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 [...]

Champagne Pierre Péters Rosé for Albane

Had this at lunch yesterday, off the list at the excellent Kensington Wine Rooms. It was stunning. Champagne Pierre Péters is a Blanc de Blancs specialist located in Le Mesnil sur Oger, in the heart of the Côte des Blancs. Under the direction of Rodolphe Péters since 2008, this sixth generation family firm just makes wines [...]

1937 Margaux and 1966 Lafite: what are we to make of old wine?

Yesterday I popped into The Sampler on Upper Street, Islington, to try some of their ‘icon’ wines (and a few others). This time every year they put on some lovely older wines, as well as some newer super-expensive or rare wines. It’s one of those rare opportunities to try these sorts of bottles. My write-ups [...]

Champagne Taittinger 2008

2008 is looking like a very good vintage in Champagne. The summer was a cool one, and the season was saved by beautiful sunny days just before and during harvest. The result? A healthy crop with high levels of acidity, which is usually good for producing ageworthy fizz, even if they can be a bit [...]