With a free diary, some surplus holidays and the offer of lunch in Paris, I found myself stepping down from the Eurostar and wandering to Carré des Feuillants, just off Place Vendome.
Once again I came away with the view that the standard is high across the board, with good attention to detail; all the wines scored well for freshness, balance and precision.
If absolutely pushed to pick a set of wines drinking nicely now for dinner, I would take the following:
- Confidences Rosé Brut 2009
- Rasteau Ico(o)n 2010
- Astrolabe Vendages Tardives 2012 Gaillac
Les Combes 2013 Beaujolais-Villages fresh, balanced and elegant; textured and concentrated
Memoria Vieilles Vignes 2013 Beaujolais more old-vine core substance
Cellier des Princes 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape dark fruited, spicy, fresh and supple
Estandon Legende 2012 Cotes de Provence floral and scented, clean and pure, elegant and poised with fresh red-berry fruit
Solstice d'Estandon 2015 Cotes de Provence delicate and elegant yet athletic
Jubilation Le Pallet 2014 Muscadet Sevre & Maine creamy-leesy and fresh with a substantial texture; Burgundian
Le Fauteuil Rose 2014 Chinon fresh raspberry and pomegranate fruit with spicy, grilled notes
Ortas Rasteau Prestige 2011 dark fruit, florality, spice and liquorice with cool mint, blackcurrant pastilles; supple
Toques et Clochers edition limitee Cremant de Limoux Brut fresh, floral and expressive; substantial with toasty brioche and a southern warmth
Toques st Clochers Terroir Haute-Vallee 2014 Limoux fresh, aromatic and floral; creamy, oatmealy with sweet spices
Tutiac, Lieu-Dit Ter Pointe 2014 Cotes de Bourg varietal Malbec with dark fruits and spice; concentrated, substantial and oaky, still closed up
Prestige du President 2015 Corse rosé fresh redcurrant fruit, clean and precise
Prestige du President 2013 Corse Rouge dark fruited, expressive and inky with a Mediterranean, windswept freshness
Celliers des Princes, Les Hauts des Coteaux, Chateauneuf du Pape 2012 bigger, fuller and more complex; lots of everything. Needs 5+ years to reach maturity.
Chassenay D'Arce Confidences Brut Rosé, 2009 muscular and concentrated with delicate red fruits and a substantial, athletic core; poised, balanced and linear.
Confidences Brut BdN fresh, poised and linear; substantial, very long and fresh with leesiness, apple-and-pear fruit and a fine mousse
Ortas Rasteau Ico(o)n 2010 complex, inky texture; substantial, long and muscular with red, black and sour cherry fruit. Drinking nicely now and will age.
Tutiac, Lieu-Dit Verdot 2012 Bordeaux liquorice, spice and dark fruit with freshness and a a substantial, muscular core. Still young.
Ch Tour de Yon, St Emilion GC 2012 fresh, dark and inky with a substantial, muscular core; still closed up but spicy and full
Aurelius, St Emilion Grand Cru 2012 dark fruited with cool mint and spice; long, substantial and concentrated. Still closed up.
Astrolabe Cahors 2014 Malbec supple, harmonious and balanced with lovely, rounded tannins; dark fruit and cool mint
Astrolabe Gaillac Vendanges Tardives 2012 ripe peaches, beeswax and sweet spices cut through with freshness
London tasting of Marques et Coop
An Epic Lunch - in Pictures
Main photo by Sarah Canonge - full set of pictures here.