In Corbieres, in Languedoc-Roussillon, Château du Vieux Parc makes their 'Les Amandies' from a blend of Merlot, Syrah and Grenache. The name pays tribute to the almond trees on the property, which are common in this part of France. The property has been in the Mialhe and Panis family for six generations, but it was only under the auspices of fourth-generation Guy Panis that the focus has shifted away from farming to estate bottling of quality-focussed wines. Son Louis and grandson Guillaume are now at the helm, continuing the family tradition.
The climate of Corbieres is ideal for a wide range of grape varieties, and most of the wines produced here are blends. Rhone valley stalwarts Syrah and Grenache grow happily alongside Bordeaux favourites like Merlot, and the resulting blends can capture the best of both worlds, combining the spicy, peppery quality of the former with the plummy softness of the latter.
Enjoy over the next 3 years at about 18 C.
Subdued on the nose at first, but opens up beautifully with a bit of air. Classic red fruit notes of plum, current and cherry are complimented by the earthier aromas of the Rhone, with garrigue, bramble, and spice. There's even a hint of cocoa and fresh figs to add complexity.
Medium-bodied and balanced on the palate, with flavours of ripe, sweet fruit, including more of the cherry and plum flavours we found on the nose. The tannins are dusty and fine, and the finish is long, dry and harmonious. There's just enough acidity to keep it fresh and vibrant.
Match with a classic pot roast or shepard's pie, or any similarly rich, homey meal that will highlight the wine's earthier flavours.