systems and the perils of the Paris périphérique.

For this offer, I challenged Jason to show a selection that might justify his IWC gong. He put up a dozen excellent bottles any one of which I would happily have chosen, although this final four is particularly strong. They’re well-priced, too, proving Jason’s point that nowhere in France boasts such a fine rapport qualité-prix. Just to be sure, though, I twisted his arm and he knocked a quid off every bottle, bringing them all under a tenner.

We offered the previous vintage of the 2014 Domaine Gaujal Picpoul de Pinet in January and readers were so taken with it they cleared the Yapp shelves. Like its predecessor this is high in typical Picpoul zingy acidity but with plenty of creamy fruit, too, backed by a slightly saline, appetite-inducing finish. £9.50 down from £10.50.

The 2013 Domaine Camp Galhan ‘Amanlie’ from the new AOC of Duché d’Uzès completely disarmed me when I tasted it in France and I like it as much now as I did then. A commendably oak-free blend of Viognier, Roussanne and Grenache Blanc, it’s full of creamy peaches, apricots and honeysuckle. £9.95 down from £10.95.

The 2014 Domaine Le Cazal ‘Cuvée Tradition’ Minervois is a fine successor to the 2012 version we offered last year. A spicy, herb-scented blend of hand-picked Syrah, Grenache Noir and Carignan, it has seen no oak at all and is full of juicy, spice-laden, ripe berry fruit. £9.50 down from £10.50.

The 2014 Domaine Roquemale ‘Meli Melo’ is made from organically cultivated Alicante, one of the very few red Vitis vinifera grapes with red flesh and, as a result, it has a wonderful colour. It’s soft, smooth, succulent and light in alcohol, at just 12.5 per cent by volume. Jason calls it a ‘quaffable sun-kissed Beaujolais of the south’. £9.95 down from £10.95.

There’s a sample case with three of each bottle and delivery, as ever, is free.

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Written byJonathan Ray

Jonathan Ray is the Spectator's wine editor.

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