Northern Rhone series 16, Domaine Clape Cornas Renaissance

Hmmm, I’m enjoying this Northern Rhone series. A chance to drink some wonderful wines. Here’s the latest: it’s a Cornas from Clape, but it isn’t at all rustic. Some people still characterize Cornas as producing rather stern, rustic wines, but I don’t think this is the case any more. It’s a serious appellation.

The Clape family [...]

Northern Rhone series 5, Jamet Cote Rotie 1999

This wine is a favourite of mine, and I’ve drunk it on perhaps a dozen occasions. Well stored bottles, like this one, are really singing now, but there’s no hurry to drink it up. We enjoyed it last night at a family gathering at my brother-in-law’s place. He had the wisdom to buy two cases [...]

Northern Rhone series 3, 1967 Hermitage

So after two white Hermitage wines, we’re heading to Syrah, but sticking with the Hermitage hill. This wine is very interesting. It was a gift from Richard Kelley MW, who’d bought a few bottles at auction, and knew it was my birth year.

Now 1967 is not a great birth year for wines. I don’t have [...]

Video: on the Hermitage hill

Here’s a short film of the wonderful hill of Hermitage: a relatively small appellation of 123 hectares, of which 25 are white grapes (mainly Marsanne), the remainder Syrah. It’s amazing t0 think that grapes have been grown on this hillside since 400 BC.

Two Chateauneufs: Beaucastel 99 and Vieux Telegraphe 95

Nice to be able to compare these two side by side. The Beaucastel had the slight edge, although it’s not a competition of course. The VT 1995 is a wine that I’ve drunk on several occasions over recent years, and it’s probably worth drinking it up soon-ish. However, taste in old wine is quite a [...]

Fun on the wedding day

We had a great time yesterday at my sister’s place, where a sizeable contingent of family gathered to celebrate the royal wedding. I was initially not intending to watch the spectacle, but it turned out to be quite gripping – a day of real emotion.

We celebrated with Champagne – beginning with a magnum of Drappier [...]

A busy day's tasting: IGP and Cote Rotie

So, today has been a busy day of tasting. It began with the IGP Top 100 tasting in Parson’s Green. Now IGP is what used to be Vin de Pays, and the goal of this tasting is to sift through 700 IGP wines and come up with a list of the 100 best.

Doug [...]

Two nice supermarket Northern Rhone Syrahs

It’s not often I recommend French wines stocked by UK supermarkets, because the buying is rarely that inspired. Most decent French stuff simply doesn’t fit with the requirements of the multiple grocers. But here are two really nice expressions of Northern Rhone Syrah from Sainsbury’s.

Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Saint-Joseph 2009 Northern Rhone, France
From Chapoutier, 13% [...]

Out in Logrono

Dinner last night was at Asador el Tahiti in Logroño. It’s a traditional Riojan restuarant and we ate and drank well. Particularly interesting was Morcilla, which is pig’s blood and rice, and, in this case a thin pastry case. It was delicious.

Wine of the night was the Remelluri Rioja Reserva 2005. For just 18 Euros [...]

Some gems at Majestic, including a nice Crozes

After a difficult tasting yesterday, a nice afternoon’s tasting at Majestic’s press event today. I liked lots of the wines, many of which I’d be happy to buy. Perhaps my favourite was the following gem from the northern Rhone. This is everything I look for in northern Rhone Syrah.

Yann Chave Crozes Hermitage 2008 Northern Rhone, [...]