Southern Rhône

The wines of the Southern Rhône

Andover Wine Friends 10th anniversary tasting and dinner

In November 2007 Janet and I set up Andover Wine Friends with our very first public tasting at The Lights, Andover.  Five years on we had a happy party at which members all brought a bottle to share. For our tenth, we held a dinner for 26 in our house and a tasting on the

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two dominant varieties, two vintages

Things that can go wrong … in the MW tasting exam

My recent post trumpeted my last-minute preparation for the MW tasting exams.  I have now done the exams, the list of wines have been published but we are still some months off knowing the results.  It is now time to reflect on the experience of things that go right in the exam and, sadly more interestingly,

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Line up

Final week before MW exams

MW exams loom. What does the MW student do in the final week before re-sitting the tasting exam?  Three papers of two hours and 15 minutes each, 36 wines in total to be discussed in detail, all served blind.  The task is to discuss their origin, the varieties they are made from, how they were made,

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Rhone again

The Rhône valley has been our wine region of choice in 2013.  Overton’s blind tasting group has chosen it no fewer than four times in the last year. Clearly we can’t get enough of it as this week’s tasting – north and south, white and red – was a great success.  As it turned out

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Bankers to the impossible

The November ‘bring any bottle you like’ version of Overton’s blind tasting group produced three categories of wines – bankers (wines you had a chance of spotting), ‘on a good day’ (if the force is with you) and ‘you have got to be joking’.  Plus one in the ‘mission impossible’ class as well. Most quality

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More than a hint of greatness?

The idea of the ‘second wine of an estate appears to have started in Bordeaux with its large estates and volumes of wine.  The very best grapes (hopefully from a good majority of the estate’s vineyards) will go into the grand vin leaving the producer with a problem with the remnant.  If this was put

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White Rhône

The Overton BBC followed up its recent north and south Rhône tasting with a white Rhône evening.  But we started with a very welcome interloper brought by one member who generously contributed a bottle of Krug Grande Cuvée Brut to start the evening off.  Some rules are made to be broken!  It’s not from the

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North or south?

Getting a grip on the Rhône

Overton’s blind tasting group themed tasting this month was quite simply Rhône reds. Between us, we managed – without any conferring – to bring 10 different appellations, five from the north and five from the south.  Out first challenge was to identify whether the first flight of five wines was northern or southern. Mercifully there

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Rhône varieties – home and away

Following last month’s highly successful tasting on Bordeaux varieties in search of sunshine, this month’s fine wine supper focused on the Rhône varieties.  In fact, this turned out to be too big a subject matter, but we had such great wines from the northern Rhône that it became a matter of ‘home and away’.  The

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Southern Rhône class

The ‘Bring a bottle’ club’s theme this month was the southern Rhône, an interesting counterpoint to the usual preference for the mainly more prestigious wines of the northern section of this great river.  But it proved an inspired choice with some great bottles, both white and red.  There were a few disappointments too with oxidized

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