by Patrick Sandeman

After a wonderfully entertaining Christmas and New Year (and yes, we did drink everything that we said we would in my blog!) one of my New Year resolutions is to drink less and drink better, but then I say that almost every year. However, now that I am no longer running (knee injury) it has been decided at home that we should ‘de-tox’, which involves large quantities of vegetables and pulses, and miniscule quantities of alcohol. Such a shock to the system cannot be a good thing, so week one I allowed myself a large glass of sherry each evening, and the occasional small whisky nightcap. Gently does it, you see.

So, come the week-end (which is apparently Saturday night, not Friday!) I was quite excited at the prospect of opening a bottle of wine, and having overhead Charles talking about it, decided upon a bottle of 2009 50/50 ‘Vin de Table’ from Anne Gros and Jean-Paul Tollot (I have since found out that they are married). This blend of very low yielding old vines Grenache, Cinsault and Mourvedre is a joint venture between two of burgundy’s great winemakers in Minervois, and only their second vintage, but is only a humble ‘Vin de Table’ because it apparently does not have enough Mourvedre in the blend to qualify as Minervois, and is aged only in stainless steel. This makes it all the more attractive as I discovered on first tasting it, since the moment you have finished one glass you immediately want to drink another, and then another. Combined with being from the wonderful 2009 vintage, which has blessed almost every red wine in Europe with so much juice and fruit, this has to be my best bottle of 2010 to date, and certainly the fastest I have drunk!  I have no doubt at all that this wine will even improve if cellared, given half a chance. So much for drinking less……..