From a fourth-generation-owned Pauillac cellar, B de Fonbadet may fall under the humble Bordeaux label, but it’s intensity and complexity leave no doubt about its high-end quality. This 2019 has even won the Decanter’s esteemed Platinum medal.
Bordeaux may hold the crown for best Cabernet Sauvignon in France but don’t underestimate the potential of the Languedoc’s top vineyards.This is a dense, luscious red, packed with cassis and toasty spice.
Chai winemaker Mark Hoddy reserves the Belle Roche label for a red wine made from the best parcel of grapes of the vintage. In 2021 he found just the ticket in a few rows of dark, thick-skinned Cabernet, grown in high-up Languedoc vineyards close to Carcassonne. There the climate benefits both from Mediterranean and Atlantic influences, hence a wine that echoes both of the warm ripeness of the Med with the structure of Bordeaux. It's a densely flavoured red, its colour almost black – the reason he calls it his precious ‘black diamond’ of the vintage. Meticulously crafted by Mark at the cellar, Belle Roche is best decanted an hour before serving, just like a claret. It’s ideal with a juicy steak, a rich lasagne or a hearty casserole. Decant.
Take a minute to read the 5-star online reviews for Cabalié. This one is typical: “When my time comes to shuffle off this mortal coil, this is the wine I want in that final glass. It is simply, utterly, indescribably fantastic.”
Its secret? It’s crafted by a master winemaker, Hervé Sabardeil, following the centuries-old style beloved of Roman centurions, who first made wine there. Raspberry-rich Grenache, with herby Syrah and Carignan, Cabalié has impressive concentration. That’s due to the maturity of the vines, most well over 50 years old. The tiny berries they produce give Cabalié extraordinarily rich, ripe flavours. Boasting 8 Golds in as many vintages, this much-loved red is warming solo or with hearty dishes.
only 19 left
This is a very special edition of the big red Cabalié. Grenache and Carignan grapes from a top selection of seriously old vines lend amazing power and intensity to this red, while ageing in oak for six months brings impressive complexity.
Parker-rated winemaker Hervé Sabardeil has been making our standard Cabalié since 2001. In 2011 he crafted a special super cuvee, Cabalié Cuvée Anniversaire, to mark the 10th Anniversary with Direct Wines. Afterwards, being encouraged by positive customers’ responses, he’s been inspired to create this amazing Grand Cru edition of Cabalié, Cabalié Coup de Coeur. The grapes are Grenache and Carignan again, but they come from some of the oldest vines and from the finest slate soils of Maury in the Roussillon. As you might imagine yields are minute, which accounts for the depth of colour and intensity of flavour. Hervé then aged half of the wine in oak cask for six months to lend a luxurious layer of complexity. This is a powerful red, beautifully balanced with velvety black fruit, spice and mocha aroma. It would be ideal to pair with a rich veggie casserole.
Vivino 4.2 stars
Cabalié is one of our best loved ‘BIG reds’ and this old-vine version has even more swagger. Seriously intense Carignan gives a boost of inky dark fruit to soft, spicy Grenache in this stonking, velvety, southern French red.
Hervé Sabardeil, our winemaker with limitless talent, has been making Cabalié, the big, ripe Catalan red, for over 15 years. He added the old-vine (Vieilles Vignes) edition in 2011, originally as a one off, but it was so popular we insisted he did it again. And again! The magic to this punchy red is really in the vines. At 60 to 100-years-old, yields are minute (about half of a Grand Cru claret). As a rule of thumb, the smaller the yield, the more concentrated the fruit, the more flavoursome the wine! That’s why we call it Cabalié’s Big Brother. Still made in the same style that was beloved by the Roman centurions and now our customers too, it packs even more flavour than the original. Ideal with garlic-roasted lamb, rich stews or cheese.
Mighty Cabalié is one of our best-loved ‘BIG reds’ and this latest old-vine version has even more of a swagger. Seriously intense Carignan gives a boost of inky dark fruit to soft, spicy Grenache in this stonking, velvety, southern French red.
Hervé Sabardeil, our winemaker with limitless talent, has been making Cabalié, the big, ripe Catalan red, for over 15 years. He added the old vine (Vieilles Vignes) edition in 2011, originally as a one off, but it was so popular we insisted he did it again. And again! The magic to this punchy red is really in the vines. At 60 to 100 years old, yields are minute (about half of a Grand Cru claret). As a rule of thumb, the smaller the yield, the more concentrated the fruit, the more flavoursome the wine! That’s why we call it Cabalié’s Big Brother. Still made in the same style that was beloved by the Roman centurions and now our customers too, it packs even more flavour than the original. Ideal with garlic-roasted lamb, rich stews or cheese.
An exciting, rich, Gold-medal red from the Languedoc and the fourth generation winemaker Laurent Guillot. He blends the peppery, black fruit and spice of Syrah with the bright cherry notes of Négrette to make this supple, silky, easy going red.
It’s a rarely known fact that the Languedoc was the first French region to be introduced to viticultural practices by the Romans. This balmy red wine country took a hit in the 1980s when it became known for high volume wine, which lacked quality. But today, that quality is back thanks to passionate and dedicated Languedoc enthusiasts, such as Laurent Guillot. Born into a fourth generation Burgundian wine family, Laurent decided to head south and create an estate of his own. A north meets south style is evident in this spicy, supple red. With this wine he won Gold, crafting an authentic expression of the wild, sun-blessed terroir. Syrah based, it’s laden with blackberry and peppery spice, with a pep of fresh red fruit from Négrette.
only 47 left
This is an authentic southern French red from a premium area of Corbières – Fabrezan. Using a traditional, whole-grape method of vinification, the wine has gorgeously supple fruit, with classic blackberry, smoky liquorice and wild herb notes.
Over 40 years ago, the small co-operative in Fabrezan, a top Corbières area, produced a special style of red. It was made by macération carbonique – handpicked bunches of grapes were left whole to ferment and the wine taken off the skins at the precise moment when there was optimum fruit, colour and aroma. It took precision and was costly. So the style was dropped. When new winemaker to the cellar Benoît Fillaquier arrived, he restored its production and this is the delicious result. It's named after the inventor and poet (he inspired the surrealist movement), Charles Cros, who was born in Fabrezan in 1842. Native grapes of Carignan, Syrah and Mourvèdre were carefully vinified to make this delicious, fleshy red, that's fruity and moreish.
only 49 left