As you’ll see from the photo above, the best thing about Castelmaure Corbieres could so easily be its rather fine label. The lettering of the name is particularly superb, recalling some kind of 90s fantasy role-playing game. Escape From Castelmavre!
Fortunately, the wine itself is similarly good, and the only tedious quest involved (if your domestic organisation is as deranged as my own) is finding a corkscrew.
This is a wine of earth and blood and leather. It’s pretty goddamn massive (as the 14.5% ABV might lead to you expect), filling your mouth with pepper and smoke. A terse barbarian, you might say, rather than a flighty elf.
Although there are scents of cherry, this isn’t – as you’ve perhaps gathered – a fruity crowd-pleaser. It’s inky and enigmatic. It’s also packed with tannin, and could (I daresay) stand a good few years more in the bottle.
This is a good, serious wine. It’s not perfect (I’d like a slightly thicker texture – which is by no means to imply that this is thin, just that the punch of its flavours isn’t quite matched by its feel in the mouth), but it’s very good.
If you like your wines brusque yet deep, soily and elemental, I recommend Castelmaure Corbieres. Perhaps snap up a few bottles and leave them in the cellar a year or two.
Just be careful you don’t run into any orcs down there, eh?
Price £10.95 from The Wine Society