Unwinding after the final day of the trade fair with some Vouvray

I am properly tired. The third day of the London International Wine Fair (held in the Docklands, above) was a good one, but after a late night last night (at the wonderful Brawn), an early-ish start this morning, and some residual illness from the weekend, and I’m spent, gov. Nothing left in the tank. Oh, [...]

Dinner at Francis and Bronwens with Huet, Laval, Niepoort and Donald

I normally try to keep this blog of the moment, but I’ve been busy of late, and I have lots to include. So I need to mention, after the fact, Thursday night’s dinner at Francis and Bronwen Percival’s place.

It was another gathering of the convenors of the London Gastronomy Seminars. I love these meetings, because [...]

Natural Chenin and Queijo de Serra da Estrela - yum!

Wine and cheese. Not always a great match, but here’s a combination that worked well. Queijo de Serra da Estrela is a fantastic cheese from Portugal. It’s made in the Beiras region, on the border with the Dao wine region, from sheep’s milk. The sheep are farmed on the foothills of the Serra da Estrela [...]

A super Loire red from Frederic Mabileau

I’m a bit of a sucker for Loire reds. They’re the antithesis of the ‘international’ style of red wine, and they’re quite difficult to ‘get’. But they’re lovely. It’s so great to have wines like these, with a point of difference. Although I have to admit that I ordered a Mabileau wine blind in a [...]

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 delicious expressions of Cheverny

Cheverny is a little-known appellation in the Loire. Here are two contrasting wines. In the red corner, a wonderful natural-style wine that’s a blend of Pinot Noir and Gamay. In the white, a more accessible blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay (this is typical of the region’s whites, although Chenin and Arbois are also allowed).

Clos [...]

A deliciously drinkable Loire red from Druet

I still buy wine, even though I could drink myself to oblivion on free samples. A while back I blogged on Druet’s Cent Boisselees 2003 Bourgeuil, and on the back of this I have just bought six of the 2005 Cent Boisselees and six of this current wine, also in the 2005 vintage.

Now these are [...]

Cabernet Franc ambassadors tasting

Very enjoyable day’s work today, judging 103 Cabernet Franc-based reds from the Loire.

Sam Harrop has been working with InterLoire for a few years on the Cabernet Franc project, which aims to increase the profile of this wonderful variety, as well as encourage producers to make better wines through developing a winemaking protocol.

One aspect of the [...]