Every January the small village of Ampuis in the Northern Rhone plays host to the annual Marché aux vins, a salon that attracts a global audience of Syrah and Viognier enthusiasts, collectors and buyers.
It’s the busiest moment of the year for our team as we try to help everyone get the right wines into their glasses as well as the perfect presents into people's stockings for Christmas.
…for those who like refined Syrah that isn’t particularly high in alcohol, these are great wines, many of which drink well young on the youthful fruit, but will also age gracefully for ten years or more.
Behold a fine trio of French red wines to warm the spirit, all of which will yield the faintest hint of change from a twenty and also make an ideal accompaniment to autumnal cooking:
An up and coming talent in the village of Cairanne, young Romain Roche is a vigneron to watch. With the help of super star consultant (and school friend) Philippe Cambie, he is making incredible wines at down to earth prices. 2011 CAIRANNE Côtes du Rhône Villages Domaine Romain Roche £14.50 or just £12.
On Monday we faced another of the many hurdles on the long path since losing Patrick, with our postponed Press tasting. An opportunity for us to show the world our latest finds, as well as new vintages of much loved wines on our list.
I made this simple Vin de France wine of the week after glugging almost an entire bottle of it on my own one evening this week! One of Charles' new finds in the Rhône valley, from a relatively unknown and very small producer in Châteaneuf (although they do make it into Bob Parker's Wine Advocate), 'Le Petit Roy' is simply a Vin de France because it is made up of eveything that does not make it into the Châteaneuf cuvées, and as such carries no vintage on the label, only '11eme année' which is a clue I guess.
May Day, it's raining again and with forecasters predicting yet another wet month ahead of us, surely this must already the wettest drought on record? It certainly feels like it.