Archive for the ‘Tastings’ Category

Alain Geoffroy Chablis: A quality report.

Posted on: October 13th, 2016 by Andrew No Comments

A quick trip to Mâçon offerred the opportunity for a stop-off in Beins to visit Chablis producer Alain Geoffroy, with whom we have worked for 5 years. Met in a sunny courtyard of the now sprawling Geoffroy estate by Pascal Sailley, the export manager, we were whisked off on a little tour of the winery. Geoffroy is not a big estate but houses in its chais the modern panoply of winemaking equipment, facilititating the reliability and drinkability of this Northern Burgundian wine, which is often, like this year, very much at the mercy of the weather. After a petit tour, where we saw the equipment being washed down after the completion of the rather meagre harvest, we were shown their piece de resistence – the largest collection of corscrews and wine paraphenalia in France , the Musee de Tire Bouchon. This was extraodinary; rooms and rooms of cabinets stuffed with corkscrews of every size, shape and vintage. This was quite a surprise and not what one normally gets on a winebuyers winery tour. Some pictures below to give a bit of an idea


Once the tour was over, the serious business began. Discussing the state of the Chablis 2016 harvest and tasting the previous two or three vintages.

As you may be aware, Chablis was hit badly by hail in June, with most producers losing most of their 2016 crop. Geoffroy is down by 2/3rds, but some have lost nearly everything. This means that there will be very little, if any, wine for sale next year. Geoffroy has customers in 30 countries as well as France, so the little they have will be spread very thin. For us in the UK, the so far tangible result of the referendum in june is the collapsing value of the pound, so what little we get will also be much more expensive. As to the quality, the rest of the season was good so the wine should also be of good quality, but we wont know for sure until next spring. If Pascal mentioned it, I missed it.

But what about the wines, you say; well as usual they were stunning. We tasted a range from the 15 vintage going back to 2012 as follows:-

Petit Chablis 15 – tight, crisp, very fresh, medium bodied with lively fruit. V good

Chablis 15 (in UK stock now) Rich and very ripe, almost opulent and rounded. Dry full and long. Not quite classic Chablis but v drinkable.

Chablis 15 Vieille Vignes (50/50 barrel and Stainless Steel) – Lively and rich with the ripeness of the straight chablis with a layer of young oak under. Still unbalanced but should develop complexity with bottle age. Lovely wine

Chablis Premier Cru Vau Ligneau 15 – This is more classic Chablis. Long, clean, racy flinty and dry. Elegant and sinewy, this is superb.

Chablis Premier Cru Beauroy 15 – Powerful much broader wine, rich long and still a little closed.

Chablis Premier Cru Beauroy 14 – fantastic, complex, dry, long superbly balanced wine. Still tight and flinty on the finish. Delicious

Chablis Premier Cru Vau Ligneau 12 – Ripe, layered, dry , full, long with tight minerally fruit. Again elegant and stylish

Chablis Grand Crus Les Clos 13 – This is very ripe and extracted with loads of oak and fruit. A little too Burgundian for me – I prefer stainless steel!

The discreet charm of Henri Bourgeois

Posted on: February 10th, 2015 by Andrew No Comments

A buying trip to Sancerre

I had never been to Sancerre, so Paul, with whom I was travelling, suggested that on our trip to Mâçon, we make a small detour to Chavignol and pay a visit to Henri Bourgeois (more…)

Wine tastings 2014

Posted on: November 11th, 2014 by Andrew No Comments

You are all welcome to our annual Christmas tasting at the Church House, Crowcombe, Taunton TA4 4AD These will be held on Friday evening, November 28th and Saturday from 10 AM till 4 PM November 29th

Furthermore we are holding a tasting on Friday 21st at Long Sutton Village Hall in aid of the Church Appeal. Tickets are £10 and numbers are limited so please give us a call on 01963 440404 or email if you would be interested in attending.

The re-rise of the new New World

Posted on: April 28th, 2014 by Andrew No Comments

Ok so they never really went away – but I am sure I am not the only lover of proper ie European wine, who has noticed the resurgence in drinkable, good value New World wines.

Once upon a time all we wanted was a taste of that sunshine in a glass that was the Aussie Wine Invasion, spearheaded by that embodiment of Aussie ebullience, Oz Clark. His enthusiasm was infectious and soon we were all drinking the stuff. But then a number of factors conspired to drag down the good name of Château Chunder and as the special offers piled up, serious wine drinkers turned their backs.

Not strictly true of course. In life things are never quite so cut and dried. Great boutique producers across the New World continued to make iconic wines that held their own against their European competitors. But the middle market remained a no-go area which producers in France and Spain rushed to fill (refill?)

But I detect a change. Perhaps it is a move back to more European styles that is recreating that excitement but suddenly complex, elegant wines are springing up all over the place at that crucial £10 mark. Two I can namecheck straight away.

Stellenbosch in South Africa is no stranger to iconic wines, but the good ones have normally been expensive as well as a little on the heavy side for me. But a recent tasting of some of May de Lencquesaing’s Glenelly wines, a recent venture by the iconic Bordelais producer, blew me away. Okay so they will probably retail nearer £11 but the Glass Collection range was spot on; nervy, citrussy Chardonnay – no oak of course – A Merlot that I could have drunk all day and a Syrah that that had all the complexity and depth one hopes from this variety. I loved them and will be listing them very soon.

The other is from Riverland’s finest winemaker, Anthony Murphy, at Trentham Estate in New South Wales. I have been a long time fan of this winemaker; for me he has always managed to marry that Aussie opulence with a little French restraint, but a tasting today of his recent Estate range cements that reputation. His entry level Pinot Noir was spot on – a triumph of restrained cherry fruit, sinewy acidity and long savoury finish – and all under a tenner! And from the Riverland too. Dont take my word for it, see what James Halliday has to say, a man not easily impressed:

93 Points & Special Value Wine James Halliday
“Excellent crimson-purple; this is pure gold-plated magic, winemaker Tony Murphy the wizard; it is a delicious pinot noir with perfect weight, texture and precisely defined spicy red berry varietal fruits. In a million years I would never guess its Riverland origin if served blind”.

The Chardonnay and Merlot, whilst a little pricier were equally interesting. And fantastically drinkable. And under £12! What is not to like.

I will be tasting more good value New World offerrings over the next few weeks as I work on our new Summer selection. If anything turns out to be half as good as the above, I will of course let you know.


Tastings – 2013

Posted on: October 24th, 2013 by Andrew No Comments

We have two tastings this autumn, here in Weston Bampfylde BA22 7HY and  at the Church House Crowcombe TA4 4AQ

Weston Bampfylde:

Friday November 29th  Village Hall 6.00 PM till 9.00

Crowcombe Church House

Friday 22nd Nov 6.30PM till 9.00 PM Saturday 23rd Nov

Qawc’s Corks Nicolas Paget 2003 Chinon Loire

Posted on: October 8th, 2013 by Andrew No Comments

2003 was a hot year if memory serves, with out of character wines produced in Bordeaux and other southern regions, many of which appeared to peak too soon. A recent tasting of one of our old favourites Chateau Tuilerie du Puy Bordeaux Superieure 03 put me right.  Admittedly it was with lunch, but with food it was drinking perfectly, with lovely cedary sweet fruit and a long dry finish.  Just as a claret should. To think, we passed it over for the next vintage once we had sold it all back in 08. Meanwhile I am now trying another 03, this time a Chinon from our regular Loire supplier, Nicolas Paget at Rivarennes, who has a few acres in Chinon and thus can make the wine. (more…)

Qawc’s Corks – Cabidos Petit Manseng

Posted on: August 12th, 2013 by Andrew No Comments

Once in a while I come across a wine that fails to fit with the prevailing view, a wine so odd and eclectic that most of the time one would ignore it – a curio perhaps, like Walter Massa’s Timorasso or the Orange Wines of Georgia and Armenia. Such a wine is the subject of my latest encomium, a rare beast from an even rarer region – in fact it isn’t even from a wine region at all except that it comes from South West France where grapes grow in abundance. (more…)

Chateau Lestevenie – a personal visit.

Posted on: August 8th, 2013 by Andrew No Comments

On our family perambulations around South Western France I realized that we would be passing near Bergerac and thought it would be a good idea to have a look at Humphrey Temperley’s operation in person,  especially as we are his chosen representative in the UK (more…)

Qawc’s Corks – Côtes du Rhône Domaine des Pasquiers

Posted on: July 16th, 2013 by Andrew No Comments

The sun has been shining now since Glastonbury and there appears to be no let up in sight. Good news as we are off on our hols this weekend and are hoping for more of the same, though a little rain wouldn’t go amiss in the garden – I am expecting to come back to a desert.  Meanwhile, we are making the most of the weather and eating outside a lot.  Us Brits tend to think of white and rosé wines for drinking on hot days with light lunches, but a moment’s reflection would recall that most hot climate regions make red wines, which are drunk enthusiastically by the locals in all weathers, normally accompanied by a glass of water. (more…)

In House Tasting with Stevens Garnier

Posted on: July 1st, 2013 by Andrew 1 Comment

An interesting tasting with Ed Brewer from Wine Importer Stevens Garnier. We have been customers in a sporadic way of this firm for many years and have recently been wooed by some of their Portuguese wines which are now the mainstay of their business as the company is wholly owned by Sogrape, a leading producer of Port and Table Wine in Portugal. (more…)

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