Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Right, so back to the blog. Shocked to notice that it has been 3 years since I attempted to start this blog. This time I will make it a regular thing!!

A lots has happened since that last post, unsurprisingly. A third little girl has recently come into our lives, lots of wine has been consumed, the world has been travelled (a bit), Brexit and age has started to catch up with me.

So what has spurred me on to commit this time round? A stonker of a comment from my four year old that needed to be documented.

As I was showering this morning she came bounding in to tell me about how she was going to cook us breakfast in bed and what did I want. Whilst musing over what I fancied, I finished showering so stepped out to dry myself off. This caused a number of giggles and pointing say 'I can see your woolly (willy,sic)' I am well used to this now but then she pipes up with, 'Why do you have a hole in your woolly?'.....

Hmmm, how do I answer this. It is 6:30 am and I am trying not to laugh while thinking about how deep to take this penis discussion with my four year old daughter. Thankfully she got distracted by her elder sister appearing after my brief explanation 'to wee out of it' was about as much as I had mustered. An interesting start to the day to say the least.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Wonder Wine

It has been a while, I can't quite get into a routine of regularly posting but I am going to make more of an effort form know on. However, I did have to wax lyrical about a wine I have drunk a fair amount of recently. Surprisingly it comes from my local Spar and it always does the job. 

The wine is a Vinsobres 2007 by Celliers des Dauphins. Vinsobres is a little known and fairly young appelation in the Southern Rhone. It has a relative high altitude so the wines can have a touch more structure and elegance than some of the lower appelations. The wines must be 50% grenache and at least 25% Mourvedre or Syrah.

The Celliers des Dauphins is one of the leading co-operatives in the region and I believe this wine is a good example of their quality.

The wine itself shows it age on the nose with some earthy notes, brambly fruit and a good slap of oakiness. The alcohol is fairly obvious but this is to be expected as it is 14.5%.

It is a dry red with lots of sweet dark berry flavours, fresh acidity and a fine tannic structure. It shows stewed plums, damsons some white pepper spice and it is smooth and moreish. It mouth-filling and intense and has good length. again the alcohol is a little prominent, it is full but by no means heavy.

The best thing about this wine is it is only £5.59. There are not many wines that give as much flavour intensity for so little. The slightly higher altitude is obvious as it is not as big and bruising as some Southern Rhone reds can be. I would happily drink this every night but there is just too much good wine out there that I  would miss!

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Champagne de Vigerons

I was lucky enough to go to a tasting of grower champagnes yesterday, organised by the Champagnes de Vignerons, a group of about 5,000 independant wine-growers and winemaking organisations. Sadly there were not 5,000 champagnes to try but 13 growers with a range of their products. The venue was Fulham Palace, a perfectly nice venue, one I know well but not the most convenient and it seemed a rather odd choice as it not the most convenient of venues.

The  Champagnes de Vignerons was set up to promote the diversity of the different regions and growers citing their passion and expertise and this certainly showed at tasting.

The way we drink Champagne we rarely get to notice the variety that is out there. The different regions all have their predominant grape variety and with this comes different styles blends and ideas that fascinate me.

For example, the Cote de la Bar, I have never knowingly tasted wines made specifically from this region. The area grows predominantly Pinot Noir and that is reflected in their blends. Giving richer, wines with obvious red fruit flavours and fine bubbles. Two wines I was very impressed with were Richard Royer and R.Dumont et Fils. Both had real passion and interesting ranges. the former experimenting by stopping malo on his vintage champagne which gives it a real freshness. R.Dumont has his vineyards very high in the valley and the added acidity from the cooler temperatures is obvious but well balanced through out his wines.

In the Cote des Marnes Pinot Meunier is dominant and it was represented heavily in the wines with a number of Blanc des Noirs champagnes made from 100% Meunier. The wines were rich and opulent but some a little heavy. Gaudinat-Boivin was my favourite from this region. All his wines had spent considerable time in bottle before release and complexity is there for all to see. All his wines were high quality and and age worthy.

As the name suggests, the Cotes des Blancs is where Chardonnay thrives. Champagne Gimmonet Gonet showed extremely well. Another young grower with real passion for his produce, he has a great range, three Blancs de Blancs which range from the fresh and easy Cuvee Or through to the Cuvee Carat made from only 1er cru grapes grown in Mesnil sur Oger, a very fine and elegant champagne with great complexity and balance.

A mention has to go to Lionel Carreau for thinking outside the box, Pinot Blanc takes up a fifth of their top cuvee and are they  planning a 100% Pinot Blanc next year, one I will definitely be keeping an eye out for that!

All in all, this was a tasting I thoroughly enjoyed as I got to taste champagne with a different focus. Unfortunately I think it will be tough for these delicious wines in our market as we just do not drink enough champagne on an everyday basis. Coupled with the fact that even these wines will not be at everyday prices, I find it hard to see where they might sell. Perhaps there should be more emphasis on region on Champagne labels for grower champagnes and a promotional drive to highlight the differences with a hope to generate more interest in the differences and styles. It was a real pleasure to be able to taste champagnes out of the norm of the big houses who's styles whilst good are the same year in year out and use grapes from many different regions.

Grower champagne, could and should be much more popular leading to higher quality and availability however this would need a huge shift in the way we buy and drink champagne plus we may need a little re-educating in what champagne is all about. I fear this may not happen in the near future.

Monday, 22 October 2012

My here aim is to put down my thoughts and experiences in regard to my wine drinking and tasting. I hope this will help me to remember better the things I especially liked and maybe one day influence some else in to trying something new. The world of wine is a vast and confusing place but one with a huge amount of passion and expertise. It is this diversity and passion that really interests me and I hope to be able to put down in words.