Sager and Wilde and the London Wine Sessions, with some great wine

Such a great afternoon. I was speaking with Doug Wregg of Les Caves de Pyrene at the London Wine Sessions in Hackney. We arrived early so headed up the road to Sager & Wilde for a quick drink (Michael Sager Wilde is pictured above). I had a quick beer (Partizan Saison Lemongrass, which I will [...]

Clos Roche Blanche Cuvee Pif 2011

This is a really drinkable, fresh Loire red with plenty of personality, but also real harmony. It’s a blend of Cot (Malbec) and Cabernet Franc, named after the owners’ (Catherine Roussel and Didier Barrouillet) dog, Pif. I picked it up in local wine shop Noble Green Wines, the first time I have seen any of [...]

Four lovely wines - Weinbach, Zidarich, Puzelat and Valli

On my first night in Canada a group of friends gathered to share some nice wines. I think they deserve a write-up, although – as usual – notes and scores do little to capture the specialness of wines shared with good people.

Weinbach Cuvee St Catherine Riesling Schlossberg Grand Cru 2009 Alsace, France
Taut, almost spicy and [...]

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 [...]