Flaw in the carpet

The title links to a Canadian post that very eloquently saves my explaining, I hope, what I mean.

As you may know, when I'm in the shop I will try to sell you wine from Château Jouclary without paying much attention to what you've asked for, whether it's directions to the olive stall or a magnum of champagne. I think all three wines we buy from Pascal Gianesini at the Château are delicious and really great value, as well as being wines that people who 'don't like French wine' like. The reason they're so widely accepted is because the Cabardès appellation requires its wines to be made with both 'Atlantic' grapes and 'Mediterranean' ones; meaning, as far as the old Jouclary is concerned, you get a happy marriage of lots of soft, plummy Merlot with more gutsy, spicy Syrah and Grenache. The newly arrived 2004 vintage has just a tickle more peppery grip than the plumptuous 2003, which went like hot cakes. Best of both worlds, in short, in my view.

Anyway, didn't one of our good customers here at the Wine Depot finally succumb to my insistence that this was the elixir of eternal youth, &c., only for the word (and an unopened second bottle) to come back to me: this had turned out to not be the good stuff at all, at all, grave disappointment, you get my drift, from three separate tasters round the same table.

I can only suppose - the remaining contents of the offender had been poured away - that this was one of those rare but unfortunate instances of a 'bad' bottle. Please let me know what you think of the Jouclary Tradition 2004. Go out and get some from Austin in the English Market, or from me here at HQ, and report back below - if you're in the market for a great bottle of red wine for twelve euro, that is.

It bears repeating that if you have a bottle of wine that's not right (actively not nice, as opposed to just not to your taste), keep it and return it, insofaras this is practical, to the place you bought it, whether it's Bubble Brothers or anyone else.

I'd rather know, and will replace the bad bottle. More and more - most - wine retailers are realizing that this is the way to do things, so don't be shy to talk to us (them).

Choose your words to me carefully if it's the Jouclary, though... That bad bottle just reinforces my view that this is a handmade, real-deal wine very near to the divine. By the way, I hadn't tried our Extremaduran crianza, the Heredad de Barros, for a while, and did so last weekend. It's marvellously smooth and suggestive, and fabulous value compared to some of the big-brand Spanish reds. Find out what I mean at our Big Wine Event. I could drink it till the cows come home and I recommend it, but until further notice, the Jouclary's top of the list for me. What about you?

Technorati tags: Jouclary, corked, artisan wine, Extremadura