The excuse was a couple of weeks to sort out my year end but, inevitably, I have done no paperwork whatsoever although the tax man cannot say I have not been working.
Arrived here on Sunday and on Monday went off to Gigondas where they are working on the Caveau with the walls being held up by big metal things (my technological vocabulary could be better!). Went off to Clos des Cazaux, an excellent estate which has holdings in both Gigondas and Vacqueyras. Unfortunately, they set the pattern for what seems to be the norm down here: tell everyone how great 2008 is and get shot of it quickly. The wines were not all bad though but it was the superb Grenat Noble (a later harvested, botrytised Grenache) and Prestige (largely Syrah), both from 2006 which impressed.
At the temporary Caveau, there were walls and walls of 2008s and a handful of other vintages. For old times' sake, I tasted the 2007 Notre Dame des Pallieres (nothing to do with the VT-owned vineyard) which had a delightful elegance to the fruit unlike one or two others which were a little jammy (Terme) or worryingly tannic (Redortier which, sadly, has never been the same since Etienne de Menthon handed over the winemaking reins to his daughter).
On Thursday, I picked up a friend from the airport in Nimes and popped into Chateau du Campuget - their 2007 Cuvee Sommeliere (pure Syrah, apart from the oak) was extremely good but their other label, Chateau l'Amarine "Cuvee des Bernis" was a steal at 7,50€. I bet it costs rather more in the UK!
Tomorrow I hope to go to the fair in Chateauneuf. I will report back later!