A brilliant cheap Gamay from the Ardèche

This is fabulous, and it’s cheap. It’s a £5.49 wine that has more than a hint of seriousness, as well as a lot of fun.

Marks & Spencer Vin de Pays de l’Ardèche Gamay 2013 France
12% alcohol. Made by Cave Saint Desirat, this Gamay has lovely aromas of cherries, herbs and flowers. The palate is juicy [...]

Syrah from Canada! And Gamay, and Cabernet Franc

I’m steadily writing up my producer visits from my recent trip to Ontario wine country. The latest report is from the visit to Tawse, where my highest-scoring wine was actually a small-production Syrah.

I love cool climate Syrah, and Niagara can do it pretty well if this bottle is anything to go by. Of course, you’d [...]

G Descombes Regnie 2011, a serious Beaujolais

I just love this wine.

I know that’s not very profound, but it’s utterly delicious. It’s one of the naturally made new wave Beaujolais wines, and it’s just so good.

G Descombes Régnié 2011 Beaujolais, France
12% alcohol. Quite deep in colour. Brilliant, fresh, bloody, a bit meaty and really mineral, with some iron notes as well as [...]

An attractive Gamay from a new appellation: Bourgogne Gamay

This is an appealing, fruity, vibrant Gamay that comes from a new appellation, Bourgogne Gamay, created in 2011. It’s Gamay from Fleurie, Chénas and Régnié, plus 15% Burgundy Pinot Noir. The Louis Latour wines are always so beautifully packaged, but sometimes they can be a little lacklustre. This is a good one, though.

Louis Latour Bourgogne [...]

A lovely Brouilly from Romain Jambon

Romain Jambon is a new discovery for me. He’s a fourth generation, 23 year old winegrower in Beaujolais, with 7 hectares in Brouilly to play with. This wine is really fine, and blind I don’t think I’d go to Gamay at all – probably more in the direction of a lighter cool-climate Syrah. It’s one [...]

Julien Sunier Morgon 2009: a serious expression of Beaujolais

I really like this. It’s a Morgon from Julien Sunier, who has been making his own wines only since 2008. He farms three hectares in Morgon, Regnie and Fleurie, working organically. Winemaking is traditional.

This wine still tastes absolutely delicious two days after opening, so I reckon it has the potential to develop for a few [...]

Two natural-tasting, affordable French wines

Always good to find decent, natural tasting French wines that I can afford. Here are a couple imported directly by London merchant Roberson. Both are organic.

Julien Sunier Beaujolais-Villages 2008
12.5% alcohol. Fresh, bright and quite light with cherry and berry fruits, some grippy, slightly grainy tannins and good acidity. Subtle earthy, mineral notes add interest. Some [...]

Two natural Beaujolais

Two interesting expressions of Beaujolais, from a couple of the natural wine crowd. Beaujolais is a real hub of natural winemakers, many of whom were inspired by the late Jules Chauvet, widely recognized as the father of natural wine.

Jean-Claude Lapalu Brouilly 2007 Beaujolais
13% alcohol. A startling wine: fresh, spicy and a bit animal, with a [...]