Skip to main content

Summer wines on a rainy day

I had billed this as a tasting of wines for the summer so it was inevitable that it would be raining although only half an hour before the start we were still thinking about having the tasting outside!

This was an opportunity to show some new wines and some old favourites too. New wines included both the Prosecco and Pinot Grigio from Grandi e Gabana, the former proving one of the most popular wines of the tasting. Other popular whites included new vintages from Domaine des Anges and Domaine Brusset's Cairanne "Les Travers" (both 2012) and the ever-popular Domaine des Malandes Chablis.

The most controversial white was Serradenari's "Mone" which some wondered what they would pair it with - I suggested they could simply enjoy it on its own.

I was pleased with the success of the Saria Barbera "Convento". One taster, a self-confessed fan of Bordeaux and South-West France, couldn't work around the inevitable acidity but most loved the fruit and could envisage this with a barbecue or tomato-based meal. Rightly so. The Nebbiolo divided opinion (good! It is nearly sold out) between those who like Italian wines and those who don't. It was my wine of the tasting.

French successes were more even between Domaine de Cristia's VDP Vieilles Vignes and Alain Jaume's Lirac (which we are told really is "Clos des Sixte" even if the labelling is wrong! We have tasted it alongside a bottle of estate-purchased CdS and can't find any difference).

One really pleasing result was the popularity of the two sweet wines on show: the Grasso Moscato d'Asti and Filippo Gallino's Birbet, the latter a novelty to most but well received by those brave enough to taste it.

Comments

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 Decanter.com 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