Sometimes I forget that I live in Europe. England can be so very familiar, what with the same language, McD and Gap on the corner, American shows on tv . But this morning I was feeling particularly Continental. Not English, Continental. I think it had to do with the tram I took to work. I usually take the train but I stayed over at a friends last night and the quickest way to get to work was the tramlink from Wimbledon to Beckenham Jnc.
It was overcast, grey, wet and misty this morning. Riding the tram through the foggy, empty suburban streets, concrete towers interspersed with local shops, a glimpse of an Olde English church amongst the tower blocks, passing by a cemetery full of crooked, weathered tombstones and stone crosses that have probably been there since the 17th century. The tram and tram stops look just like the ones they have in Prague or Berlin or any of those Continental cities. If I needed any reminder that I wasn’t in America anymore, that tramride did it.
Which is a good thing because I don’t know if wines from the Costières de Nîmes are as readily available there as they are here. Last night we had a 100% syrah, the Cuvee Anna ’07 by Ch. Saint-Cyrgues. Costières de Nîmes is in the Languedoc-Rousillon region of southern France and is known for their syrahs, grenaches and carignans among others.
The Cuvee Anna ’07 is a new wine in the shop so I didn’t know what to expect but it was a pleasant surprise. Profound purple colour with a very fresh raspberry/blackberry but not intense, nose.
On the palate it was all understated red and black berries – raspberry, blackberry, black currant, velvety smooth tannins coating my mouth. There was also a nice toastiness shining thru, probably from the aging in oak casks that it underwent.
The wine finished off with plenty of black licorice and bitter dark chocolate notes, nice and long. Overall, a lovely balance of fruit and oak with fresh acidity. And all for less then a tenner. We loved it and polished it off at dinner, too bad because I wanted to see how it would be the next day. Guess I’ll have to get another bottle.
Cuvee Anna ’07 by Ch. Saint-Cyrgues – Oddbins, £7.99