2011 Domaine du Poujol Jazz, $14.99

A few months back owner-wine maker Robert Cripps from Domaine du Poujol visited our store and tasted us on a range of his current wines. After stints in the wine industry in England, Robert spent 10 years in California working and learning wine-making at some of the top addresses. In 1994 he followed his dream of having his own vineyard and winery to southwest France, and the largely untapped potential of Languedoc. I remember we were all impressed with his wines, and we subsequently brought in one red and one white to feature on the floor. Fast-forward to last night when I decided to revisit the red on an as needed basis (needed a good red for dinner). It was even better than I remembered.

The wine is fresh, elegant, "light on its feet" and perfect for summer drinking, but it is also serious enough to grace your winter table. It is made predominantly from the Grenache and Cinsault varieties, with varying dollops of Carignan, Syrah and Mouvedre, depending on the year. Exhibiting an abundance of subtle aromatic fruits on the nose, soft tannins on the palate lead to a silky mouth-feel, and a touch of freshly tilled earth adds complexity. The name "Jazz" is meant to be emblematic of the tradition of innovation that the Domaine aspires to achieve. To me, this Poujol bears an undeniable stamp of artisanal passion, producing wines that provide pleasure instead of points!