Ceilings for wine quality in Bordeaux

A nice-looking gravelly terroir

I’ve spent a few days in Bordeaux, during which I’ve had a chance to speak to a few knowledgeable people and also to walk through quite a few vineyards. (And run through some, too.) Harvest is a few weeks off, so it’s interesting to see the marked differences among the various [...]

Running the Marathon du Medoc

I am exhilarated. Yesterday I ran – and completed – the Marathon du Medoc.

To run any marathon for the first time would rank as a great life experience, but the fact that this was the Medoc Marathon, with a 42.195 km route taking runners through some of the world’s most famous vineyards, made this extra [...]

Term starts again, and a tasting at the Perfect Cellar

Jose Sanfins, Chantelune

Holidays are over, and the wine tasting calendar starts again here in London. I was in town for the first tasting in a long time – a small portfolio tasting from The Perfect Cellar, a new-ish merchant with an eclectic list of small producers, and a shop presence in luxury retail space [...]

Chateau Rahoul, an excellent white Bordeaux

The older I get, the more I like white Bordeaux. It’s such an interesting expression of Sauvignon Blanc (often bolstered with a bit of Semillon, of course), usually barrel fermented. My experience is that barrel-fermented Sauvignon ages really well, and – as long as the oak isn’t overpowering - it drinks well young, too. So it’s [...]

Clos de la Coulee de Serrant 2009, a controversial wine

This is a controversial wine. It’s from biodynamic high-priest Nicolas Joly, who in Clos de la Coulee de Serrant possesses what is universally acknowledged as a special terroir. It’s just that lots of people don’t like the wine he makes, with some claiming oxidation, and others objecting to the 15+% alcohol levels.

I happen to love [...]

Château Sénéjac 2009

Relatively affordable yet really good Bordeaux is a rare thing. There’s good quality cheap Bordeaux, and high quality expensive Bordeaux, but I don’t encounter much between the two. Is that just my perspective? Anyway, this is really good, and it’s not too expensive.

Château Sénéjac 2009 Haut Medoc, Bordeaux, France
With a hefty dose of Cabernet Sauvignon in [...]

Three amazing natural wines from Mas Coutelou

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 [...]

Video: visiting Sancerre by helicopter

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 [...]

Judging in the Concours Mondial Sauvignon Blanc

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 [...]

In the Loire

Blois

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, [...]