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Just back from the Rhone

After a short delay (the car broke down just outside Montelimar so we hired a car for a few days and had a few bonus days in the south of France - can't really complain!), we have returned from Easter in the Vaucluse where I visited most of the estates I work with and a few new ones. Universally superb although, to be fair, I probably tasted only a couple of hundred wines, all from good producers, so there are probably some duds out there.

I was particularly taken by Laurent Brusset's wines which, when I tasted them at Christmas, were unsettled. Now, just a few months on, Domaine Brusset's "Le Grand Montmirail" 2007 is going to be a superb value, even with the exchange rate falling through the floor. The fruit is quite well evolved already with none of the young fiery Grenache character that can be misleading (you never quite know whether it is going to develop properly or if it is overcropped) and some additional warmth from the second and third year barrels. At 14% it is one of the lower alcohol wines I came across - Laurent always seems to manage to curtail the ABV comparatively well.

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