Gamay focus, 10 - Puy de Dôme Gamay 2013 from the Auvergne

I recently wrote about the wines from Caves Saint Vernay in France’s Auvergne, a volcanic terroir in the south of the Loire. Well, next stop on my Gamay journey is the Auvergne, and their varietal Gamay. Reds here are typically a blend of Gamay and Pinot Noir, but on its own, the Gamay really shines. [...]

A great lunch at Social Wine and Tapas, with Savart and Pignan

Charles Spence, the noted red-trousered Professor of Experimental Psychology at Oxford University wrote one of my favourite books of late, titled The Perfect Meal. I think I had a lunch today that would get pretty close, at Social Wine and Tapas with Dan Keeling of Noble Rot.

Of course, I was primed to like it. Our [...]

Champagne Lallier's new R.012

I was intrigued by this new wine. It’s a non-vintage Champagne from Lallier, but it’s particularly honest about its component parts. Francis Tribaut, the owner/winemaker at Lallier has decided to label it R.012, indicating that it’s mostly from the 2012 vintage. But by using reserve wines – in this case 19% of the blend is [...]

Gamay focus, 8 - Domaine Sérol Les Originelles 2014 Côte Roannaise

Once again, in my pursuit of Gamay, I am stepping outside of Beaujolais, this time to Côte Roannaise in the south of the Loire. I’m also finding this adventure a relatively affordable one, because Gamay is rarely expensive. I think this will change in time: in 20 years time, might Gamay be highly sought after? [...]

Gamay focus, 7 - Domaine des Hauts de Chasselay Coteaux du Lyonnais

So, in the next episode of my quest to explore Gamay, I’m heading just south of Beaujolais to the Coteaux du Lyonnais, a small appellation of 370 hectares of vines to the west of Lyon. It’s a little known AOP, which works in favour of the consumer because the prices are modest. Indeed, this is [...]

Two lovely volcanic wines from the Cotes d'Auvergne

Cave St Verny make some lovely wines, from the Côtes d’Auvergne, a really interesting but obscure wine region pretty much in the middle of France, which is counted as part of the Loire. It’s based around a volcano,  Puy de Dôme, at the edge of the Massif Central, which makes for some interesting terroirs. The [...]

Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhône Blanc 2009

Found this in my brother-in-law’s fridge when I popped round to see some of my family who were pug-sitting (he wasn’t there), so cracked it open with lunch. I thought it might be a bit past it, but it was definitely still full of life. Maybe it’s the 30% Picpoul de Pinet that Louis Barruol blends [...]

Some highlights from the Wine Society

I headed down to Stevenage today for a tasting at The Wine Society. It was amazing: such good wines at really good prices. Here are a few wines that I’ll be buying. But there were just too many highlights for one post!

Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Gracher Domprost Riesling Spatlese 2001 Mosel, Germany
Lovely wine – rich and [...]

Sang des Cailloux Vacqueyras Cuvée Azalaïs 2012, a brilliant Southern Rhône red

This was another Prowein discovery. It’s from biodynamic Vacqueras producer Le Sang des Cailloux. This is the domaine’s traditional cuvee and it alternates over a three-year cycle with the names of each of the daughters of proprietor Serge Férigoule: Floureto, Doucinello and Azalaïs. I was so impressed I have just bought some: it has an almost Burgundian [...]

Château Plaisance ‘Alabets’ 2010 Fronton, France

Marc Pénavaye’s Château Plaisance consists of 30 hectares of vines in the Fronton appellation, near Toulouse in southwest France. This is a varietal Negrette, which is such an interesting red grape variety, unique to the region and with records indicating it has been grown here since the sixth century. Marc started farming organically in 2006 [...]