This is going to be one of those slightly frustrating, short-on-words, big on pictures posts. It’s just that I am in the Loire, in Blois, not far from Touraine, and – as often happens on these sorts of trips – I’m so busy that blogging is tricky.
The Castle of Bois
I arrived yesterday evening, [...]
I spent today in the Languedoc, doing some work. The work was actually quite enjoyable: I was tasting a selection of 90 of the estate wines from Les Grands Chais de France, with a view to selecting 12 ‘ambassadors’ – wines that Grands Chais could use to show to the press and trade what they [...]
When Viognier is good, it can be great. I remember first being introduced to the grape in the early 1990s. Then, it was quite rare, with a reputation for being difficult to grow. Now you get it everywhere, and it can be very ordinary. When it fulfils its promise, however, it produces the most beautiful [...]
Continuing in my theme of brilliant wines under £10, here’s a Ventoux that I was seduced by. It’s one of those wines that manages to hold the sweet fruit and savoury notes in tension. It’s almost Burgundian, in a southern Rhone sort of way.
Gonnet La Jeannette Ventoux 2011 Rhone, France
14.5% alcohol. Not too deep in colour: [...]
Beaujolais is becoming a very interesting wine region. Most of it is red, of course, but here’s a great white example that offers amazing value for money.
Jean-Paul Brun Chardonnay Classic Terres Dorees 2011 Beaujolais, France
12% alcohol. Complex, rounded, nutty and toasty with mineral notes as well as apple and pear fruit on the nose. The [...]
This is a really good example of how Beaujolais is becoming SERIOUS.
It’s naturally made, from organically (in conversion) farmed vineyards. It is from vineyards at almost 500 m in elevation, on a south-facing plt on pink granite, planted at high density from 50 year old vines (10 000 vines per hectare).
Julien Sunier Fleurie 2010 Beaujolais, France
Along with a good portion of the wine trade, today I attended the Union des Grands Crus 2010 tasting at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. This is a very popular tasting because it is the first time most people will have seen the final bottled wines from the new vintage.
I asked some experts their [...]
I’m currently in the Loire for a quick visit to give a talk about the science of Sauvignon, with my buddy Sam Harrop who for the last few years has been involved in a very interesting Sauvignon project with InterLoire.
Last night we had a lovely dinner at Bistrot Le Cuisinier, in the pretty town of [...]
Love this wine. Affordable but with some complexity. Fun yet a bit serious. Chunky but not inelegant. Ripe yet savoury. A perfect house red for autumn/winter.
Domaine Coudoulet Syrah 2011 Pays d’Oc IGP, France
14.5% alcohol. Fresh, vivid black cherry and blackberry nose, which is rich but defined with sweetness and some floral, peppery notes. The palate [...]
Continuing a rather sporty weekend, on Saturday I was a guest of InterRhone at the Twickenham double header.
Two games of premiership rugby and a feed, with good company and some nice wines. What’s not to like?
The Laithwaites contingent: Becca Reeves on her phone, and Tom and Henry Laithwaite
I even took some notes of the [...]