Two lovely Sancerres from Jolivet

Sauvignon Blanc isn’t a boring grape. It is capable of greatness. Here are two lovely Loire Sauvignons from Pascal Jolivet. Jolivet has 70 acres in Sancerre and Pouilly Fume, and also buy in grapes (about half their production needs).

Pascal Jolivet Sancerre Les Caillottes 2012 Loire, France
13.5% alcohol. From an 8.65 acre parcel with 40 [...]

My thoughts on the Huet debacle

So, leading Vouvray producer Huet appear to have banned two UK-based wine journalists. Both Chris Kissack and Jim Budd were refused tasting pours by Huet at the recent Salons des Vins du Loire for some comments they’d made on a previous vintage, which happened to be the first one with a new winemaking team in [...]

Vagabond, Drakes Tabanco and the Draft House, a great night out

London is an interesting place for food and drink these days. Last night I went out with buddy Daniel Primack of Around Wine to have some fun in Charlotte Street, taking in three establishments that represent the best of London’s new gastro/booze scene.

We started of at Vagabond (pictured above), which I reckon represents the future [...]

A lovely Touraine Sauvignon

On my recent travels to the Loire, I have been lucky enough to bump into Lionel Gosseaume, who is making some superb wines. This Touraine Sauvignon really delivers for the price. He’s one of those producers where you just buy anything he makes.

Lionel Gosseaume Domaine de Pierre Touraine Les Sauterelles 2012 Loire, France
Aromatic, fresh, grassy [...]

A big night out at the chief's!

Feeling a little tired after a wonderful evening at the chief’s last night. The chief is Harpers editor Richard Siddle, who convened a gathering of chums to eat and drink well together at his pad in Clapham. It was a very late night, but the company and the wines made it worthwhile. The evening began [...]

Four impressive Loire Sauvignons

Yesterday I tasted through 33 different Loire Sauvignons with a view to selecting 14 to present at Vinexpo next week. These had all won gold or above in competitions, so they were a good bunch. Here are four that stood out to me.

Henri Bourgeois Sancerre ‘La Chapelle des Augustins’ 2011 Loire, France
Complex, intense and powerful [...]

Clos de la Coulee de Serrant 2009, a controversial wine

This is a controversial wine. It’s from biodynamic high-priest Nicolas Joly, who in Clos de la Coulee de Serrant possesses what is universally acknowledged as a special terroir. It’s just that lots of people don’t like the wine he makes, with some claiming oxidation, and others objecting to the 15+% alcohol levels.

I happen to love [...]

Video: visiting Sancerre by helicopter

Here’s a short film shot from my recent visit to the famous Loire village of Sancerre, by chopper. It proved quite an eventful journey: on the way, the door I was sitting next to came open. It looked quite a long way down. The pilot had to land in a field in order for me [...]

Judging in the Concours Mondial Sauvignon Blanc

The Loire at Blois

I’m just back from a few days in the Loire, where I was part of a large international jury judging the Concours Mondial du Sauvignon competition.

The location of the tasting

We stayed in Blois, and tasted in the rather spectacular castle of Blois. We were some 60 judges, divided into teams of [...]

Dinner at La Trouvaille in Blos, with interesting Loire wines

On Friday night, I had dinner at La Trouvaillle in Blois. By its decor, this doesn’t seem a terribly high-end restaurant, but the food is really good and the wine list adventurous.

I was dining with an interesting group: sommelier Henri Chapon, winegrower Lionel Gosseaume, and Dutch journalists Lars Daniel and Chris Alblis. We enjoyed some superb beef, and [...]