Bordeaux: a lovely city to spend time in

Yesterday I returned from spending five nights in Bordeaux. I’ve been a few times before, but not for so long. [Here’s a report on my last stay here back in March.]

Rue Ste Catherine, Europe’s longest pedestrianised street. Just next to the Quality Hotel.

We stayed at the Quality Hotel Bordeaux Centre, which impressed. It’s really […]

Four days in Bordeaux - some highlights and the 2016 vintage

Limestone at Château Falfas, Côtes de Bourg

Just in the airport after four days in Bordeaux. The goal of this trip was to look beyond the established image of the region, to the more hidden side of Bordeaux.  We looked at producers using organics/biodynamics, we looked at the younger generation of winemakers, and we looked […]

Responding to a reader's comment on excessive travel and narrow scoring

I had an interesting comment on my blog a few days ago, and I’ve been mulling it over. If anyone takes the trouble to comment at length like this, and offer opinions, then I should be listening. And I am. Here it is:

Dear Jamie
I have been mulling over this for a while… but I think […]

Five reasons why Provence rosé is like Champagne

After having spent a few days in Provence, I’m beginning to think that there are some important parallels between Provence and Champagne. Let me try to explain.

First, both are strong regional brands. Champagne is instantly recognizable. People know what to expect when they buy a bottle of Champagne. There are no nasty surprises, and generally […]

Champagne Janisson & Fils Grand Cru NV

Based in Verzenay, Champagne Janisson made the transition from grower to Champagne house in 2014, when they also built their futuristic new winery. This NV Grand Cru really impresses: Jansson’s own holdings are supplemented with some bought in grapes. It’s a lovely wine, and it’s also beautifully packaged.

Champagne Janisson & Fils Grand Cru NV
12% alcohol. […]

Making Provence rosé

A modern winery adapted for making rosé, at Château de Berne

Rosé is a technical wine. This past few days I’ve been quizzing winemakers on just how they go about making it. Here’s a short introduction to making rosé wines, and how the winemaking decisions have implications for the final flavour.

Reception area for machine-harvested […]

O Gaveto, Porto, a brilliant seafood restaurant

I had one of my meals of the year at O Gaveto in Porto, a couple of weeks ago.

It’s a traditional Portuguese seafood restaurant in Matosinhos, the port area of Porto. It’s run by brothers João and Jose Silva, and the restaurant was started by their father.

The food is superb, and the service fabulous. The […]

In Elgin: Corder Wines

I met Ian Corder (above) at Almenkerk, where his wines are made. [As an aside, he kindly offered to take me up in his autogyro to see the Elgin Valley from the air. You can read about this, and watch the video here.] The vineyard that is now Corder Wines  was originally an apple farm when […]

In Provence, getting to grips with rosé

A quick post from the road. For the last few days I have been in Provence, trying to understand more about rosé. The popular conception about rosé is that it’s not a serious wine. It’s all about marketing, people say.

Jean-Francois Ott of Domaines Ott

To a degree, Provence rosé is a tremendous wine marketing success […]

Jean-Paul Brun Beaujolais Blanc Vinification Bourguignonne Chardonnay 2014

This is a special cuvée from the hero of the limestone-based soils of the southern Beaujolais, Jean-Paul Brun. His wines are excellent, and also very fairly priced (this was retail €15 in Paris). His Beaujolais Blanc wines are really good: they’re not showy, but refined and mineral. I really like this wine, although the internets […]