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Showing posts from June, 2011

2009 Southern Rhone wines just arrived

For some reason it has taken much longer than usual to organise the various collections but, except for Domaines Grand Veneur and Coteaux des Travers, the 2009s are now in stock (and a handful of 2010s). The big question is what to crack open first! Tonight I am out to a barbecue so I will take a bottle or two from my own stocks to celebrate: perhaps Cristia 's Cotes du Rhone "Garrigues" and Stef Usseglio 's Cotes du Rhone.

Serradenari Barbera 2006

I have been wanting to try this again for a while but the bottle I had got out of stock was obscured underneath something else with a lot of wrapping so I had forgotten about it until last night when I needed something to go with spaghetti (a typical Monday evening meal in these parts). Absolutely what I was expecting from this. Nice, deep, plummy fruit and almost searing (but not quite) acidity that sliced through the tomato better than any of the knives in our kitchen. Good depth to it, enough to match the rich sauce. I did import a different Barbera a couple of years ago which was quite oaky and very drinkable on its own but less so with food. I had forgotten how much the Serradenari one sells for; it's a good value wine.

Marco Maci "Duca d'Antene" 2001

A chap in Norwich bought some of this recently and seems to have enjoyed it - see here . Apologies to anyone else who read my blog last October and has been waiting for me to report on this wine! I did taste it (and enjoy it) but completely forgot to post.

Last night in Lakenheath

The wine tasting group that meets at the Brewer's Tap in Lakenheath asked me to conduct an impromptu tasting last night so a quick round up of some of the less expensive Rhone wines seemed in order. The Domaine des Anges rose was appropriate for the warm summer evening but, for me, the wines of the night were Domaine de la Charite 's 2009 Cotes du Rhone, fresh and sweet-fruited with an easy structure that offers much in the way of versatility. The other stand-out wine for me was Domaine Grand Veneur 's 2007 CDR Villages "Champauvins" which, for the first time, really did come across as a mini-Chateauneuf rather than a top CDR with potential. Perhaps it was tasting it alongside the various other wines but I was very impressed with this one.

Funny goings on at Domaine des Anges

Some irreverent answers given by Domaine des Anges ' owner, Gay McGuinness to questions asked by a South African  publication: (A) Your full address ? postal address: Domaine des Anges, 84570 Mormoiron, France; physical address: Domaine des Anges, Quartier ND des Anges, 84570 Mormoiron, France  (B) History of the winery. Domaine des Anges is a beautiful, small, hillside estate in the Ventoux in the Southern Rhone region of France. It looks out across a large valley towards Mont Ventoux – the Giant of Provence – with spectacular views on all sides. The estate covers 40 hectares and is overlooked by the chapel of Notre Dame des Anges and a 12 th century Moorish tower, living together happily in the sunshine of timeless, historic, rural France. The total area of the vineyard is 18 ha. There have been vineyards here since Roman times. We do not know the name of the original owner, but it is believed that he was stabbed to death by a group of Roman p

More wines from Piemonte - Fabrizio Battaglino

I seem to be drinking (sorry, make that "tasting") a lot of Italian wines these days but it's not my fault. When the pallet arrived with Enrico Giuseppe's wines (a 2006 Barbaresco Riserva was quickly removed and consumed), an extra case was discovered from one of Enrico's friends, Fabrizio Battaglino. Fabrizio is a winemaker in the Roero district, north of the Langhe region where Barolo and Barbaresco hail from. Nebbiolo is still the main grape here and Fabrizio concentrates on this for most of his reds. Last night, we treated ourselves to a tasting of the three reds he had sent. First, a 2009 Nebbiolo d'Alba which is aged in stainless steel for 12 months. Young fruits dominate the nose – sweet, red, summer fruits (strawberry and cranberry) which follow through to the palate which has some spice, good concentration and mouthfeel (medium bodied) and  soft tannins which are slightly dry at present (it’s a young wine) and mute the wine a little at this stag

Nada Giuseppe wines now in the UK

A Danish importer who specialises in wines from Piemonte caused a whirlwind of interest in Enrico Nada's wines when he presented them at a dinner in London in March (I think). There was so much interest but no-one to bring them in so I offered to help. As soon as I did so, Enrico sent me some samples which were duly tasted. First was the Langhe Bianco, a delightfully fresh wine, enjoyed with Ciaran Rooney from Domaine des Anges on a baking hot day in the Vaucluse shortly before Easter. We were impressed enough to move on to the 2006 Barbaresco Riserva. Quite simply, this is a stunning wine: the texture is so silky and the fruit has so much there. It is quite possibly one of the best Nebbiolo wines I have tasted. That rather clinched things for me: from that moment, Nada Giuseppe had a UK importer. A couple of days later, other wines were tried: I liked the other (non-Riserva) Barbarescos but, for my palate, the Riserva was so superior for very little extra. I especially enjoyed