Skip to main content

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 one of my own clever clogs) as being of the mammatus variety, these being, in effect, upside downclouds which, said expert explained occur when the cold, moist pockets 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 can’t give you a picture of because (a) it hasn’t properly occurred this year yet (a brief flirtation last night but that’s all so far) and (b) my technological wizardry has yet to master how to take a still image of a (literally) flying circus, is tonight’s extravaganza of shooting stars, known as Perséides. (Some of you will, by now, have figured where this is going.) The useful people who tell us everything we need to know, and much we probably don’t, at Wikipedia enlighten us that the Perseids (Perséides to the French) are ‘a prolific meteor shower associated with the comet Swift–Tuttle. The meteors are called the Perseids because the point from which they appear to hail lies in the constellation Perseus’.

All well and good but I will still need to revert to the clog’s expertise to find Percy in the sky, my knowledge of the stars being restricted to the frying pan known to more serious watchers as the Great Bear or Big Dipper (which always put me to mind of the roller coaster at the Great Yarmouth funfair for some reason). Still, if meteors are to be seen whizzing about the skies, no doubt I will be in for an impressive light show this evening… clouds and light pollution permitting.

Anyway, one thing is clear: there is only one wine to drink this evening and that, of course, is Chateau Juvenal’s very own cuvee Perséides. Ah, but red or white and which vintage? I have in my local stash 2016 and 2017 of the red and 2018 and 2019 of the white. Decisions, decisions… Always tricky when the alternatives are all rather splendid.

Of course, I know the answer really. There is half a bottle of Riesling in the fridge so that lets out the Blanc and the 2016 Rouge is in a fantastic place at present - more Grand Cru Burgundy (at £24/bottle? That's not even Village level for anything decent!) than you can reasonably expect from Ventoux grown Grenache, this variety was gorgeous in this vintage and only a vinous criminal could be expected to make a hash of such good grapes. The good people at Chateau Juvenal are anything but.


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