Skip to main content

ASDW - another trade press tasting!

The third ASDW press and trade tasting (followed by a rather hectic public session during the evening) got off to a good start with two very influential critics taking their time and taking us all seriously. I consciously included some of the less obvious wines this time. The most popular included Xavier Vignon's Champagne and "Blanc" (next time I'll have the Rouge, then no other wine will get a look in!), Domaine des Anges' "L'Archange" wines, Domaine des Côteaux des Travers' Rasteau "Prestige" (a personal favourite: lovely spiciness coupled with good red fruits and a nice veneer of oak), La Bastide Blanche's Bandol "Cuvée Estagnol" (still a tannic brute but the fruit is beginning to shout a bit louder now), Château du Seuil's deliciously international Graves Rouge and the Italian wines I showed: the "Volano" and Chianti Classico Riserva 2001 (the undoubted star of the tasting) from Il Molino di Grace, Einaudi's comparatively subtle 1999 Barolo and the unknown Super-Tuscan heavyweight "Corpo Notte" from Tenuta Monte Rosola. Somewhat inevitably, I only got a taste of each of the wines at the start of the day to check for faults (there were none) and one or two throughout the day to check for development in the opened bottle. For me then, the fun started later when I got home (by the time Henry Speer of Champers had unloaded his bits and pieces it was almost 11pm) and Jill and I spent the next three evenings tasting and re-tasting the leftovers. This is a fabulous opportunity to re-acquaint ourselves with the wines we import.


Popular posts from this blog

Decanter’s top Rhône wines under £20

The moratorium is over. Decanter’s December issue has been published and I can announce our successes in the recent tasting undertaken by their Rhône expert, Matt Walls who has recently returned from a year and a half in the region. If you look on today (November 2020), you will see a link to ‘Top Côtes du Rhône wines under £20’. What the article doesn’t tell you is that the brief of its writer was to taste and rate wines from across the valley in that price range and that the top scoring white wine was actually a Ventoux. No prizes for guessing that it was  Château Juvenal’s 2019 ‘Ribes de Vallat’ Blanc , awarded 91 points, which, at £12.60 is also the best value of any of the white wines on the list: 'From 30- to 40-year-old vines grown on granite south-facing slopes; half of the wine is matured for six months in demi-muid leaving no overt oakiness to the aromatics. Full-bodied, rich and opulent style, very ripe and fulsome. Some mango and pineapple juice. Unmist

Estate Profile: the truly excellent Domaine Ste-Anne

Simple labels adorn the bottles of these highly effective and enjoyable wines which have a distinct nod to the northern Rhône and even Burgundy and Bandol despite their southern Rhône setting. Described by Robert Parker as ‘one of the best estates in the entire Rhône Valley’, Domaine Ste-Anne has been in the Steinmaier family since 1965 when it was bought as a holiday home for this Burgundian family. Guy Steinmaier quickly recognised the potential of the 12 hectares of vines and set about replanting them.   Now under the stewardship of his son Jean, who studied winemaking in Beaune before taking over in 1977, they have remained consistent throughout making remarkably un-Parkerised wines (that is to say, these are elegant and refined rather than the blockbusters generally regarded by the former uber-critic). A quarter of a century since Parker wrote those words, Domaine Ste-Anne remains synonymous with the Côtes du Rhône Village of St-Gervais. Today the range is much the same as it was

Joblot in the glass

Always one of my favourite tastings: the new vintage – in this case the 2019s – of Domaine Joblot’s wines from the bottle and, better still, in the comfort of my own home. 2019 has been much lauded but, thanks to Covid, only a very few people have tasted widely around the vintage. Jancis Robinson said of the wines she tasted, ‘ the wines were delightfully easy to like ’ although she rarely looks at the Chalonnaise which can be viewed as unfortunate for the top estates there but, perhaps, lucky for us since it keeps prices down and wines available. Anyone wanting to delve into Joblot’s wines could either choose any available vintagesand try wines from across the range or follow particular cuvées across a range of vintages (horizontal or vertical comparisons).   Juliette was clearly pleased with the way the wines turned out and rightly so. They tend towards sweetness in their youth but that is necessary for the wines to show at their best after 5-10m years (they will last much, much long