2016 Chemin de la Pinède

Grapes Merlot
Colour Red
Origin France, Languedoc-Roussillon
ABV 13%

A Merlot with rich, nicely-polished, dark fruit but a surprisingly sophisticated savoury note too - and wonderful texture. This is impressively layered and has excellent 'chew' - huge bang for buck! A perfect 'supper in the kitchen' wine.

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Drinking range: 2018 - 2019 L&S (Dec 2017)

*Case price: Mix any 12 bottles of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.

I am not usually a merlot fan but this excellent co-operative-made red won me over. It is juicy (think woodland berries), and also has a leafy, savoury, liquorice-root quality. Delicious. Victoria Moore, The Daily Telegraph (May 2018)

There were lots of excellent wines and new finds at Lea & Sandeman’s spring tasting (brilliant Condrieu and Côte Rôtie from Domaine Benjamin et David Duclaux among them), but this new Languedoc Merlot, the cheapest red on show, stands out at the price, and even more so at £7.25 in any mix of 12 bottles. You won't get better. It packs in a lot of flavour – velvety, ripe black fruit, a dusting of spice and a liquorice base-note – but does it with finesse (and no oak). Hats off to the co-operative that produces it in the town of Sommières between Nîmes and Montpellier. Even if Merlot isn’t your go-to grape variety for house red (it’s not normally mine), do try it. It would wash down almost anything from pizza and pasta to rump steak and would be perfect for entertaining a crowd. Rating: 90 Joanna Simon (Apr 2018)

Chemin de la Pinède

Chemin de la Pinede is made by the over-achieving Vignerons du Sommières, a collective of small farmers in the heart of the Pays d'Oc. The quality of fruit is at the heart of what they do and working along the principles of 'Lutte Raisonée' every effort is made by the farmers to ensure healthy fruit and healthy vineyards. Some of the plots are now being worked organically, and it should not be long before these wines are certified Organic. As Co-operatives go, we have found nothing to match this brilliant producer and the Merlot is the star of the show when it comes to value for money.


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