Les Auzines Fleurs Blanches 2009 (Independents, €9.99 )
There is an Irish angle to this wine with winemaker Laruent Miguel, whose wines have a number of different labels including the Nord Sud range at Dunnes, as he is married to Neasa Corish from Ireland. The wine itself is 100 per cent Grenache Gris from the Corbières in France’s Languedoc. With plenty of citrusy rich fruit on the nose, it is a little bit more showy on the palate where the citrus and peach fruit and a touch of almonds opens up into a far more interesting wine which in the end delivers a decent finish.
Domaine Lalaurie Alliance Coteaux de Narbonne IGP 2010 (Wines Direct, €10 )
In less austere times when I happened to be in Narbonne in the south of France more often, I just loved to come across these types of adaptable wines. Made from a blend of merlot (30 per cent ), cabernet Franc (30 per cent ), and the less well-known if interesting marselan (40 per cent ) – a Languedoc crossing of Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache Noir – this is an expressive wine on the nose with buckets of dark and black fruit mixed in with a little liquorice. On the palate it is equally enduring with blackberry and cherry fruit coming in waves. This is a versatile wine that will suit a multitude of tastes.