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 [...]

Five nice Rhône wines

Some notes on five Rhône wines that I selected for last week’s Côtes du Rhône wines Google hangout. It was fun trying these with fellow bloggers, and – remarkably – the hangout went through with no technical issues at all! If you have 1 h 17 min spare you can watch the whole thing here, [...]

Château Angélus and the paradoxical 2010

I have just written up a vertical tasting of Château Angélus that I attended last week, courtesy of the IMW. It was very interesting, as these sorts of vertical tastings always are. Not all the wines are as incredible as they should be, given the hype that they receive, and there are some surprises. The [...]

Le Clos de la ‎Févrie Muscadet 2013

Normally, I find it hard to get too excited about Muscadet. But I’m beginning to change my mind. On a recent trip to Canada I tried a Melon de Bourgogne (the Muscadet variety) from Malivoire, and it was really interesting. It reminded me straight away of good Muscadet in its flavour profile. And this wine, [...]

Two lovely whites: Vincent Carême Vouvray Sec 2013 and Ganevat Grusse en Billat 2012

I have just been in the Netherlands, presenting a talk and tasting to wine professionals here over two days, with the same 10 wines both days. I met some really great people and enjoyed talking about organic/biodynamic/sustainable/natural/authentic wine. It was also nice to look at the wines over two days. Interestingly, the wines seemed all [...]

Andrew Nielsen and Le Grappin, a talented Burgundy micronegoce


Lots of people, it seems, have vinous epiphanies. They drink a special bottle of wine, and suddenly they are converted. Wine is no longer just an alcoholic drink for them; it is something more fundamental. For some, it becomes their life.

Andrew Nielsen (above), originally from Australia, was working in advertising with publications such as [...]

A couple from Bordeaux, La Tour Martillac and Petit Village

Bordeaux is the world’s most famous wine region.

But it’s one that is losing the hearts of many of the new generation of wine nuts. They’re alienated by the prices, by the pretension (big-ass Chateaux and winemakers wearing suits working in impossibly grand cellars with spotless barrels), and by the somewhat old-fashioned image. But we shouldn’t [...]

Three Languedoc wines from Calmel & Joseph

Laurent Calmel and Jérôme Joseph are negociants working in the Languedoc-Roussillon. They work with 20 different producer partners and make around 450 000 bottles each year, the vast majority of which are destined for export markets. The company as it is now was formed when oenologist Calmel joined Joseph, who had up to this point [...]

The Sixth New Year Blind Champagne/Sparkling Wine Tasting Video

So here it is. The sixth annual blind Champagne tasting video. It was, as usual, really interesting to see the results. Lots of surprises here.

The wines were, in order of their appearance:

Justerini & Brooks Champagne 250th Year Anniversary NV
Almeida Garrett Brut 2008 Beira Interior, Portugal
Champagne Bruno Paillard Blanc de Blancs NV
Champagne Drappier Quattuor NV
Champagne de [...]

Christmas Day highlights: Le Moine Saint-Romain 11, Mulderbosch 13, Floridene 12

Some excellent wines yesterday for Christmas Day with family. I’m going to write up the highlights in two posts. The wines deserve it. First, three whites, all of which exceeded expectations.

Lucien Le Moine Hospices de Beaune Saint-Romain Cuvee Joseph Menault 2011 Burgundy, France
Bottled for Marks & Spencer, this Hopsice wine is sensational. It has an amazing [...]