Syrah and Serine

I have just written up the wines of Eric Texier, who is doing some really interesting work in the northern Rhone. For me, his two best wines are both made from Serine, which is a special clone of Syrah (some people claim it is actually a separate variety; there’s quite a bit of confusion about [...]

Two lovely, affordable French reds from the Sampler

Two lovely southern French red wines from The Sampler. They’re some of the exclusive imports that they bring in.

First, Domaine Rimbert Cousin Oscar 2011 Vin de France. 11.5% alcohol, from St Chinian, and made from Cinsault. This is a remarkable wine, mainly for the fact that it’s so honestly just what it is – lively, [...]

Two brilliant 2010 Chateauneuf du Papes from Caillou

I really enjoyed these two brilliant examples of Chateaneuf du Pape from Le Clos du Caillou, a domaine with just 9 hectares in the appellation, as well as 44 hectares in Cotes du Rhone. They’re from the 2010 vintage, so I am assuming they are cask samples, although the bottles I received seemed to be [...]

Northern Rhone series 16, Domaine Clape Cornas Renaissance

Hmmm, I’m enjoying this Northern Rhone series. A chance to drink some wonderful wines. Here’s the latest: it’s a Cornas from Clape, but it isn’t at all rustic. Some people still characterize Cornas as producing rather stern, rustic wines, but I don’t think this is the case any more. It’s a serious appellation.

The Clape family [...]

Northern Rhone series 3, 1967 Hermitage

So after two white Hermitage wines, we’re heading to Syrah, but sticking with the Hermitage hill. This wine is very interesting. It was a gift from Richard Kelley MW, who’d bought a few bottles at auction, and knew it was my birth year.

Now 1967 is not a great birth year for wines. I don’t have [...]

Natural wines with Doug at Brawn

Had a tremendous evening last night with Doug Wregg at Brawn, out in the wilds of E2 (near Bethnal Green and Hoxton).

It was my first visit to Brawn, which, like Terroirs, is backed by Les Caves de Pyrene, importers of interesting terroir-driven and natural wines. The setting is informal, and the food is based around [...]

Two Chateauneufs: Beaucastel 99 and Vieux Telegraphe 95

Nice to be able to compare these two side by side. The Beaucastel had the slight edge, although it’s not a competition of course. The VT 1995 is a wine that I’ve drunk on several occasions over recent years, and it’s probably worth drinking it up soon-ish. However, taste in old wine is quite a [...]

A busy day's tasting: IGP and Cote Rotie

So, today has been a busy day of tasting. It began with the IGP Top 100 tasting in Parson’s Green. Now IGP is what used to be Vin de Pays, and the goal of this tasting is to sift through 700 IGP wines and come up with a list of the 100 best.

Doug [...]

A lovely wine dinner: Dom P, Jamet, Vieux Telegraphe, Conseillante

Went over to my sister’s last night for a spot of dinner. Brother-in-law William is a wine nut, so we had a few nice bottles open.

First off, Dom Perignon 2002. It’s rich for a Dom P, but quite lovely and elegant. This was contrasted with a more evolved Drappier Grand Sendree 1999. Then we moved [...]

Lunch at the Harwood Arms, followed by City v Fulham

Awesome day yesterday. Will Willis and Stuart Bowman-Hood of Freixenet UK treated Joe Wadsack and I to some fine hospitality: lunch at the wonderful Harwood Arms in Fulham, followed by a visit to Craven Cottage to see Man City take on Fulham.

Joe was late, so while we were waiting for him, we started with [...]