Northern Rhone series 14, Cote Rotie, Cornas and Hermitage at Twickenham

Worry ye not. This wine blog is not turning into a sports blog, although you’d be forgiven for thinking so. It has been a sport-filled summer.

On Saturday I was invited to the Twickenham double-header by Inter Rhone, one of the sponsors. The double-header is a smart idea. Two premiership rugby games are played back to [...]

Northern Rhone series 13, Jaboulet Thalabert 1985 and cricket

Great day today. It was Wine Trade vs Further Friars, down at Keevil in Wiltshire, on a perfect late summer’s day.

The game was great – more on that later – and ended perfectly with Jasper Morris MW, one of the Friars, bringing out a magnum of Jaboulet’s Thalabert Croze Hermitage, in the 1985. We drank [...]

Northern Rhone series 12, Saint Peray time

Saint-Péray is a tiny appellation in the south of the northern Rhône, consisting of some 62 hectares of vines planted on granite overlaid by limestone, silt and loess soils. It’s a white wine appellation, with the majority of the vines being Marsanne, with a bit of Roussanne and a tiny bit of Roussette. Many of [...]

Northern Rhone Series 11, Tardieu Laurent Cornas Coteaux

My second visit to Tardieu Laurent in this northern Rhone series (previously here). This is a really impressive interpretation of Cornas, an excellent appellation that sometimes gets a bad press (it’s often described as ‘rustic’, which is perjorative, I feel).

Tardieu Laurent Cornas ‘Coteaux’ 2008
13% alcohol. Vibrant fresh black cherry and blackberry fruit here with [...]

Northern Rhone series 10, Georges Vernay Condrieu

We’re heading to Condrieu for episode 10 in the northern Rhone series. It’s an appellation that’s a bit of an outlier in the region, but it adds some welcome diversity. Viognier is the grape here: recently fashionable, as evidenced by the growth of the appellation. Back in1965 there were just 8 ha (that’s all the [...]

Northern Rhone series 9, Delas Les Challeys St Joseph

Continuing my northern Rhone series, I’m sticking with St Joseph. It’s an appellation with a reputation for inconsistency, but there are clearly some very good terroirs here. This is a cracking wine: fresh, natural, bright and edgy. Delas are a negociant who seem to be on good form at the moment.

Delas Freres St Joseph ‘Les [...]

Video: tasting two Viogniers

So here’s another short film of me tasting two Viogniers: Georges Vernay Condrieu 2008 (£36.75 Yapp) and Bellingham The Bernard Series Viognier 2010 (£11.99).

Northern Rhone series 8, Tardieu Laurent St Joseph

Continuing with the northern Rhone series, and the third in a run of St Josephs, this time from superstar negociant Tardieu-Laurent. Originally involving Dominique Laurent, this firm is now run exclusively by the Tardieu family, under the guidance of Michel Tardieu. They source wines from across the Rhone and Languedoc, usually from old vines, and [...]

Northern Rhone series, 7, Coursodon Silice St Joseph 2007

The Northern Rhone journey continues. Sticking with St Joseph, an appellation with some excellent terroirs as well as some poorer ones, we move to a superb example from 2007.

This is one of those Syrahs that, with real elegance, begin to taste a bit like fine Burgundies. It’s from old vines on granitic slopes, and relatively [...]

Northern Rhone series 6, Gilles Barge Clos des Martinets St Joseph 2001

I don’t make whole-case purchases all that often. Usually I find that 12 of a particular wine is a little too much. 6 is usually better. But this is the last bottle of a case purchase I made that I was very pleased with. I’ve just looked up my report on the tasting at Bibendum [...]