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 [...]

Les Terres d'Ocre Saint-Pourcain, a delicious Gamay Pinot blend

Located in the Auvergne, Saint-Pourçain actually has more in common with the Maconnais than the Loire, with Chardonnay, Gamay and Pinot Noir the main varieties. (You can read more about this small but interesting appellation on Richard Kelley’s site.) This is an inexpensive but delicious wine that’s a 60/40 blend of Gamay and Pinot. Worth [...]

A nice fine wine dinner with Burgundy, Bordeaux, Loire and South Africa

Last night we had a lovely dinner at Terroir, hosted by Keith Prothero. This is the restaurant on the Kleine Zalze estate, and the food was very good. The wine and the company were better though. In attendance Gary and Kathy Jordan, Rianie Strydom, Nicolette Waterford, Greg Sherwood and Keith and I. As usual, notes [...]

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 [...]

Two amazing wines from François Cotat

He’s the total star of Sancerre. François Cotat (note, there’s a relation, cousin Pascal Cotat, and the wines of the two shouldn’t be confused) is one of the Loire’s most revered producers. Based in Chavignol, he has just three hectares, of which 0.5 ha is Pinot Noir. The Sauvignon is picked quite late, and then barrel [...]

Fine wines with lunch, old-school wine trade style

These wines were recently tasted at a rather fine lunch at La Trompette, which is a great restaurant. It went on a long time, as you can imagine. I’m always struck by how well older bottles of top Bordeaux show in these situations, and how inconsistent red Burgundy can be. And the Rhône can be [...]

The fabulous Pascal Jolivet Sancerre 2013

I love this wine. It’s from a relatively cool vintage, and it has a brilliant tension to it. Starting off with a small negociant business in the 1980s, Pascal Jolivet began buying vineyards in the early 1990s. Now he has 65 hectares (42 ha in Sancerre, 8 ha in Pouilly Fume and 15 ha in [...]

Three lovely wines: Rousseau, Dujac and Cotat

So, the final instalment of my write up of Tuesday’s lunch wines. The great thing about sharing a bottle among four is that you get to drink a decent quantity, and you have time to consider your opinion. Great wines often do change in the glass. Also, as tasters, we change with time – even [...]

Some wines from a weekend away

Just been away for a weekend with family, staying in a lovely house in Puddletown, Dorset. It wasn’t a wine geeky sort of weekend, so I brought along some good solid wines that delivered a lot of pleasure, without being at all wine nerdy.

Marks & Spencer Macon-Villages Uchizy 2013 Burgundy, France
From Raphael Sallet, 13% [...]