Gianesini shoots – and he scores!

pascal smallI'm a big fan of the red wines that Pascal Gianesini conjures up at Château Jouclary near Carcassonne. No surprises there, if you've ever been within shopping distance of me at Bubble Brothers. His Cuvée Tradition is my default recommendation, to the point of nearly overdoing it. But then, what's not to like? Time and time again, it has turned out to be the closest thing to that French wine of sainted memory you had once that was just so gorgeous and not that expensive and you've never found anything like it since. PascalJouclary ApRougeSo I've been dragging my feet about actually sampling the latest addition to the Jouclary reds, which you can see here on the right, for fear of spoiling something beautiful with even a tinge of disappointment. I'm already long enough in this game that wacky, punny names don't hurt me any more, and I've nothing against the lighter styles of red: on the contrary. But lighter reds just don't have much of a following, and some of those we've sampled from other suppliers haven't threatened to remedy things any time soon.

However, apprehension notwithstanding, you shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, and when I was offered the remains of a bottle opened late on the last day of the recent Cork French Food and Wine Festival, I didn't refuse.

Which was lucky, because Pascal has put the ball in the back of the net once again. The Apé'Rouge fulfils and exceeds its brief – it's fruity and supple and a pleasure to drink: a wine you can drink between meals without ruining your appetite. It has a screwcap, to keep all that lipsmacking freshness in and to encourage you to go on a picnic with it.

At the time of writing, you'll get a bottle for €12.99 or, in the English Market shop, @ 2 for €25 while stocks last &c.