Andrew Guard

2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, Domaine Belle-Mare

The most structured wine in this range, this is a deep ruby red with garnet reflections. It has aromas of blackberry, blackcurrant and spices with notes of liquorice and pepper and soft, gentle tannins.

I have been encouraged by customers for many years to find a range of seriously good value wines that could sit next to the existing wines on the portfolio. I have ummed and ahhed about it and worked out that it was really not an easy thing to do.

I reasoned that the time it took me to unearth something that would compliment the great wines we already sell I could better spend on sourcing more serious and great wine.

Still, the requests came and so this year (following a visit to the estate in August 2015) in January I had some samples sent to my great old mate Tim Johnston at his Parisian wine bar Juveniles and I tasted them with him and one of his mates, a visiting New York wine merchant at his lovely terrace apartment in the Rue de Martyrs. We all thought they were very solid wines and both Tim and his friend were quite amazed at the prices.

Near Montpellier, between Mèze and Marseillan, the Domaine Belle Mare covers 68 hectares, 63 of which are planted with vines on the banks of the Étang de Thau, the largest and deepest seaside saltwater lake in the Languedoc region.