The wines of the Loire Valley

galestro soil

Mineral muddle

Alex Maltman, Vineyards, Rocks, and Soils. the wine lover’s guide to geology, Oxford, 2018 In John Szabo MS’ otherwise excellent book, Volcanic Wines (2016), there is a particularly alarming example of poor logic. It comes when talking about the derivation of wine flavour and texture from the geology and soils of the vineyard. He cites

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Dagueneau and Cotat

Sancerre stars

The two stars of last night’s Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé tasting: Dagueneau 2007 and Cotat 2004: opulent and taut respectively.

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La Trompette

Five courses, four groups of wines at La Trompette

Monday’s nights can be special nights.  This last Monday Janet and I joined eight others in a ‘Michelin madness’ dinner at which we all provided the wines while enjoying the very good cooking – and arresting artwork – at La Trompette in Chiswick.  Five fine courses, four groups of wines – Champagne, whites, reds and

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Taste like a wine critic cover

Taste like a wine critic?

I was very excited to find that Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW had published a full, book-length, study entitled Taste like a Wine Critic. A Guide to Understanding Wine Quality (The Wine Advocate 2014).  The literature on tasting as an activity is quite limited, while there are any number of books about wine regions or reviews of

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L Sbrocco, Y Shi, J Thomson, D Gleave

Sauvignon 2016 insights

The timing of my Family of Twelve scholarship was finally determined by the dates of the International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration which was held in Marlborough on the first three days of February 2016.  Fully subscribed at over 300 delegates this brought together speakers and wine makers from around the world with a substantial Kiwi presence.  Billed

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Blind tasting – a laugh a minute?

Our regular blind tasting group teetered between concentrated attention on some fine, puzzling wines and outright hilarity.  Prizes for the best sayings of the evening must go to Rob who described typical north European Rieslings as having ‘psychopathic flintiness’ and to Stafford who, among the reportable bot mots, claimed that a pint of real ale

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Blind tasting bulls-eye?

This meeting of Overton’s blind tasting group should have been a so-called ‘BBC 2’, that is on a theme, in this case, sparkling wine. But we postponed that for another day and so had a completely random tasting, each person bringing a bottle of their choice. And my, was it difficult … or were we

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Inferences true and false

February’s Bring a Bottle Club was off into unchartered territories … again.  It was, however, the last time when we had some clues.  The custom has been for each person to bring their bottle or bottles suitably shrouded but for all to know who has contributed each wine. This inevitably leads to inferences being made

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Classic, regional, new world?

November’s Bring a Bottle Club was a somewhat random affair – two French classics (Sancerre and a Loire Cabernet Franc), some good regionally important wines (Friulano from Friuli, Grenache from Roussillon, Treixadura from Ribeiro, a Xarel-lo/ Riesling blend from Penedes) and a brace of New World wines (Californian Merlot, White Bordeaux blend from the Cape).  

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Ben’s modern classics

Ben Llewellyn of local wine merchant Caviste starts in a philosophical mode for the monthly tasting of Andover Wine Friends.  His theme is ‘what is a modern classic?’  Is it a meaningful concept or just a piece of wine trade nonsense?  We can talk meaningfully about the classics of literature or art or even wine

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