Picpoul de Pinet ‘La Font Française’ Ormarine 2017

Picpoul used to be cheap, and unusual to find outside France until a few years ago when it cropped up more frequently, particularly on gastro-pub wine lists. Prices rose as it became more popular. My most read article of all time with hundreds of views, is Sainsbury’s Baron de Guers Picpoul de Pinet which is…

Chablis Vielles Vignes, Closerie des Alisieres

Chablis Vielles Vignes, Closerie des Alisieres is good wine from a respected producer. Good value for money, Auchan have a magnum of this at €17.99 – which is a bit of a steal, and almost makes a trip to France worth it. Tasting notes: Crisp Chablis with flavours of citrus, white peach and some minerality. Wine…

Gevrey-Chambertin, Les Sentiers de Belene

Gevrey-Chambertin is one of the most prestigious and revered names in Burgundy, often referred to as ‘the king of Burgundy’. The appellation is entirely for red wine specifically my favourite red wine grape: Pinot Noir, and boasts 9 Grand crus, the most of any Cote d’Or communes; it also has 26 Premier crus vineyards. It…

Cuvee Royale Crémant de Limoux, Waitrose

How does Waitrose Crémant de Limoux compare with other fizz at similar price points?  Sparkling wines from Limoux, nestling in the foothills of the Pyrenees are said to pre-date champagne. In 1990 the term Crémant was introduced for non-Champagne sparkling wines in France, an AOC for more “modern” or internationally-styled sparkling wines. AOC regulations dictate…

Languedoc, Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference

  I have been looking at how Tesco’s updated ‘Finest’ range (which teams up with good producers and releases own-label wines that are interesting and reasonably priced) compares with Sainsbury’s ‘Premium’, Taste the Difference range. As a punter, it pays to seek out the maker’s name. Few winemakers are more consistent than Paul Mas. My…

Saint Mont – Tesco Finest

More from Tesco’s ‘Finest’ range of interesting and reasonably priced wine. My three journeys through and around France so far this year have taken me far and wide and reminded me of the vast difference in hospitality that this country offers. From jovial bonhomie to total hostility: I’ve had it all. Often in the same…

Cotes de Gascogne – Tesco Finest

Tesco’s updated ‘Finest’ range is doing a good job of teaming up with good producers and releasing own-label wines that are interesting and reasonably priced.  good wine. Tasting notes: From the ‘Cotes de Gascogne’ region of South West France. Crisp, fresh flavours of green apple & citrus. Dry and faintly aromatic. Good value for money….

Gaillac – Tesco Finest

I’ve been working my way through the Tesco ‘finest’ range for the last few months and am reaching the conclusion that they are generally very good; a well thought out, appealing range of wines from decent producers at reasonable prices. Tasting notes: Gaillac is from the South West of France. Crisp, fresh flavours of citrus,…

Paul Mas Sparkling Picpoul Chardonnay

When he started out in the late 1990s, Mas set out to make wines to export: “Selling wines to the French is like trying to sell hamburgers to the Americans.”  Consequently, he exports, to 58 countries, 97 per cent of the 20 million bottles he produces annually. An alternative to Prosecco, this wine appeals because of…

Ackerman Cremant de Loire

I visited the Loire Valley and stayed at  La Demeure de la Vignole just outside Saumur (https://www.demeure-vignole.com/). It’s a complex of ‘Troglodite’ caves, once home to a poor community of farmers, now home to a luxury hotel. The two sparkling wines I liked most were Bouvet-Ladubay in central Saumur and this one, towards Turquant where…

Chablis Vieilles Vignes Pierre de Prehy – Brocard

Chablis Vieilles Vignes Pierre de Prehy – Brocard is good wine from another well respected producer – not cheap, but for a few pounds more than many other Chablis you get more complexity & minerality – better wine for your money. Tasting notes: Crisp, elegant Chablis with flavours of citrus, white peach and some minerality….

Domaine Reverdy Ducroux Sancerre ‘Beau Roy’

Domaine Reverdy Ducroux Sancerre ‘Beau Roy’ is one of my favourite Loire Valley sauvignons; more supple and less pinched than most Pouilly Fumes… Tasting notes: Light and soft, with notes of apple and balanced acidity. Refreshing, fruity and ready to drink. Wine Colour – White Price – £13 – from Sainsburys Current Vintage – 2016…