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 [...]
Does it count as a vertical when you taste just two vintages of the same wine? Not sure. But I enjoyed opening two consecutive vintages of this lovely white wine from the Roussillon. It’s made by Banyuls producer Abbe Rous, and it’s largely old vine Grenache Gris and Blanc, with some Marsanne, Roussanne and Vermentino [...]
Two lovely southern French red wines from The Sampler. They’re some of the exclusive imports that they bring in.
First, Domaine Rimbert Cousin Oscar 2011 Vin de France. 11.5% alcohol, from St Chinian, and made from Cinsault. This is a remarkable wine, mainly for the fact that it’s so honestly just what it is – lively, [...]