Loire adventure: Clau de Nell, Anjou

Sylvain Potin and Christian Jacques

There’s an interesting story behind Anjou-based biodynamic winery Clau de Nell, which was the next stop on our Loire tour.

Christian Jacques was married to the late Anne Claude Leflaive, and in 2008 the pair purchased the struggling Clau de Nell domaine, initially with a view to running it with the [...]

Loire adventure: preparing in Paris

Day two of the Loire adventure saw us get ready to head to the Loire by spending a day in Paris. Nicole, Lexi, Krysta and I caught the Eurostar and two hours and some sparkling wine later, we were in Paris. We then took the metro to our Airbnb in the 11th. It was an [...]

Wines of the year (4) some brilliant French wines

Continuing the theme of wines of the year, I’ve picked some of the very best French wines that I tasted in 2016, excluding Champagnes and older wines, which I wrote about separately. So many good bottles here, including a strong showing from Beaujolais, which may surprise some people.

Richard Leroy Les Rouliers Chenin 2012 Vin de [...]

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 [...]

Grower Champagne Focus: Léclapart, Charlot-Tanneux, Emmanuel Brochet, Chevreaux-Bournazel

I had these lovely grower Champagnes in a wine bar in Reims (the excellent Au Bon Manger, 7 Rue Courmeaux). Anyone who thinks of Champagne merely in terms of the Grand Marques needs to think again. Anyone who doesn’t think Champagne is a terroir wine needs to think again. I need to go back, soon.

Champagne [...]

Domaine Clavel Le Mas: excellent value from the Languedoc

Not to be confused with the Côtes du Rhône domaine of the same name, Domaine Clavel has vineyards in four different Languedoc terroirs: Pic St Loup, Grès de Montpellier, La Méjanelle and Saint Christol, with 33 hectares in all. The farming is organic.

This, their entry level red, is really smart. It’s from Grès de Montpellier, [...]

Visiting Château Marquis d'Alesme, Margaux, for the opening of a grand winery

Last night I was one of a group who visited Château Marquis d’Alesme on the occasion of the opening of their new winery in Margaux.

The winery

The estate, which has 15 hectares of vines, was bought by Hubert Perrodo in 2006. Perrodo, a French national, built up a successful petrochemical company (Perenco), of which he [...]

Three lovely wines: Testalonga, Commando G and Domaine Labet

Had lunch at Moro today with Emily Harman and Laura Rhys. Mark Andrew was supposed to join, but he had to fill in for someone at Noble Rot, so after lunch we headed down to meet him there. Moro: the food is amazing, always, and it didn’t disappoint today. And between Moro and Noble Rot [...]

Dinner at Noble Rot with Coche, Clos Rougeard, Quintarelli, Roulot, Bachelet and Mugnier

Just before Christmas I had one of the most enjoyable dinners of the year. Dan Keeling and Mark Andrew of Noble Rot invited Neal Martin and I for dinner at their relatively newly opened gaff. We had some lovely food and some super wines, as you might expect. Noble Rot is such a good addition [...]

Champagne Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut NV

Perrier-Jouët is a medium-sized Champagne house with an annual production of around 3 million bottles a year, dating back to 1811. They have just under 180 hectares of their own vineyards, which is quite a high proportion. Bought by Mumm in the late 1950s, they are now part of the Pernod Ricard portfolio. I was [...]