What to drink this week

Easter reds

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country Notebook -

Harry Eyres rec­om­mends some­thing with a spring in its step to ac­com­pany your Paschal lamb

Easter comes at a time of re­newal. Spring is in the air and, with­out get­ting too the­o­log­i­cal, we can speak of re­birth, of com­ing back to life af­ter the long win­ter. Sac­ri­fice is also part of the Easter story and has roots that go back be­fore the New Tes­ta­ment to the Old—the lamb at the cen­tre­piece of our Easter meal is a kind of sac­ri­fi­cial vic­tim, but it’s one that sig­ni­fies new life.

Why you should be drink­ing them

Which wine best ac­com­pa­nies the Paschal lamb? I favour the fresh, youth­ful, lively and vi­brant over the ma­ture and sober-suited. Christ­mas may be the time for a stately Bordeaux cru classé, but Easter seems the mo­ment to un­cork some­thing wilder and more un­pre­dictable, with a spring in its step. The gar­rigue­cov­ered hill­sides of Provence and Langue­doc-rous­sil­lon are his­tor­i­cally France’s old­est wine ar­eas; the lat­ter, in terms of re­nais­sance of qual­ity, is also its new­est.

What to drink

The buy­ers at From Vine­yards Di­rect are par­tic­u­larly strong in this area. Do­maine Durieu Ven­toux 2015 (£8.95; www.fromvine­yards­di­rect.com) punches well above its price with lovely, fresh Syrah char­ac­ter. For more depth and a sat­is­fy­ing rich soft­ness, try Château Tril­lol, Cor­bieres 2012 (£12.95; as above). Do­maine la Grange Clos Prat Bibal 2013 (right, £10.95; as above), a blend of Syrah, Gre­nache and Mourvè­dre, has huge colour and an al­most Span­ish ripeness and rich­ness—like ex­cep­tion­ally good-value Châteauneuf-du-pape. Château de la Négly, Langue­doc La Côte 2015 (£11.95; as above) fea­tures those same grapes plus Carig­nan, but in an al­to­gether fresher, more overtly fruity style.

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