Take two wines
Château de Cascastel Fitou 2008
A bear-hug of a wine from start to finish with a blend of Carignan (45pc), Grenache (40pc) and Syrah. This juicy, spicy winter warmer from the Languedoc has layers of smooth, rich and ripe dark fruit. 13.5pc alc. €12.99 Available from O’Briens.
El Codal 2009
A concentration of sweet, crushed berries dominate in this mix of Tempranillo, Syrah and Merlot from the Penedès region of north-east Spain. Its unoaked, juicy succulence is good on its own or would go well with mildly spicy food.
13.5pc alc. €10.50 Available from 1601, Kinsale; Bin No 9, Goatstown; Florries Fine Wines, Tramore.
SOMETHING ELSE I ENJOYED...
Laurent Miquel Nord Sud Syrah 2007 — an elegant Syrah from a great vintage in the south of France, its fruit rounded off with partial ageing in French oak. Silky, smooth and nicely spiced, with blackcherry flavours and a fresh finish. 13.5pc alc. €10.99 Available from Dunnes Stores.