Skip to main content

NYE - a round up of the last ten days in the Vaucluse

What a place to spend Christmas and New Year in! We came with friends who have returned to London for New Year and the only disappointment has been the lack of snow on Mont Ventoux on Christmas Day. Never mind; a delicious capon and all the trimmings that all four adults demanded from their own childhoods made up for this. The weather has been reasonably kind too - whereas it is barely above freezing at home, we have seen temperatures of up to 17 degrees (although it was minus seven on the mountain so, perhaps, not such a bad thing there was no snow).

The wines I have tasted from 2009 have been exceptionally good. I don't remember 2007 being any better. Critics who have suggested this is, perhaps, only a four star vintage compared with the 2007's five stars may be right of course. I can only judge it by what has passed my lips and, given the quality of the estates I have been fortunate enough to befriend over the years, I won't be passing these up either personally or professionally.

A few highlights from the last week or so (estates are listed alphabetically; see individual blog entries):

Domaine des Anges, Ventoux 2009 "Seraphim" is an exciting new wine from Ciaran Rooney and his 2010 Viognier is going to be lovely this summer.

Domaine Bressy-Masson, CDR 2009 punches well above its weight (but wait a couple of years and Paul-Emile will sky-rocket).

Domaine Brusset, CDRV Cairanne 2009 "Les Chabriles" continues to be a perennial favourite (but the CDR is a superb bargain) and, of course, the Gigondas should sell themselves.

Domaine de la Charite: Christophe Coste's Chateau Capucine Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2009 is a star in the making but I was extremely impressed with some really fabulous 2008s and the excellent 2007 "Les Ombres" Syrah.

Domaine des Coteaux des Travers, Rasteau 2009 "Prestige" and Cairanne were both irresistible.

Domaine de Cristia's old vine Grenache CDR is packed with potential and as for the Chateauneufs...

Domaine Grand Veneur, Lirac 2009 "Clos des Sixte" (all the red wines, really, and the old vine Roussanne)

Domaine de Mourchon's Grande Reserve (in two or three years time) should be as good as the 2007.

Raymond Usseglio's 2009 Part des Anges is simply stunning, one of my wines of the vintage, but the Imperiale is rather special too (and the regular Chateauneuf and Cotes du Rhone are rather good too!)


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

Postcard from Provence

With lockdown more or less over, we made a dash to the other side of the Channel and are currently languishing in the Vaucluse  d épartement , home to the wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape  et al . Mont Ventoux, known to cyclists the world over, is staring at me as I write, only providing a shield from the sun in the early hours of the morning before the heat hits. Exercise here, recently so highly prized (the French were allowed no further than 1 km from home to exercise during their lockdown), is necessarily limited to a gentle morning stroll around the village to collect bread from the  boulang ère.  In time it may be possible to acclimatise but, looking at the locals, I wouldn’t bet on it. France went into lockdown before us, of course, and came out earlier as well so, if we in the UK are fortunate, what I am seeing is a glimpse into the future. We are welcome here – I know plenty of people with concerns about this but it is the Parisians they fear most here it seems. The UK, until

Watching and drinking Perseides concurrently.

Being British, I am obliged to comment on the Provencal weather this summer. Mostly hot with the occasional Mistral wind and, a few weeks ago, a threatened storm which yielded some highly unusual clouds, identified by a friend’s meteorologically talented daughter (moments before o ne of my own clever clogs) as being of the mammatus variety, these being, in effect, upside down clouds which, said expert explained occur when   the cold, moist poc kets of air sink rather than rise. Pic included of clouds over neighbouring property (would you believe me if I said it was sunny over us? No?).   What I ca n ’t give you a picture of bec ause (a) it hasn’t properly occurred this year yet (a brief flirtatio n last night but that’s all so far) and (b) my technological wizardry has yet to master how to tak e a still image of a (literally) flying circus, is tonight’s extravaganza of shooting stars, known as   Per séide s . (Some of you will, by now, have figured where this is going.) The useful peop