Merguez sausages and Rose Harissa couscous for dinner, which will be accompanied by this liquid form of a winter hug:
2017 Côtes-du-Rhône Villages Saint-Maurice - bought en primeur as part of a mixed case - a blend of 80% Syrah/20% Grenache. The first glass was an absolute joy, so will be interesting to see how it evolves over the course of the evening and how it responds to the food.
Looking young still in the glass – very deep violet, maybe just a hint of brick on the rim, the nose is plush with ripe fruit (prunes, figs, dark cherries), spices (liquorice, black pepper, clove) as well as dark chocolate. On the palate, the generosity continues with ripe plums and black cherries, bramble and pepper but also chilli pepper, baking spices, tapenade and a gentle smokiness.
Acidity is medium but keeps things fresh and alive, and tannins are velvety smooth – the whole ensemble is quite suave and comforting. We’ll leave the second bottle to evolve further, though this is delicious and satisfying already!
What’s in your glass in the run up to Christmas?