Drinkers of a certain age may recall a Hungarian wine called Bull’s Blood. A common choice in the seventies when the range available to consumers was much smaller than it is now. Visitors to Spain may have tried Sangre de Toro, an always reliable purchase. And if you take communion then the concept referenced in the title will be familiar. I’m not religious myself. I don’t have the Latin as Peter Cook once put in a different context, so I’m not sure if any red liquid, say Ribena, would do as as a simulacrum for the events of 2000 years ago or whether it has to be wine. All this is a preface to a red tasted recently, a 2004 Pic St Loup (14%, WS, no longer available about £25), the top wine of Cazeneuve, with, to me, a bizarre name -‘Le Sang du Calvaire’. Quite why a wine should be linked with a crucifixion is beyond me. Made in very small quantities if that is relevant. The Cazeneuve website offers no explanation, although, by the way, it seems that the name was once Casanova. Anyway, the wine is 95% mourvedre, 5% syrah, soft brambly nose, quite high in acidity, thinish in the mouth, rather like a Rioja, with a different taste. Not much tannin despite 24 months in oak. I didn’t experience a revelation and a churchgoer was unimpressed so the mystery of the name continues. But a decent midweek drink nonetheless.
(Geoff: Homer consistently referred to the ‘wine dark sea’ in the Odyssey, so it’s a pre-Christian analogy. Anyway, this wine, tasted on the second day, was excellent. Certainly Rioja-ish – vanilla, acidity, lightness and delicacy and very drinkable. It had a beguiling delicacy that drew you to it. Was it the Monastrell? It certainly had siren-like qualities)
[Richard: retasting with Geoff – and even allowing for the powers of auto-suggestion – I think I underestimated this. A classy day 2 wine.]