For my latest piece in The Buyer, I wrote up a couple of tastings I’d been to recently where Malbec, everyone’s favourite steak wine, played a major role. From America to Africa to Europe, Malbec around the world is pushing forward great guns. It’s a great time to be a Malbec lover!!
I recently got the invite to head off to Southern France for the 50th anniversary celebrations of Foncalieu Wines, one of the largest co-operative wine makers in the region. I was um-ing and ah-ing about what I’d find to write about over there, but thanks to the immaculately afro’ed Romain, I found my angle…here’s my latest piece in The Buyer about the changing attitudes of Co-op Wineries!
Down in Maçon, in Southern Burgundy, there are a few producers who deserve a bit of respect. Or at least more so than they think they’re getting. I had the immense pleasure of having dinner recently with Audrey Braccini, head winemaker at Domaine Ferret in Fuissé, and this topic was a hot one for her.
A few weeks back I headed down to the Crus Bourgeois tasting in London’s glamorous Pall Mall area to taste my way through some of the best value wines Bordeaux has to offer. Whilst there I managed to grab five minutes with Armelle Cruse, VP of the Crus Bourgeois, and asked her a little bit about who they were and what their plans are. Really nice lady, do check this out…
Unless you’re into cricket, you won’t know who Blowers is. Henry Calthorpe Blofeld is arguably the most famous cricket commentator in the UK, and is famed for his very eloquent, Old Etonian style of taking us through the summer’s cricket for Test Match Special, an absolute institution on British radio. In fact I’ve just been listening to it this morning and heard Michael Vaughn and Jonathan Agnew talking about last night’s knees up round Blowers’ place, and nailing back his own label wine. How have I not tried Blowers’ wine?
After I got through my latest set of Diploma exams last week it was time to get my head back on 20h33. JB’s been working hard on a brand new website, with bells and whistles all over the place, for the past few months. It’s looking amazing, and am really looking forward to getting it working for the UK. But before all that I’ve got a shed load of inputs to find and translate first. But it’s ok, I’ve got this French lark….”je m’appelle” and all that!
I got an email a few weeks back from a fella called Richard Bampfield. He’s an MW and a bit of UK boff when it comes to the wines of Bordeaux, so he’s someone I take a keen interest in following given my Bordeaux connection with 20h33. So when all of a sudden he was inviting me to come and taste through a range of Bordeaux wines, and then rate them on behalf of the Bordeaux Wines UK it was a bit of a humbling thing. Someone like that ask you to do that? That’s pretty damn cool.
I had a great day out of the Big Smoke, last week, down to Kent, to go freeze my nuts off and do some digging in the dirt. Doesn’t sound all that appealing does it? Well how about if I clarify it a bit, as we were planting vines for the first Champagne Grand Marque to officially land on our shores. Domaine Evremond, a new venture for Champagne Taittinger, is now the proud owner of row after (slightly wonky) row of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, as the quest for increasingly swanky and gorgeous English bubbles hots up.
It’s been a lot of fun recently as the guys and girls from the Bordeaux Wines UK team have been in touch and inviting me down to a few of their gigs. It works really well for me as I work with Bordeaux wines for my job, and all these do’s that the CIVB (Bordeaux Wines) put on are just kicking me down the line to being better at my job. Which helps!
I’m sat here in the shop at Pichon Baron in Pauillac, stealing their WiFi, as my Primuer week comes to an end. Primeur week is where wine-o’s come from all the way around the world to try the most recent vintage (2016) of wines from Bordeaux. The week has a lot of critics, because the wines are so far from being the finished article. But there are always some lessons to learn form the week…