20 dollars: Jules "Mediterranean" Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
When I first tasted this wine that is grown just outisde Narbonne deep in the heart of France's sunny mediterranean hinterland I thought "wow - this is awesome" but then my heart sank as I thought that I had really no experience of this part of France and so it had no role to play in my portfolio that aims to be focused on the wines of the vineyards and regions where I have myself real experience. But then it struck me that this peculiarly sultry red was made with Cabernet Sauvignon, the emblematic red grape variety of the Médoc in Bordeaux and that seeing as Bordeaux is my focus and seeing as this wine was made with Cabernet I could therefore justify its inclusion in my portfolio. What luck! And what an illuminating rendition of Cabernet Sauvignon this is, as exotic and different to Cabernet from Bordeaux as Cabernet from the warmer parts of central South Australia but, unlike its Australian homologues, the Jules has that much less alcohol but with just as much svelte mouthfeel. God this is good for the money! Heavily fruity and perfumed and with a tight knit structure that grows in velours tactility (if that's a word?!) when the bottle has been open for over a day. This is a serious wine at a very humble price. It will probably mainly get consumed in the context of barbecues this summer but boy will it add some distinction to the casual meal!