"Buy my book about the Roussillon on Amazon UK in paperback or eBook or black & white version, and Amazon USA: paperback or eBook or black & white. OR BUY IT DIRECT FROM ME (UK & EU only). Also available in the US from Barnes & Noble in hardcover, paperback or eBook. For other countries, tap on the link above the cover (below)." Richard Mark James

02 August 2014

Wine tastings and courses in Belfast Oct to Dec 2014

Follow this link to WineWriting.com for details: "Wine Education Service NI (that's me) evening wine tastings, five-week courses and one-day workshops scheduled from early October to early December in Belfast city centre are as follows..."

Wine tastings and courses in Belfast Oct to Dec 2014

Wine Education Service NI (that's me) evening wine tastings, five-week courses and one-day workshops scheduled from early October to early December in Belfast city centre are as follows:

Wines of Italy Saturday workshop
October 4 from 10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Cost: £90 including 2-course lunch
"On our 'Wines of Italy' one-day workshop, we'll take you on a guided tour around several of this varied country's different wine producing regions and taste and talk about a dozen high quality wines. These will include classics from northern Italy, such as Piemonte and Veneto, central Italy such as Tuscany and Umbria, and the deep south e.g. Sicily, Sardinia or Puglia..."

18 July 2014

Bordeaux has moved...

You'll now find everything Bordeaux updated and neatly pruned - click on the title links below to read these two crammed pages:
Bordeaux 'retrospective': new page with archive features (2003-2001) on Pomerol (Vieux Château Certan, Le Pin, Gazin), Château Falfas & biodynamics and Bordeaux travel 'famous Châteaux spotting'...
"During the meanwhilst," just to prove I'm not entirely stuck in the past, I'm working on a big report on Portuguese wines from the Lisbon area (as well as a spot of decorating...): "watch this space" as they say...

Bordeaux retrospective

As well as updating my hearty Bordeaux page, I've resurrected some more archive features and created a second new Bordeaux page (follow the links below):

Pomerol "invasion of MW students" in two parts: featuring Vieux Château Certan, Le Pin, Gazin (2003).
Château Falfas: "biodynamic in Côtes de Bourg" (2002).
"Bordeaux travel, in brief..." (scroll down to bottom of page) - celebrity château-spotting with Beychevelle, Ferrière, Margaux, Lafon-Rochet, Cos d’Estournel, Lynch-Bages, Lagrange, Rauzan-Ségla, Saint-Émilion; and eating and tasting posh but not dear at Le Bistro du Sommelier... (2001).
I might add all the accompanying tasting notes at some point too, if I can be bothered and can find them in my 'digital archives'...

26 June 2014

Languedoc & Roussillon: Domaines Auriol

Les Domaines Auriol, brainchild of Claude Vialade (pic.) who set up the company in 1995, is a producer and property owner with organically run vineyards in Corbières, operates as a broker buying and selling other estate wines and varietals and also offers a winemaking service sourcing tailor-made wines for clients from a whole host of partner wineries across the big south. Apparently they export 90% of production, so it shouldn't be too difficult to find some of their wines in a country near you. I was told Myliko is the UK importer but couldn't find any obvious Auriol wines on their site.


More info @ www.saint-auriol.com, where I found Claude's imaginative and amusing catchphrase: "Redécouvrir l'artisanat industriel," roughly translating as "Rediscover mass-produced craftsmanship," obviously a contradiction in terms but I think she's poking fun at snooty wine people who believe all big is bad. I remember seeing signs for "pain industriel" in French supermarkets, used in a patronising if not deadpan accurate sense like that. Anyway, here's a small selection of her wines sampled over the last few months.

2012 Les Flamants Picpoul de Pinet – enticing yeasty edges, oily vs crisp mouth-feel, concentrated and stylish dry white.
2012 Belles du Sud Cabernet Franc – nice Cab Franc styling showing red pepper notes vs a smokier and richer side.
2012 Domaine Mirabau Côtes du Roussillon (Grenache, Syrah) – a tad 'volatile' and soupy perhaps but has nice soft rich palate.
2011 Intense de Claude Vialade Languedoc (Syrah, Grenache) – attractive ripe dark fruit style with a hint of spice and grip vs lusher mouth-feel.
2011 Croix d'Aline Saint-Chinian (Syrah, Grenache) – lots of lovely sweet cherry and liquorice fruit, ripe and soft palate with complex smoky maturing notes.
2013 Château Cicéron rosé - attractive style dry rosé with creamy red fruits vs lees-y and crisp mouth-feel.

31 May 2014

Rhône: Domaine Brusset, Cairanne

Laurent Brusset's hillside vineyards are found around the old ring-walled village of Cairanne (about 20 km northwest of Orange, not far from Rasteau) and in the nearby 'Plan de Dieu' area (yes, it does mean something like "God's land"). Laurent has just stormed the 22nd 'Cuvée Alliance des Vignerons' competition with his red 2012 and white 2013 (the first time one winemaker has won both I'm told) picked from wines submitted by the 16 member wineries of the local Winegrowers' Association. Appropriately enough perhaps, without venturing too far into fact-geek territory, since Cairanne is one of the 16 'named' Côtes du Rhône Villages appellations. Laurent says his philosophy is "always trying to keep the wine's fruit." More info: www.domainebrusset.fr

2012 Les Chabriles vieilles vignes red Côtes du Rhône Villages Cairanne (old vines: 60% Grenache, 40% Syrah; 40% of it aged in demi-muids; 14% abv) - aromatic and earthy blackberry, kirsch and cassis with peppery liquorice notes; full-bodied and quite punchy, concentrated and fruity with light touch of 'chalky' tannins and subtle dark chocolate bitter twist; warm and powerful with lovely vibrant dark fruit, spice and grip. Yum. £15 for the 2011, Big Red Wine Co (UK).
2013 Les Travers white (Grenache blanc, Viognier, Roussanne; 30% of it barrel-fermented with lees stirring; 13% abv) - yeast-lees and nutty edges with fresh vs baked pear fruit, subtle power, honeyed and white peach too vs aniseed tones and light coconut grain texture; almond flavours and rounded mouth-feel vs a more 'mineral' touch, lees and coconut tones too on the finish. Perhaps needs a few months in bottle to integrate more, good wine though. £12 for the 2012, Big Red Wine Co.

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