In a nutshell: Approachable dark and fruity Mourvedre from a tiny appellation in the Languedoc of South West France.
The lowdown: Part of Olivier Coste's 'Languedoc Stars' series Illegal is a celebration of a modern, fruit-forward and approachable single varietal Mourvedre from the Languedoc. So named Illegal as the tiny appellation where the vineyard is located doesn't allow Mourvedre to form part of its wines, so rather than scrub up the 30 year old vines Olivier Coste has simply labelled his wine Vin de France! Grown on a south facing plot with schist soils the grapes are hand-harvested in the cool of the night to preserve freshness and after fermentation are matured for 18 months in concrete; this wine sees no oak, it is all about the purity of fruit.
Bright aromas of blackberry and blackcurrant fruit with notes of dried spice, herbs and black pepper. The palate is big, soft and smooth with a natural freshness, ripe tannins and a long fruity finish.
When to drink: Great with traditional Languedoc dishes such as Clapassade (slowly simmered lamb based dish) and hearty meat stews, though also works well with barbecues and any grilled red meat or vegetables.