A lovely Loire Chenin: Richard Leroy Les Rouliers 2012

I’ve had this wine a couple of times now (both times at Noble Rot, but Sager & Wilde are also listing it). It’s a stunning wine that has the most amazing matchstick reduction integrated into the richer Chenin flavours to great effect. This is a perfect example of a wine character that could be seen [...]

Pascal Jolivet Sancerre Sauvage 2012

Sauvignon Blanc is a serious grape. Trust me. It gets a bad rap from some wine writers, but it can achieve amazing results. Look at the fab Tscheppe butterfly wine that I recently reviewed, for example. Or the Sauvignons with a difference from New Zealand that were covered here. Now we’re travelling to the Loire, [...]

Cotat Chavignol La Grande Côte Sancerre 1989 Loire, France

In advance of the Sauvignon Blanc symposium, Mike Weersing of Pyramid Valley opened this oldie for us when we visited. Sauvignon can age! Not always, but Cotat makes Sancerre in an ageworthy style. You might find these wines a little underwhelming in their youth, but give them some time and they can be lovely.

Cotat Chavignol [...]

Two lovely wines at St Swithins Wine Shippers: Breton Chinon and Nicholas Perrin Crozes

Had a couple of lovely bottles on Thursday night at St Swithins Wine Shippers. It’s a wine bar and retail shop in the City of London, and it has a nice list. It’s not a natural, totally geeky place, but it has a really well chosen list with some good things on it. You can [...]

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 [...]

A really nice Loire Pinot: Eric Louis Sancerre Rouge 2013

I’ve never really been all that interested in Sancerre Rouge before. But when you look at the terroirs, and then consider that it wasn’t all that long ago that this used to be a predominantly red wine appellation, you begin to think that there’s potential for some good Pinot Noir here. This is a lovely [...]

Why Social Wine & Tapas is one of my favourite places to eat

On the spur of the moment stopped in for a late Friday lunch at Social Wine & Tapas. This is such a good place to eat. The food is superb: creative, flavoursome and comforting. And the wine list is exceptional, especially if you are of the brave inclination, prepared to give wines with a bit [...]

Cabernet Franc: Domaine Filliatreau Saumur Champigny 2014

Cabernet Franc is a grape variety that has been growing on me. It’s often thought of as in the shadow of its talented son, Cabernet Sauvignon. But in some ways, Cabernet Franc is a more complete grape. People are realizing its virtues: in Bordeaux, in South Africa, in Argentina. And in the Loire, it’s always [...]

Gamay focus, 10 - Puy de Dôme Gamay 2013 from the Auvergne

I recently wrote about the wines from Caves Saint Vernay in France’s Auvergne, a volcanic terroir in the south of the Loire. Well, next stop on my Gamay journey is the Auvergne, and their varietal Gamay. Reds here are typically a blend of Gamay and Pinot Noir, but on its own, the Gamay really shines. [...]

Two lovely volcanic wines from the Cotes d'Auvergne

Cave St Verny make some lovely wines, from the Côtes d’Auvergne, a really interesting but obscure wine region pretty much in the middle of France, which is counted as part of the Loire. It’s based around a volcano,  Puy de Dôme, at the edge of the Massif Central, which makes for some interesting terroirs. The [...]