Food & Drink

Les Vin De Amis Mas Coutelou, 2012

In the midst of home improvement, whilst waiting for his stripper to arrive, Nick Rainsford reaches for a fruity red from the Languedoc

This week, my girlfriend and I have been doing the whole ‘staycation’ thing. Normally, I hate this sort of word play but it’s a neologism that fits quite nicely, so in it goes. We’ve been in our place for about two years now and, bar the odd tinker, things have been pretty much where they have been since we moved in. However, the lady starts a master’s soon, so we decided to get all the jobs we’ve been talking about doing done. Our bedroom has that horrible mottled wood-chip wallpaper that was de rigeur in the 80s, so we hired a wallpaper steamer from a reputable tool hire shop to raze that paper to the ground. The day comes to collect and I’m told it’s not available as it’s broken, so they’ll deliver for free the next day. When it arrives, after some frustrating tomfoolery that is too mundane and annoying to explain, still the bastard thing doesn’t work. After many phone-calls, we’re promised a working one by seven the same day. Folks its now seven-thirty and there is no sign of my stripper (the wallpaper kind for clarity). In my lamentation I reach for a bottle, which just so happens to be a lovely Les Vin Des Amis Mas Coutelou 2012. Snappy title, I think not.

Les Vin De Amis is made by Jeff Coutelou in Puimisson, a village in the Languedoc region of France. Jeff has worked the vineyard organically since 1987 and he dabbles with biodynamic growing, but isn’t too prissy or religious about it. Yields are kept relatively low and he will use a different vinification to suit the wine, and you feel, probably his mood on any given day. He uses no commercial yeasts and very little, if any, sulphurs in order to preserve the true character of his wines.

Without further ado, as I have more angry phone-calls to make and swearing in the direction of the hire company to do, the wine. This is a blend of your friends and mine, Syrah and Grenache, 75 and 25 percent respectively. The red and black fruit flavour that you get from these grapes doing their thing is something to behold, with lots of fresh blackberry and deep black cherries leading the charge. In the mouth, it’s rich, deep and powerful with an elegance that is almost a surprise given the nose and initial hit of fruit you get. The wine is wonderfully structured and should definitely be drunk young. To be honest, this wine is best drunk when annoyed at the world, but if you insist on eating something then go for a fragrant lamb kebab with a spicy salsa.

Le Vin Des Amis Mas Coutelou is available from Roberson Winenew-vin-des-amis