Consolation is a label produced by Andy Cook and Philippe Gard, winemaker and owner respectively of Coume del Mas and joint owners of Mas Christine situated close to the French / Spanish border in the Roussillon region. They describe the Consolation wines as "an adventure" with varietals, the grapes coming from very small parcels of the best vines and the wines produced to reflect the best of each vintage. The range therefore varies from year to year and production is small.
I love Consolation's Red Socks and couldn't believe my luck when I got hold of a batch of its Dog Strangler 2012 at a fabulous price, now sadly sold out. If you would like a later vintage of this wine, send me an email
and I'll let you know when it will land on my virtual shop shelves.
Dog Strangler or L'Etrangle-Chien is an old local name for the Mourvèdre grape (AKA Monastrell and Mataro); the nickname was given because of the grape's high tannins but this wine is so well made that the tannins are well integrated and very smooth. It is reputed to be a tricky grape to grow requiring lots of sunshine and careful cultivation. You can tell that this is a well-made wine. The intense perfume hits you as soon as you open the bottle and the flavours are concentrated and long-lasting - herbaceous aromas of the local "garrigue", ripe plums, sour cherry, white pepper and a hint of dark chocolate. Blackberry flavours creep into the long, smoky finish. This rather serious wine has a creamy texture and at this price should not be missed.
Recommended to drink with charcuterie, paté, cheese, lentils, mushrooms, beef, lamb, duck and game, this wine will stand up to quite rich dishes and those flavoured with rosemary, thyme, black pepper and soy sauce