A day in Paris

Although I’m often travelling through it, and have stayed a few times on business, I realized that I hadn’t been a tourist in Paris since I was 15. And some super cheap Eurostar deals created the opportunity: spend a day in this great city doing some really touristy things.

So after a very early start, we [...]

Fine wines with lunch, old-school wine trade style

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 [...]

Wine & Culinary forum: the Primum Familiae Vini tasting

The Primum Familiae Vini are an association of top European wine domaines, and we were treated to a tasting of some of their wines, presented by Christophe Brunet, wine ambassador of the PVF and Fiona Beckett, food and wine journalist. They were providing the chat, with Fiona’s brief being suggesting suitable pairings for the wines. [...]

Some remarkable older wines: 1937 Noval Colheita, 1975 Deutz and a 1919 Sherry

Three nice older bottles opened at the Gonzalez Byass 10th anniversary dinner last week:

Champagne Deutz Blanc de Noir 1975 France (magnum)
This Pinot Noir comes from Grand Cru Aÿ, and the wine was resting on lees for 37 years before bottling in 2012. A yellow colour, this has a taut citrus nose with subtle pear and [...]

Lunch with Olivier Bernstein

Had lunch on Thursday with Olivier Bernsteinm (above), along with some other journos and the fabulous Simon Staples at Berry Brothers & Rudd.

Olivier was born in the Loire, and his grandfather founded a music publishing house. It was while he was working in international management that Olivier caught the wine bug and did a [...]

On the road in Provence, some pictures

I’m currently on the road in Provence. It’s a beautiful time of year to be here. Harvest has just begun in many areas; in others it is a week or two away. It’s sunny but not scorching hot, and the bulk of the tourists have gone home, so it means that the roads aren’t permanently [...]

Domaine Jones Grenache Gris 2013

British ex-pat Katie Jones has been living in the Languedoc since 1993. She worked at the Mont Tauch co-operative until 2009, when she started her boutique winery, which now consists of 11 hectares of vines in Maury, Tuchan and Paziols, with her wines labelled as either Fitou or Cotes Catalanes.

The previous vintage was tragically [...]

The fabulous Pascal Jolivet Sancerre 2013

I love this wine. It’s from a relatively cool vintage, and it has a brilliant tension to it. Starting off with a small negociant business in the 1980s, Pascal Jolivet began buying vineyards in the early 1990s. Now he has 65 hectares (42 ha in Sancerre, 8 ha in Pouilly Fume and 15 ha in [...]

A couple from Jean-Luc Colombo

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 [...]

Three lovely wines: Rousseau, Dujac and Cotat

So, the final instalment of my write up of Tuesday’s lunch wines. The great thing about sharing a bottle among four is that you get to drink a decent quantity, and you have time to consider your opinion. Great wines often do change in the glass. Also, as tasters, we change with time – even [...]