CONTINUING on from last week and revisiting old friends (wines) to spice up your drinking, I will go to Majestic Wines in Kendal and the mocha java merlot from Bellingham estate 2012, priced £8.49 when bought in a six case box.

The wine is from the coastal region of South Africa and is among the cult of the ‘coffee style’ of wine, meaning it has the style and flavour of a rich mocha coffee nose and flavour.

This started with pinotage in South Africa and has proved popular, due to its smooth style of drinking.

The Bellingham estate favours minimal intervention with its wines letting the flavour express itself, with a little oak to enhance the taste, resulting in this fantastic merlot. This delivers what it says on the label with a nose of inviting aromas of roast coffee beans and bitter dark chocolate, carried by juicy black and red cherry fragrances across the palate in a smooth and delicious mouthful, its ripe fleshy plum and mulberry fruit well integrated with fresh coffee and cacao and vanilla.

Soft and lingering on the finish, one for lovers of fruit driven wine and great for the inbetween Christmas and New Year buffets.

  • Graeme Hedley is sommelier and expert on food and wine at Kendal College’s Lakes Hotel School