Having failed to find a fitting Fitou after many years of fruitless searching in France, we serendipitously stumbled across just what we'd dreamt of at a wine fair in Düsseldorf in 2016. That is a lesson for life – to bide your time until the just right moment – good things do come to those who wait. Jean-Marc Astruc's Domaine des Rebouls is based in the hidden away hill village of Tuchan in the heart of Fitou Montagneux, home of veteran vignerons and rock-hard 'rugbymen'. His Fitou ticks all the boxes for us: it is made from a traditional blend of Carignan, Grenache Noir and Syrah (in roughly equal proportions) and it has a beguiling briary bouquet, a dark purple robe and a richly-fruited palate of stewed berries and cherries supported by gentle tannins. It drinks beautifully from release and can cellar well for 3-5 years. It is the sort of life-affirming wine you should enjoy on a winter's night with a big bowl of cassoulet and boy was it worth waiting for!