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, [...]

Andrew Nielsen and Le Grappin, a talented Burgundy micronegoce


Lots of people, it seems, have vinous epiphanies. They drink a special bottle of wine, and suddenly they are converted. Wine is no longer just an alcoholic drink for them; it is something more fundamental. For some, it becomes their life.

Andrew Nielsen (above), originally from Australia, was working in advertising with publications such as [...]

A couple from Bordeaux, La Tour Martillac and Petit Village

Bordeaux is the world’s most famous wine region.

But it’s one that is losing the hearts of many of the new generation of wine nuts. They’re alienated by the prices, by the pretension (big-ass Chateaux and winemakers wearing suits working in impossibly grand cellars with spotless barrels), and by the somewhat old-fashioned image. But we shouldn’t [...]

Three Languedoc wines from Calmel & Joseph

Laurent Calmel and Jérôme Joseph are negociants working in the Languedoc-Roussillon. They work with 20 different producer partners and make around 450 000 bottles each year, the vast majority of which are destined for export markets. The company as it is now was formed when oenologist Calmel joined Joseph, who had up to this point [...]