One of the reasons I love the Wine Society is its good selection of half-bottles. I often drink wine on my own, y’see (I just wanted an excuse to tell you that, really, as I’m fairly sure it makes me sound sort of cool) — and a half-bottle has that much less (round about half less, in fact) precious liquid to oxidise.
But if you take your lonesome arse into a supermarket and look for half-bottles, all you’ll find is a lamentable selection of mass-produced syrup- and vanilla-fests.
The Wine Society is virtually alone in the quality of its semi-sized selection.
And this — Paul Jaboulet Aine’s Parallele 45 Reserve Cotes du Rhone Villages — is one of the best of ’em.
So, it’s another Frenchy French wine. Full, strong, and (like our friend Domaine Font de Michelle) unapologetically gallic. Its aroma is hoofing enough to make you cough a little, should you avail yourself of a particularly generous snoutful.
Or maybe that’s just an early symptom of consumption.
Dans le gob, il y a beaucoup d’oomph. It’s simultaneously charmingly smooth and a gritty old bastard. It’d be great at film noir.
Loads of depth. Coffee-bitterness. Vegetation. A little oak to smooth it off. And wafting over the top of that are swoons of blossomy violet. Then, long afterwards, just as you think it’s all died down, a distant echo of tinned peaches and cream.
Even if it weren’t for the boon of its half-bottle enclosure, this would be a winner. With, it, it pretty much has the rostrum to itself. I should probably add that you can also buy full-sized bottles. But that’d only mean sharing. Pah!
Here’s my advice: if you want to be cool, stick to the half-bottles. Alone.