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Game for Syrah this winter

On recent trip to Newcastle I lunched at the excellent Jesmond Dene House. As inevitably is always the case for someone in my profession, I was called upon to order wine for the table (us fussy wine merchants like to be in control but ). It was an excellent list and my first instinct was to go for an ‘old favourite’ from Italy, but something drew m46823 - Campuget syrah la sommelieree to the Rhone section. Now, many wine lovers know that when dining out, Rhone can offer some real bargains – it’s a classic French region but without the disappointments of Bordeaux and sky-high prices of Burgundy.


I was definitely in the mood for Syrah and the one that caught my eye was new to me, 2012 ‘La Sommeliere’ Château du Campuget from Costiéres de Nimes. A quick word with the Sommelier confirmed this was an excellent choice. The wine was poured, I tasted and it was everything I hoped for – silky, soft tannins with ripe fruit, a touch of savoury spice and a long, rich finish. Being one of the non-drivers I had my fair share too! I have managed to track this wine down and can now offer it to my customers for £95 per case of 6 – bargain!

Syrah is a wonderful grape that makes some of the world’s finest red wines – Hermitage and Côte Rotie to name two – but is still massively underrated which is great news for us fine wine lovers that can’t stretch to the dizzy heights of Cru Classé Bordeaux or Premier/Grand Cru Burgundy. It’s a great match with lamb but more than anything I like to drink it with venison – this gamey meat seems to complement the spicy pepperiness of the wine beautifully. Venison and winter vegetable pie is an old favourite and there’s a great old Gordon Ramsey recipe that I use which works a treat – pull a cork of the La Sommeliere Syrah and give it a whirl!

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