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.
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 [...]
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 [...]
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.
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% [...]
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 [...]
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, [...]
This is one of the most drinkable wines in the universe. It’s a natural Crozes Hermitage made without any additions, and it’s simply beautiful. It’s not terribly profound, but it is joyful and has hints of seriousness. From natural wine legends Dard & Ribo.
RJ Dard & F Ribo ‘C’est le Printemps’ Crozes Hermitage 2009 Northern [...]
This is quite serious. It’s a sweet white wine made from the Marsanne variety, picked ripe, sorted and then dried on straw mats for two months. The must typically has 350 g/l sugar, and after fermentation it’s pretty sweet, at about the same level as a regular Sauternes, with 100 g/l residual sugar. The wines [...]
This is quite special, but it could probably do with a couple more years to loosen up. Saint-Peray is one of the forgotten appellations of the northern Rhone, and this is a varietal Roussanne that shows just how good it can be, in the right hands.
Stephane Robert Domaine du Tunnel Saint-Peray Roussanne 2007 Northern Rhone, [...]