Talking of natural wine, I'm in love with Racines Blanc 2011 from Claude Courtois

This is just lovely. It’s a natural wine (in that it is made with no additions at all in the winery, from organically grown grapes in a farm that’s practising a form of polyculture) from the Sologne region of the Loire, next to Cheverney.

You can read about Claude Courtois and his domaine Les Cailloux [...]

Some great wines with Professor Scholefield

For my first three days in British Columbia, Canada, I was being shown around by David Scholefield (aka ‘The Prof’, pictured above). He’s a total dude and we shared some nice bottles together, which I thought I would write up.

Sea Star Siegerrebe 2013 Pender Island, British Columbia, Canada
Not the greatest wine in the world, but [...]

Clos Roche Blanche Cuvee Pif 2011

This is a really drinkable, fresh Loire red with plenty of personality, but also real harmony. It’s a blend of Cot (Malbec) and Cabernet Franc, named after the owners’ (Catherine Roussel and Didier Barrouillet) dog, Pif. I picked it up in local wine shop Noble Green Wines, the first time I have seen any of [...]

Four lovely wines - Weinbach, Zidarich, Puzelat and Valli

On my first night in Canada a group of friends gathered to share some nice wines. I think they deserve a write-up, although – as usual – notes and scores do little to capture the specialness of wines shared with good people.

Weinbach Cuvee St Catherine Riesling Schlossberg Grand Cru 2009 Alsace, France
Taut, almost spicy and [...]

Two lovely Sancerres from Jolivet

Sauvignon Blanc isn’t a boring grape. It is capable of greatness. Here are two lovely Loire Sauvignons from Pascal Jolivet. Jolivet has 70 acres in Sancerre and Pouilly Fume, and also buy in grapes (about half their production needs).

Pascal Jolivet Sancerre Les Caillottes 2012 Loire, France
13.5% alcohol. From an 8.65 acre parcel with 40 [...]

My thoughts on the Huet debacle

So, leading Vouvray producer Huet appear to have banned two UK-based wine journalists. Both Chris Kissack and Jim Budd were refused tasting pours by Huet at the recent Salons des Vins du Loire for some comments they’d made on a previous vintage, which happened to be the first one with a new winemaking team in [...]

A lovely Touraine Sauvignon

On my recent travels to the Loire, I have been lucky enough to bump into Lionel Gosseaume, who is making some superb wines. This Touraine Sauvignon really delivers for the price. He’s one of those producers where you just buy anything he makes.

Lionel Gosseaume Domaine de Pierre Touraine Les Sauterelles 2012 Loire, France
Aromatic, fresh, grassy [...]

A big night out at the chief's!

Feeling a little tired after a wonderful evening at the chief’s last night. The chief is Harpers editor Richard Siddle, who convened a gathering of chums to eat and drink well together at his pad in Clapham. It was a very late night, but the company and the wines made it worthwhile. The evening began [...]

Four impressive Loire Sauvignons

Yesterday I tasted through 33 different Loire Sauvignons with a view to selecting 14 to present at Vinexpo next week. These had all won gold or above in competitions, so they were a good bunch. Here are four that stood out to me.

Henri Bourgeois Sancerre ‘La Chapelle des Augustins’ 2011 Loire, France
Complex, intense and powerful [...]

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 [...]