Matassa, revisiting the debut vintage

I found a bottle of Matassa’s first release kicking around. I bought a six-pack from Sam Harrop when it was first released (£15 a bottle then) and tucked it away. This was the 2002 vintage, and just 1800 bottles were made. I think, if I recall correctly, that this was from a single old Carignan […]

Some nice high-end rosés

Had these nice high-end rosés yesterday afternoon, with friends.

Triennes Rosé 2017 Provence, France
Pure delicate and aromatic – very bright with tangerine and lemon and red currant. So fresh. 90/100

Francois Cotat Sancerre Rosé Chavignol 2014 Loire, France
Edgy and reductive. Spicy and detailed with a sappy edge. Cherries and minerals. So good. 92/100

Pierre-Yves Colin Morey Rosé de […]

Four affordable, lighter reds for summer smashing

Back to the UK and I’m working through some samples on a balmy summer evening. I’m really into lighter red wines at the moment and these four fit the bill for some summer smashing. And they are affordable, too.

Villa Blanche Piquepoul Noir 2016 IGP Pays l’Herault, France
13% alcohol
£8.49 Waitrose
Part of Calmel and Joseph’s Cepages Anciens […]

Visiting Yvon Métras, Beaujolais star

Yvon Métras

Getting a visit with Yvon Métras was quite a big deal. He doesn’t normally see UK press, and regularly turns down requests for visits. One of the gang of five pioneering natural winegrowers in the region (along with Thevenet, Lapierre, Foillard and Breton), he counts Jules Chauvet and Jacques Neauport as his inspirations. […]

A vertical of Château Pichon Baron, 2001-2014

Second-growth Château Pichon Baron is one of the great vineyard terroirs in Bordeaux. Located in Pauillac, just opposite Latour, it boasts three of the five Médoc first growths as near neighbours.

Christian Seely was in London to present an extensive vertical of the modern era of Pichon Baron. ‘Pichon is capable of making wines that are […]

Domaine Labet Les Parcelles Rares Trousseau 2016 Côtes du Jura

Had this at lunch yesterday courtesy of Ashleigh Barrowman of Scotch Wine Bar. It’s a quite beautiful wine, but initially on the nose it is a little scary, with some animal pretty notes (this is a natural wine with no added sulfites and total SO2 of 7 mg/litre). But it’s not a faulty wine: once […]

Hervé Souhaut Syrah 2016: seductive, smashable

I’ve been an admirer of the wines of Hervé Souhaut for a while. I remember taking his Syrah as one of my three wines when I was taking part in the Swartland Revolution in 2011, and it went down really well. I also recently reviewed his Gamay, La Souteronne, here. He’s based in the northern […]

IPNC: the non-Oregon Pinot Noirs

One of the great things about the International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC) is the chance to taste a wide range of Pinot Noirs from around the world. I’ve already written up my notes on the Oregon wines; here are my notes on some of the other Pinots on show. I apologise for the fact that […]

Gamay 32, François Rousset-Martin J'en Suis Gaga 2015

I had this wine on Wednesday night at the fab Westerns Laundry. It’s a Gamay from the Jura, but is labelled as Vin de France. François Rousset-Martin grew up in Burgundy where his father was a medical microbiologist at the Hospices de Beaune. But the family had some vines in the Jura: 12 hectares in […]

Loire adventure: Clau de Nell, Anjou

Sylvain Potin and Christian Jacques

There’s an interesting story behind Anjou-based biodynamic winery Clau de Nell, which was the next stop on our Loire tour.

Christian Jacques was married to the late Anne Claude Leflaive, and in 2008 the pair purchased the struggling Clau de Nell domaine, initially with a view to running it with the […]