These are lovely, lovely wines. I followed them over the course of a few days, so I’m fairly confident in my recommendations, too. They are made by Jeff Coutelou, in France’s Languedoc. Jeff works naturally, using very little sulfur dioxide at all. All are young, dense and grippy, and I think that you’d be safe [...]
Here’s a short film shot from my recent visit to the famous Loire village of Sancerre, by chopper. It proved quite an eventful journey: on the way, the door I was sitting next to came open. It looked quite a long way down. The pilot had to land in a field in order for me [...]
The Loire at Blois
I’m just back from a few days in the Loire, where I was part of a large international jury judging the Concours Mondial du Sauvignon competition.
The location of the tasting
We stayed in Blois, and tasted in the rather spectacular castle of Blois. We were some 60 judges, divided into teams of [...]
This is going to be one of those slightly frustrating, short-on-words, big on pictures posts. It’s just that I am in the Loire, in Blois, not far from Touraine, and – as often happens on these sorts of trips – I’m so busy that blogging is tricky.
The Castle of Bois
I arrived yesterday evening, [...]
I spent today in the Languedoc, doing some work. The work was actually quite enjoyable: I was tasting a selection of 90 of the estate wines from Les Grands Chais de France, with a view to selecting 12 ‘ambassadors’ – wines that Grands Chais could use to show to the press and trade what they [...]
I just love this wine. It’s a red from near Toulouse, and specifically the region of Fronton, where the Negrette grape is king. There’s just so much to love about Fronton wines, with their heady, meaty, floral perfume and relatively light body. But it’s also a wine with edges. In wine, edges are good, I [...]
Beaujolais is becoming a very interesting wine region. Most of it is red, of course, but here’s a great white example that offers amazing value for money.
Jean-Paul Brun Chardonnay Classic Terres Dorees 2011 Beaujolais, France
12% alcohol. Complex, rounded, nutty and toasty with mineral notes as well as apple and pear fruit on the nose. The [...]
I was interested by this wine. Really modern packaging, and use of the variety name Malbec rather than the normal Touraine name for this grape, Cot. It’s riper than the average Loire red, a category of wines that I’m unusually drawn to.
Jean Francois Merieau Malbec Cent Visages 2009 Touraine, Loire
12% alcohol. Very modern packaing with an [...]
This is a really good example of how Beaujolais is becoming SERIOUS.
It’s naturally made, from organically (in conversion) farmed vineyards. It is from vineyards at almost 500 m in elevation, on a south-facing plt on pink granite, planted at high density from 50 year old vines (10 000 vines per hectare).
Julien Sunier Fleurie 2010 Beaujolais, France
Along with a good portion of the wine trade, today I attended the Union des Grands Crus 2010 tasting at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. This is a very popular tasting because it is the first time most people will have seen the final bottled wines from the new vintage.
I asked some experts their [...]