By the 1920s more and more grape varieties were assembled into the Southern Rhône Red Blend, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre (or GSM) being the major blended components but many more were included even white grapes, all ripening at different times in the season. So, a set of quality-based rules was drawn up to keep tabs locally on how grapes were grown and made into wine - the birth of the French Appellation system or Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée. Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC became one of the first in 1929.
The offering from Family Perrin made with just Grenache and Syrah, Les Galets de la Berthaude Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2017, available from Portland Wine at £19.95, offers on the nose, dark cherry, strawberry, sweet spice, chocolate, earthiness and a creamy texture on the palate with warming alcohol. However I found it a little hollow and unbalanced in structure and possibly in need of more cellaring. Finally from Sainsburys I chose Cellier des Princes Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2017 at £20. All these three wines are made with less extraction than the block-buster £30 bottles and are vinified to give a pleasant drinking experience after two to three years but with age potential.
I found the Sainsbury offering to have typical herbs with thyme, and rosemary on the nose, a mixture of red and black fruit (dark cherry and strawberry) and spicy and chocolatey flavours along with integrated alcohol and a good balanced structure. The Cellier des Princes Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2017 is therefore my recommended tipple for those cold and dark November nights; time to enjoy the English custom of wine and cheese in the evening. Cheers!