Gamay focus, 10 - Puy de Dôme Gamay 2013 from the Auvergne

I recently wrote about the wines from Caves Saint Vernay in France’s Auvergne, a volcanic terroir in the south of the Loire. Well, next stop on my Gamay journey is the Auvergne, and their varietal Gamay. Reds here are typically a blend of Gamay and Pinot Noir, but on its own, the Gamay really shines. [...]

Champagne Lallier's new R.012

I was intrigued by this new wine. It’s a non-vintage Champagne from Lallier, but it’s particularly honest about its component parts. Francis Tribaut, the owner/winemaker at Lallier has decided to label it R.012, indicating that it’s mostly from the 2012 vintage. But by using reserve wines – in this case 19% of the blend is [...]

Gamay focus, 8 - Domaine Sérol Les Originelles 2014 Côte Roannaise

Once again, in my pursuit of Gamay, I am stepping outside of Beaujolais, this time to Côte Roannaise in the south of the Loire. I’m also finding this adventure a relatively affordable one, because Gamay is rarely expensive. I think this will change in time: in 20 years time, might Gamay be highly sought after? [...]

Gamay focus, 7 - Domaine des Hauts de Chasselay Coteaux du Lyonnais

So, in the next episode of my quest to explore Gamay, I’m heading just south of Beaujolais to the Coteaux du Lyonnais, a small appellation of 370 hectares of vines to the west of Lyon. It’s a little known AOP, which works in favour of the consumer because the prices are modest. Indeed, this is [...]

Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhône Blanc 2009

Found this in my brother-in-law’s fridge when I popped round to see some of my family who were pug-sitting (he wasn’t there), so cracked it open with lunch. I thought it might be a bit past it, but it was definitely still full of life. Maybe it’s the 30% Picpoul de Pinet that Louis Barruol blends [...]

Three lovely Rhône wines with dinner

Had a nice dinner last night with three lovely Rhône wines. I just love the Rhône. It’s inconsistent but can be so lovely.

Domaine St Prefert Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc 2010 Southern Rhône, France
Broad with nuts and spice and fine stone fruits. Lovely texture and mouthfeel with some spiciness under the pear and peach fruit. Stylish [...]

Sang des Cailloux Vacqueyras Cuvée Azalaïs 2012, a brilliant Southern Rhône red

This was another Prowein discovery. It’s from biodynamic Vacqueras producer Le Sang des Cailloux. This is the domaine’s traditional cuvee and it alternates over a three-year cycle with the names of each of the daughters of proprietor Serge Férigoule: Floureto, Doucinello and Azalaïs. I was so impressed I have just bought some: it has an almost Burgundian [...]

Château Plaisance ‘Alabets’ 2010 Fronton, France

Marc Pénavaye’s Château Plaisance consists of 30 hectares of vines in the Fronton appellation, near Toulouse in southwest France. This is a varietal Negrette, which is such an interesting red grape variety, unique to the region and with records indicating it has been grown here since the sixth century. Marc started farming organically in 2006 [...]

Five nice Rhône wines

Some notes on five Rhône wines that I selected for last week’s Côtes du Rhône wines Google hangout. It was fun trying these with fellow bloggers, and – remarkably – the hangout went through with no technical issues at all! If you have 1 h 17 min spare you can watch the whole thing here, [...]

Le Clos de la ‎Févrie Muscadet 2013

Normally, I find it hard to get too excited about Muscadet. But I’m beginning to change my mind. On a recent trip to Canada I tried a Melon de Bourgogne (the Muscadet variety) from Malivoire, and it was really interesting. It reminded me straight away of good Muscadet in its flavour profile. And this wine, [...]