Our last evening in Europe found us once again avoiding rain indoors. We couldn't go to London without stopping at Harrod's, and I couldn't visit Harrod's without reviewing the store brand wine! After letting our kids run amok in the Harrod's toy department, it was time to turn them loose in one of Harrod's dining areas.
The Harrod's venue that was open and best suited for our group was Mo's Diner, an eatery inspired by an American 50s-era diner. Staring at the wine list, I realized my red wine choices were Harrod's Claret, Harrod's Bourgogne, and a Harrod's Cotes-du-Rhone. In my experience a bad Rhone wine is infinitely more palatable than a bad Bordeaux or Bourgogne, so with some apprehension I gave the Cotes du Rhone a nod and ordered a steak sandwich. After all, how bad could it be? It has Harrod's on the label...
From the expression on the waiter's face and the confusion in getting my wine order in, I gather the average Mo's Diner customer is not an oenophile. But he ultimately overcame the shock and brought me the right bottle with a hansome Harrod's label. The 2004 Harrod's Cotes-du-Rhone Red is bottled for Harrod's by Domaine de l'Espigouette, with the label describing the wine as a blend of Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvedre. A classic Cotes du Rhone - dark cherry red with appealing scents of plums, pepper and spice, vanilla, and earthy aromas. On the palate it was also a solid wine - good tannins, juicy fruit and slightly nutty with good balance. Overall, a very competent wine. Obviously not available here in the Americas, but I have seen the Espigouette label - perhaps it could be worth a shot.
Well, that's the end of my European Vacation. Next stop, Sonoma, Fall 2007. Cheers!