Domaine les Filles de Septembre, Delphine de Saint André, 2005

Domaine les Filles de Septembre, Delphine de Saint André, 2005

So here I sit, listening to Billy Bragg and Wilco, waiting for a Riesling to reach drinking temperature, and I am really pleased with this French red. The winery, Domaine les Filles de Septembre, was named after the four daughters of wine makers Françoise and Roland Géraud. And Delphine is one of the four. If she is anything like this cuvée of Syrah and Carignan, she must be lovely indeed. But I am getting ahead of myself.

The four daughters winery is based in the Languedoc and the cuvée Delphine was made with carbonic maceration and had a year in barrique. I know this because the friendly people at the London wine shop The Winery mentioned it on their website. They also say: "We were impressed with every wine they make."

Regarding the cuvée Delphine I would not want to dwell too long on any details. The wine has deep red colour, really pleasing, and marinated cherries are the most dominant grape (there was a bit of black currant too). But all wine talk aside, this is a really smooth and drinkable wine, well balanced and integrated, fresh, fruity and you notice that the wine has seen some barrique - but it is all so smooth that mentioning one single feature seems pointless (and no vanilla flour, who would have thought!). It is quite strong on alcohol, but even that does not spoil the fun too much (although the same taste with 13% would have been better).

In order not to be mistaken, I have to state this clearly: Cuvée Delphine is not a truely great wine. Instead, it is an immense pleasure that every red wine drinker should enjoy, no matter whether you are a wine buff/snobb or just the occasional connoisseur. You will never go wrong with taking this to a dinner party. It may be the nicest red wine I had in the UK in the £10 price range.

And Billy Bragg keeps singing:

Jump up from my starbed
Make another day
Underneath my California stars

They hang like grapes
On vines that shine
And warm the lovers' glass
Like friendly wine

So I'd give this world
Just to dream a dream with you
On our bed of California stars

I'd like to rest my heavy head tonight
On a bed of California stars
I'd like to lay my weary bones tonight
On a bed of California stars