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International Trophy Red Blend under £15 – Château Bouissel, Fronton, Southwest France 2011

Fresh and warm, with well-judged oak bringing a little spiciness to the table, complementing earthy, smoky aromas of black cherry, herbs and liquorice. Vivid, ample, stylish and articulate, this displays lovely balance, reams of deep, juicy fruit, and a characterful, dusty finish. A simply stunning illustration of Fronton (13.5%).
Not available in the UK
POA The Wine Co USA

OUT OF AN eclectic mix of wines from southwest France, Croatia, Portugal’s Dão region and the cool-climate Mendoza enclave of the Uco Valley, this blend of Negrette, Syrah and Cot (Malbec) won over the judges with its smoky, meaty, dark and feral style.

Fronton is a land in between – practically equidistant from both – the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, and it enjoys some influence from both. Modest rainfall and lots of sunshine gives a crop of healthy grapes.

Château Bouissel believes those grapes are one of its major assets – particularly the Negrette, a variety native to Fronton, with its rich, aromatic character and silky tannins. These are old vines too, planted on the third of Fronton’s fluvial terraces, where the soils are scattered with alluvial deposits drained by the Tarn river from the Massif Central, containing plenty of quartz, but with a notable absence of limestone.

Pierre Selle and his wife Anne-Marie took over the running of the estate from his father, Adrien, in 1978, setting about a long-term project to restructure the vineyard and produce fine wines. Now son Nicolas has joined his parents and has his own ideas about the future direction of the estate: farming organically, planting white grapes and creating new cuvées.

Nicolas + Pierre

Nicolas Selle has joined his father Pierre in helping run Fronton’s Château Bouissel

Tasted against

Falua, F’oz, Dão, Portugal 2013 • Finca Buenaventura, Aureo, La Obra, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina 2012 • Vina Laguna, Festigia Castello, Istria, Croatia 2012.

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