Day 2. On the bus nice and early, and a drive up the coast to Paso Robles, a large wine region that’s half way between Los Angeles and San Francisco, and one that is struggling to find its identity, a bit like an angst-ridden teenager.
We began with an overview, and a tasting of eight wines [...]
Charles Spence, the noted red-trousered Professor of Experimental Psychology at Oxford University wrote one of my favourite books of late, titled The Perfect Meal. I think I had a lunch today that would get pretty close, at Social Wine and Tapas with Dan Keeling of Noble Rot.
Of course, I was primed to like it. Our [...]
Had a nice dinner last night with three lovely Rhône wines. I just love the Rhône. It’s inconsistent but can be so lovely.
Domaine St Prefert Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc 2010 Southern Rhône, France
Broad with nuts and spice and fine stone fruits. Lovely texture and mouthfeel with some spiciness under the pear and peach fruit. Stylish [...]
This was another Prowein discovery. It’s from biodynamic Vacqueras producer Le Sang des Cailloux. This is the domaine’s traditional cuvee and it alternates over a three-year cycle with the names of each of the daughters of proprietor Serge Férigoule: Floureto, Doucinello and Azalaïs. I was so impressed I have just bought some: it has an almost Burgundian [...]
Southern Rhône, I have neglected you.
We used to be good friends.
When I first got into wine you used to give me a lot of pleasure. Vieux Telegraphe and Beaucastel, in particular, were happy wines for me.
But then you started getting all spoofy on me. You chased points, you got rich, you started driving expensive cars, [...]
Jean-Luc Colombo, based in Cornas, is a Rhone modernist. His Cornas wines aren’t in my favourite style, I’m afraid. But I do like the wines he makes when he tries less hard: I bought a case of his northern Rhone Vin du Pays a year or so back, made from declassified young vine Cornas fruit [...]
A merry crowd gathered in the garden of Jörg Pfützner’s home, for an evening of wine and food, including Bruwer Raats, David Clarke, Harry Haddon, Roland Peens, Greg Sherwood, Justin Knock and a few others. We came in good cheer, many armed with smart bottles.
Proceedings kicked off with a glass of Egon Müller’s Scharzhofberg Kabinett [...]
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 [...]
Great tasting of Rhone 2009 put on by Berry Bros and Rudd in the grand but rather dimly lit surrounds of One Great George Street, in Westminster (this place is especially depressing during the daytime in winter; in the evening you can get away with the poor lighting).
It was [...]
I’ve neglected the Southern Rhone a bit of late. Here’s a good one, from father and daughter team Bernard and Celine Chauvet of Domaine Grapillon d’Or (www.domainedugrapillondor.com)
Domaine Grapillon D’Or ‘1806’ Gigondas 2008 Rhone, France
14.5% alcohol. Old vine Grenache with a bit of Syrah. Richly aromatic, this has sweet, lush, almost liqueur-like dark cherry fruit on [...]