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Showing posts from April, 2012

From the Southern Rhone to Canterbury

Last night was my annual jaunt to the south of Kent for a tasting with the group. Group chairman/secretary (I am never sure what the roles are), Keith Powis had been called away so there was quite a different dynamic than usual but he was missed. The tasting was very lively and the wines were well received - all showing rather well.

The wines I took along (one non-Rhone but who's counting?) were:


White wines Mourchon, Côtes du Rhône 2010 “La Source” DomaineTreloar, VDP Côtes Catalan 2010 “Terre Promis” (really lovely wine, coming together well)
Red wines Domaine deCristia, VDP Mediterrannée 2010 (mini-Chateauneuf, excellent price) Domaine de la Charité, Côtes du Rhône 2010 (very pure CDR)
Perrin, Vinsobres 2009 “Les Cornuds” Raymond Usseglio, Côtes du Rhône 2009 (mini-Chateauneuf, a real contender)
Domaine Bressy-Masson, Rasteau 2009 “Paul-Emile” (just gorgeous) Domaine des Côteaux des Travers, Rasteau-CDR Villages 2007 “Prestige” (masterful)
Domaine de Cristia, Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2005 (cla…

Herts Fine Wine Society

Just back from Easter in the Vaucluse (a working holiday, at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it) and straight into a wine tasting for a group I haven't met before but who received me generously on Monday evening and seemed to like the wines I presented.

First up was a pair of whites: Mourchon's Viognier "La Source", a wine for the summer and Coteaux des Travers' more serious and ageworthy (but not dissimilar) "Marine". Both wines have lots of Viognier and Roussanne so are highly aromatic. On the night, the Mourchon offered the easier drinking but the CDT is clearly the master here.

Easing into the reds, Cristia's 2009 CDP Grenache "Vieilles Vignes" is just about there now, the wood which was, perhaps, a little too evident is beginning to give way to some sweet, fragrant fruit with a Burgundian elegance. I defy any Grenache detractor not to enjoy this wine with a summer lunch.

Next, a pair of classic wines: Bressy-Masson&#…

World Malbec Day... yesterday

An Argentinian initiative but, frankly, when you get beyond the £6 or £7 wines they do well, I think you are better off looking at Cahors. OK, so I am spoilt for choice with my relationships with Cedre, Lamartine and Haut-Monplaisir but these estates all prove that it is possible to make wines that burst with fruit (in the same way as the Argentinian wines do) but don't leave a saccharine taste in the mouth; rather, they have superb structures to go with burly meats like duck (an obvious choice given they come from the South-West), lamb (think Agneau de Quercy) and a juicy, bloody steak. Sadly, I didn't have any input into last night's meal which was chicken wings so no Malbec for me. Tonight, however, lamb shanks - not the most obvious dish for Cahors but I have to make amends somehow.

Astonishing wine from 1978

Puig Parahy is not a name that is well known but it deserves to be. Georges Puig makes some very good wines at his family's estate in the Roussillon region of southern France but what the family has long excelled at is offering mature vintages of exquisite Rivesaltes Rancio wines.

When we visited the estate just before Easter 2011, we were fortunate to arrive a couple of hours after The Wine Advocate's reviewer for this region had left. That meant that not only were there bottles out for tasting meant for us but older vintages of both the table wines and the Rivesaltes. Indeed, this was the first time in my life I tasted a wine older than anyone I have ever - to the best of my knowledge - met.

The youngest wine was a 2009, nowhere near ready for bottling but showing good potential. The 2005 was already displaying some of the Rancio characteristics and, skipping the odd bottle here and there (not that I did during the tasting), I found that a jump of six years seemed to bring o…