2017 Ch. Capitoul, (13%vol.)
The Co-op is the unsung hero of the supermarkets when it comes to wine. They boast over 450 different lines, many of them Fairtrade and plenty – such as this beauty from the Languedoc – exclusive. A Syrah, Grenache and Carignan blend, this is gloriously tasty with rich, ripe, concentrated bramble fruit and a whisper of spice. It comes in a very pukka bottle too that hints at something far pricier.
2017 The Society’s Vin d’Alsace, (12.5%vol.
Made expressly for the Wine Society by the fabled Hugel family – producers of fine wine since 1639 – this is the perfect introduction to the vinous delights of Alsace. A blend (a rarity in the region) of several noble varieties but chiefly Sylvaner, it’s aromatic, creamy and complex with a long, dry, deeply satisfying finish. In short, it’s pretty much the perfect summer aperitif.
The Wine Society, £9.50
2016 Le Pavillon du Ch. Beauchêne, (13%vol.
This hit the absolute bullseye at our Spectator Winemakers’ Lunch last week, hosted by Ch. Beauchêne. The estate, just north of Orange, has been in the family for 11 generations and is noted for its superb, expressive, early-drinking Châteauneuf-du-Pape and its delightfully accessible Grenache-based Côtes du Rhône such as this. Soft, smooth, smoky, spicy, it’s cracking value and ideal for the summer barbecue.
Private Cellar, £10.95.