The vast and variable appellation of Fitou is unofficially divided into two distinct and separate enclaves: 'Fitou Maritime' which is the flatter coastal zone producing lighter, fruitier wines and the steep sloping, inland 'Fitou Montagneux' where schist-based soils yield wines of intensity and concentration. Jean-Marc Astruc's 'Domaine des Rebouls', based in the rugby-loving hill village of Tuchan, is a prime example of the latter. It is made from a traditional blend of Carignan, Grenache Noir and Syrah that are vinified in stainless steel vats prior to an assiduous assemblage and bottling 9 months after the harvest. We were introduced to Jean-Marc's wine by his English wife Katy Jones, herself a talented wine maker, and were immediately taken with its briary hedgerow berry fruit, fine-grained tannins and palate-cleansing acidity. It drinks well from release, will support 3-5 years bottle age, and makes a fine foil for pot-au-feu.