In a nutshell: A lovely, juicy and ripe Languedoc red blend from a small scale but passionate Minverois wine grower.
The lowdown: Raymond Julien, who owns this small estate, certainly doesn't oversell his wines but we think this is quite a gem. The straightforward, no nonsense label doesn't shout at you, but it's worth taking notice of. Much more than a cheap glugger, this blend of Cinsault, Syrah and Grenache is full of ripe blackberry fruit married with a herby flavour of the garrigue. Savoury and complex, its got a fine velvety structure and rounds of with a gloriously juicy finsh.
When to drink: A seriously good wine and for the price it's a real bargain. Great with things like grilled pork chops, or a traditional Languedoc cassoulet.
Raymond Julien's 13 hectare domaine is located in the heart of the Minervois to the east of Carcasonne where his gently sloping vineyards nestle between pine, olive and almond trees Quite a character, and a passionate winegrower, he's been producing some wonderfully good quality wines at pretty modest prices here for over twenty years. Cinsault and Carignan, somewhat underrated varieties but perfect for this part of the Languedoc, are what he concentrates on and he is pretty good at making really interesting wines with a distinct mediterranean personality.