Southern Rhône, I have neglected you.
We used to be good friends.
When I first got into wine you used to give me a lot of pleasure. Vieux Telegraphe and Beaucastel, in particular, were happy wines for me.
But then you started getting all spoofy on me. You chased points, you got rich, you started driving expensive cars, [...]
These wines were recently tasted at a rather fine lunch at La Trompette, which is a great restaurant. It went on a long time, as you can imagine. I’m always struck by how well older bottles of top Bordeaux show in these situations, and how inconsistent red Burgundy can be. And the Rhône can be [...]
Jean-Luc Colombo, based in Cornas, is a Rhone modernist. His Cornas wines aren’t in my favourite style, I’m afraid. But I do like the wines he makes when he tries less hard: I bought a case of his northern Rhone Vin du Pays a year or so back, made from declassified young vine Cornas fruit [...]
Northern Rhone whites are some of the unheralded stars of the wineworld. There’s a good story to this wine, too. Before around 1995, Jaboulet were one of the top producers in the northern Rhône. Something seemed to go wrong after this with the Jaboulet wines, and in 2006 the family sold to the Freys from [...]
Had a great lunch at The Glasshouse restaurant in Kew yesterday, hosted by Keith Prothero. In attendance: Malcolm Thwaites, Greg Sherwood and me. The Glasshouse is such a great restaurant. I have never been disappointed with the food there: really beautifully presented, but also perfectly judged flavours. And the service is super – we were [...]
This is fabulous, and it’s cheap. It’s a £5.49 wine that has more than a hint of seriousness, as well as a lot of fun.
Marks & Spencer Vin de Pays de l’Ardèche Gamay 2013 France
12% alcohol. Made by Cave Saint Desirat, this Gamay has lovely aromas of cherries, herbs and flowers. The palate is juicy [...]
Quite a few impressive Rhône wines at yesterday’s Bunch tasting. Here are some I enjoyed a lot.
Alain Graillot Crozes Hermitage 2011 Northern Rhône, France
Is this Graillot’s best yet? It’s sensational. Ripe yet fresh meaty, raspberry and cherry fruit nose with a hint of black olive and pepper. The palate is fresh and ripe with raspberry [...]
It has been a busy day. I was leading a team at the Sommelier Wine Awards in Vauxhall until 3.20 pm, and then I hot footed it along the Thames to Westminster, and One Great George Street, for the Berry Bros & Rudd Rhone 2011 en primeur tasting.
This is a great chance to [...]
Continuing in my theme of brilliant wines under £10, here’s a Ventoux that I was seduced by. It’s one of those wines that manages to hold the sweet fruit and savoury notes in tension. It’s almost Burgundian, in a southern Rhone sort of way.
Gonnet La Jeannette Ventoux 2011 Rhone, France
14.5% alcohol. Not too deep in colour: [...]
Continuing a rather sporty weekend, on Saturday I was a guest of InterRhone at the Twickenham double header.
Two games of premiership rugby and a feed, with good company and some nice wines. What’s not to like?
The Laithwaites contingent: Becca Reeves on her phone, and Tom and Henry Laithwaite
I even took some notes of the [...]