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Sunday, 29 January 2017

Jasoun Vieilli en Fut de Chêne, 2014 – Côtes du Rhône Villages

An oaked Rhone, bought locally

The last bottle brought back from a holiday in the Rhone; a €7 medal-winner, aged in oak.

More New World than Rhone-esque, it is blinged up with prominent oaky spice and jammy fruit; technically very sound indeed, but stylistically undifferentiated and could be from any warm, bigger-is-better part of the world.

Jasoun, 2014 Côtes du Rhône Villages Darkly fruited with juicy, jammy cassis and toasty-oaky spice, violets and garrigue; fine rounded tannins. Very Good.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Kopke 10 Year Old Tawny Port

A wood-aged tawny port from Kopke

Tasted blind, you would be forgiven for failing to spot this as a tawny port - there is sherry-esque, tangy fragrance and wood spiciness with the fresh-savouriness of a Madeira.

The tawny hallmarks of red fruits and eucalyptus are there - they are just not what you notice first.

Long, complex and mellow, it is lovely.

Kopke is the first and oldest port wine house; this 10 year old tawny is a blend of wines aged for an average of 10 years.

Kopke 10 Year Old Tawny Port (around £20, independents) Complex spicy-roasted nut aromas with dried fruits, wood and honey; fresh and vibrant with sweet red fruits, butterscotch and molasses. Smooth, sweet and soft, with an harmonious finish.

Match with Christmas pudding or cheese.

Friday, 13 January 2017

An Epic Lunch In Pictures - Part Deux

Lunch at Carré des Feuillants in Paris, courtesy of Marques et Co-op

Great meals can be special for a various reasons - the food, the wine the company, the location. Sometimes all of the above.

After a tasting of Marques et Co-op wines, we sat down for a seven-course, two-star lunch with the producers (photos by Sarah Canonge)

Arcachon oysters with caviar
Chestnut veloute
Red mullet and sea urchin
Fougeru (cow's milk cheese)
Crepe Suzette
After-dinner petits fours
Wines from Corsica - Prestige du President
Two Rhones from Cellier des Princes

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Win A Bottle of Fizz For Valentine's

Win a bottle of fizz from Chateau Thieuley for Valentine's

I recently reviewed a bottle of Crémant de Thieuley from Bordeaux - and rather enjoyed it.

Made in same traditional method as Champagne, it uses local Bordeaux grapes; the end result is a fresh, elegant fizz with mineral complexity.

The wine is usually available only over Christmas, but the owners of Chateau Thieuley have offered a bottle in time for Valentine's day to one lucky (UK-based) winner of my competition.

The rules are very simple - just add a comment to this article using disqus explaining why a bottle of this Crémant de Bordeaux would make your Valentine's day extra special.

Closing date for entries is January 31st 2017 in order to ensure the wine arrives in plenty of time for the big day.

Entries will be judged by the winery owners Marie and Sylvie Courselle, so it is these two lovely ladies that you need to impress:

Now, what are you waiting for?

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Four Beaujolais Wines From Agamy

Four Beaujolais wines from Agamy, available via Enotria

After tasting the wines of Agamy in Paris (and London), they sent me a few more of their range to review.

If you are new to Beaujolais, the wines are fresh and fruited with black cherry, spice and some florality; juicy and gluggable, they are uncomplex and suitable for drinking young.

If they can be relatively expensive at the bottom, due to their popularity with the well-heeled nearby Swiss, they are also inexpensive at the top - most bottles are priced in a narrow band between £10 and £20.

All of these wines are typical and enjoyable, if not better than that. The better wines show more concentration and complexity.

Match with duck breast, salamis or rilettes.

Beaujolais-Villages, Louis Tête 2014 textbook entry-level Beaujolais with cherry fruit and spice; really enjoyable.

Brouilly, Louis Tête 2015 Black and red cherry fruit with pencil shavings, spices and florality. Fresh, vibrant and supple with good underpinnings. Good.

Beaujolais, Romany 2014 violets and fresh black cherries with spice and old-vine
substance. Vibrant and supple. Good.

Beaujolais-Villages, Domaine de l’Aubépin 2015 fuller, riper and more darkly fruited; slightly stewed and warming, but balanced and full of stuffing. Good.