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 [...]

A tasty Malbec from the Loire

I was interested by this wine. Really modern packaging, and use of the variety name Malbec rather than the normal Touraine name for this grape, Cot. It’s riper than the average Loire red, a category of wines that I’m unusually drawn to.

Jean Francois Merieau Malbec Cent Visages 2009 Touraine, Loire
12% alcohol. Very modern packaing with an [...]

A brilliant, but rather different, Argentine Malbec

I’ve been following this wine over the course of a couple of days. It’s an Argentine Malbec, but not as you know it.

It is made by Vincent Wallard, a former wine bar owner, and Emile Heredia, a natural winegrower from the Vendomois in France. According to the blog of Les Caves de Pyrene, the UK importers, [...]

A brilliant unoaked Malbec at the Gaucho

Met up with my buddy and co-author Sam Harrop today for lunch. We were at Gaucho in Richmond, sitting outside as the swollen Thames flowed by in dappled sunlight, plotting our next moves in wine world domination, and sharing our mutual guilt at having made less progress than we really ought to have made on the book [...]

World Malbec Day, an English salute

Table 9: hard working, uncomplaining!

Day 2 of the International Wine Challenge, and it was a big one. The team I was working with tasted 160 wines today. A lot by any standard, and by the end we couldn’t have done many more and still have done a good job. This is week 1, where [...]

Dinner at le Mange-Grenouille, Saint Aignan sur Cher

Another nice dinner, this time at le Mange-Grenouille in Saint Aignan. No frogs: just some delicious wines and really impressive food, including a really nice pigeon and one of the most visually appealing desserts I have had in a while. Two slightly less well celebrated Loire varieties shone. First, Romorantin, and second Côt (aka Malbec [...]

A Malbec from New Zealand that I really like

A lovely, fresh expression of Malbec from a country not normally associated with it: New Zealand. And at a penny under a tenner, this is cracking value for money.

M&S Nelson Malbec, Seifried Estate 2011 Nelson, New Zealand
14.5% alcohol. Unoaked, this is a vivid red/purple colour. Highly aromatic with joyful, fresh aromas of damson and raspberry. The [...]