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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
 Truffles
Duck
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.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Chateau Lanessan 2003, Haut-Medoc

A mature Medoc received as a gift from a friend / colleague

Fully mature Bordeaux would be one of my desert island wines; mature Medocs have a wonderfully distinctive aroma of capsicum and earthiness.

This 2003 was born into a very hot year - and it shows as a baked character to the fruit, despite the relatively low 13% alcohol. Now 13 years old, it is fully mature and at a peak, but will continue to age.

Chateau Lanessan 2003 classic aged Medoc aromas of dried red capsicum, cedarwood, old leather and earthiness. Ripe red and bramble fruits, spice, green herbs and a slightly baked character that reveals its warm-year origins. Fresh and supple with fine, fully-resolved tannins.

Good.

Match with plain roast meats - especially fowl or game.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Crémant de Thieuley - fizz from Bordeaux

Crémant de Thieuley - fizz from Bordeaux

Bordeaux is not best known for its fizz, but Crémant de Bordeaux, made by the traditional method, is A Thing.

This Crémant de Thieuley is made from a blend of Bordeaux grapes Semillon and Cab Franc and is aged for 18 months on its lees.

Crémant de Thieuley Brut, NV orchard and white stone fruit with leesiness, minerality and citrus freshness; elegant with a fine mousse.

Will develop further with age.

Good.

Drink as an aperitif, as a Champagne-alternative or match with light seafood starters.

Available during the festive period at Mitchells & Butlers outlets.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Brouilly, Louis Tête - Agamy

Brouilly, Louis Tête - from Agamy, available via Enotria

More fruity than floral, Brouilly is the largest and most southerly of the ten Beaujolais Crus.

This Louis Tête is both typical and faultless - what's not to like?

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

Good.

Match with duck breast, salamis or rilettes.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Denbies Noble Harvest - An English Sticky

An English dessert wines from Denbies

English wine's success story is fizz - which at its best can outperform all other sparkling wines.

The table wines, needing a longer growing season, remain more of a pleasant curiosity than a compelling proposition - the reds even more so than whites.

So what are the chances of finding a convincing dessert wine?

One would expect them to be low.

And yet this Denbies Noble Harvest makes a strong case for English dessert wines - even, unlike our fizz, if they do not yet rival the best the world has to offer.

Denbies Noble Harvest 2015 (£19.99, half bottle, Waitrose) Ripe poached peaches and apricots with heady, elderflower blossom, sweet spices and honey sweetness. Delicate, elegant and fresh. Balanced and pleasing, its limitation is a lack of substance and length.

Sip after dinner or match with a fresh fruit flan.