The OLD BRIDGE
At every price level, an outstanding selection of wines chosen by John Hoskins MW
LIGHT AND MEDIUM REDS (UNDER £15)
2012 LES ARCHÈRES, Carignan Vieilles Vignes. Pays de L'Hérault, France
Alcohol Percentage: 12.5%
Area: The L'Hérault is a large area in the Langudeoc in the deep south of France, within which many excellent sub-regions like Minervois and Faugeres. Overally it produces over a million hectolitres of wine, so it isn't surprising that the majority is of it is unexciting!
Grape Variety: 80 year old Carignan vines
Food Match: Light enough to drink on its own, but robust enough for food, this is a great all-purpose red. Particularly useful for vegetarian dishes like mushroom risotto and equally suited to salmon as it is for a casserole
Old Bridge Rating: Carignan can, occasionally be interesting. It has long been responsible for much of the inexpensive plonk from the deep south of France, but given a good site and lower yields it miraculously produces a light but juicy and satisfying red such as this. Let's hope we see more such examples in the future
Press Reviews: Matthew Jukes in the Daily Mail - "The grapes that you harvest from old carignan vines are potent ingredients when it comes to making a rich, lusty red wine. This bottle might have a dull label, but it contains magical liquid. I adore the layers of berry fruit and pepper and you will find this the perfect companion for comfort food"