Some interesting bottles: Pico, Filippi, Field Recording, Haut-Bergey, Droin, Goodfellow

Some interesting bottles recently tried:

Goodfellow Whistling Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016 Ribbon Ridge, Oregon
Planted in 1990, sedimentary soils, 20 months in French oak. Midweight in body with sappy, elegant red cherry fruit. Has lovely elegance and finesse, with a red fruit drive and nice fine-grained. Has such purity and focus. There’s redcurrant brightness and beautiful […]

Chablis (1) an overview

I’m in Chablis, and it’s very exciting, because this is my first time here. I know: I should have been here before, but even though it’s slightly embarrassing, it’s a thrill to finally see what I have read so much about. I’m in an accelerated period of learning, visiting lots of producers and walking vineyards, […]

The wines of François Lurton

François Lurton

It was great to meet and taste with François Lurton. His father, Andre Lurton, is a very important figure in Bordeaux. Lurton senior, who owns Château Bonnet, was active in establishing the Entre-Deux-Mers appellation and helping improve the quality of the affordable white Bordeaux wines that come from here. The family also own […]

In Reims

I’m spending a few days in Reims, in order to do some Champagne visits. It’s a lovely city to spend time in, and there are plenty of good options for eating and drinking well, and some great places to buy Champagne. It’s also insanely easy to get to by train from London: Eurostar to Paris, […]

Matassa, revisiting the debut vintage

I found a bottle of Matassa’s first release kicking around. I bought a six-pack from Sam Harrop when it was first released (£15 a bottle then) and tucked it away. This was the 2002 vintage, and just 1800 bottles were made. I think, if I recall correctly, that this was from a single old Carignan […]

Four affordable, lighter reds for summer smashing

Back to the UK and I’m working through some samples on a balmy summer evening. I’m really into lighter red wines at the moment and these four fit the bill for some summer smashing. And they are affordable, too.

Villa Blanche Piquepoul Noir 2016 IGP Pays l’Herault, France
13% alcohol
£8.49 Waitrose
Part of Calmel and Joseph’s Cepages Anciens […]

Visiting Yvon Métras, Beaujolais star

Yvon Métras

Getting a visit with Yvon Métras was quite a big deal. He doesn’t normally see UK press, and regularly turns down requests for visits. One of the gang of five pioneering natural winegrowers in the region (along with Thevenet, Lapierre, Foillard and Breton), he counts Jules Chauvet and Jacques Neauport as his inspirations. […]

A vertical of Château Pichon Baron, 2001-2014

Second-growth Château Pichon Baron is one of the great vineyard terroirs in Bordeaux. Located in Pauillac, just opposite Latour, it boasts three of the five Médoc first growths as near neighbours.

Christian Seely was in London to present an extensive vertical of the modern era of Pichon Baron. ‘Pichon is capable of making wines that are […]

Domaine Labet Les Parcelles Rares Trousseau 2016 Côtes du Jura

Had this at lunch yesterday courtesy of Ashleigh Barrowman of Scotch Wine Bar. It’s a quite beautiful wine, but initially on the nose it is a little scary, with some animal pretty notes (this is a natural wine with no added sulfites and total SO2 of 7 mg/litre). But it’s not a faulty wine: once […]

Dinner at Café Sillon, Lyon, with Ganevat and Dard & Ribo

It was my birthday. And I was in Lyon. And at short notice we managed to get space at the bar at Cafe Sillon, which I’d heard a lot about. It exceeded expectations: the set menu was sensitively cooked and very imaginative, with a couple of options for each course (for a small place like […]