Monday, September 25, 2006

Prieure St. Andre Rose'

Produced by Michel Claparde, in the most traditional way you can imagine - including small, old fashioned wine presses of the sort more often seen decorated with flowers in many of the villages in the area, this is indeed not bad at all for a Rose, I will confess to not being a particular affionado of such things, but in book Rose wines are meant for easy drinking on a hot day, and this one slips down nicely - it is perhaps a little too bubble-gummy but overall it really isn't too bad at all - although as the first winery we stopped in, if everything had been at this level I would have left the region a sad man - thankfully Michel's top red was very drinkable and other producers were making things even better - we soon beat a hasty retreat and searched out other gems that St. Chinian had to offer.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Les Fiesfs D'Aupenac 2005 Blanc

A lovely white wine from the Roquebrun coop made from the Rousanne grape, the ageing for 9 months in French oak (would they use any other oak?) gives this subtelty and complexity whilst conserving it's fruity edge and balance. Slightly smokey in character, with some toasty and yeasty flavours this was (despite it being a completely different grape variety) somewhat reminiscent of a white Burgundy - my notes simply tell me it was delicious and that it went really well with seafood - E10.20 makes it one of the more expensive whites we tried but still worth every penny.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Seigneur d'Aupenac AOC St. Chinian 2002

One of the top cuvees from the Coop in Roquebrun, this is made from 50% Syrah, 25% Mourvedre and 25% Grenache and is aged for 18 months in new French Oak. This is the first wine we tasted that really excited us and gave us hope for finding some excellent wines during our stay. With bright red fruit, freshness and structure from well integrated tannins this is almost silky rather than velvety but whichever it is delicious, as it's recent silver in the Decanter wine awards goes to show (though as with any awards they ought to be taken with a pinch of salt!) Comparing it with the other offerings from the coop, it is perhaps the best balance, offering far more than the cheaper wines, and yet having greater subtlety than the "Baron" whose notes will follow in due course.
This is a wine that will long be etched in the memory more for it's role in our holiday than for the wine itself - however that in itself is a recommendation and at E14.50 (which works out at about £9-10) it is really very good indeed - however my main bugbear is that the coop insist on using Carbonic Masceration in ALL their wines and for me this wine could quite simply do without it!

2006 St Emilion Classification

Every 10 years the classification of wine in St. Emilion changes, unlike the Medoc who maintain the 1855 classification.

2006 St. Emilion Classification

Château Ausone
Château Cheval Blanc

Château Angélus
Château Beauséjour (Duffau-Lagarrosse)
Château Beau-Séjour-Bécot
Château Belair
Château Canon
Château Figeac
Château La Gaffelière
Château Magdelaine
Château Pavie
Château Pavie-Macquin
Château Troplong-Mondot
Château Trottevieille Clos Fourtet


Château Balestard la Tonnelle
Château Bellefont-Belcier
Château Bergat
Château Berliquet
Château Cadet Piola
Château Canon la Gaffelière
Château Cap de Mourlin
Château Chauvin
Château Corbin
Château Corbin Michotte
Château Dassault
Château Destieux
Château Fleur-Cardinale
Château Fonplégade
Château Fonroque
Château Franc Mayne
Château Grand Corbin
Château Grand Corbin Despagne
Château Grand Mayne
Château Grand Pontet
Château Haut Corbin
Château Haut Sarpe
Château L’Arrosée
Château La Clotte
Château La Couspaude
Château La Dominique
Château La Serre
Château La Tour Figeac
Château Laniote
Château Larcis Ducasse
Château Larmande
Château Laroque
Château Laroze
Château Le Prieuré
Château Les Grandes Murailles
Château Matras
Château Monbousquet
Château Moulin du Cadet
Château Pavie-Decesse
Château Ripeau
Château Saint-Georges-Côte-Pavie
Château Soutard
Clos de l’Oratoire
Clos des Jacobins
Clos Saint-Martin
Couvent des Jacobins

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Holiday Adventures 1 - in and around Roquebrun

Having arrived after a long 12 hour drive from Calais (we left Canterbury at 4.30am and eventually opened the door to the house in Roquebrun at 8.15 ish) Sunday was a slow day where we expected everything to be closed and no thoughts of wine tasting even entered our minds - that was until Sunday afternoon when I got itchy feet to explore the village a little and discovered that both Domaine St. Andre' and the local coop were open for tastings. We started at Domaine St. Andre' and I really thought I was going to be drinking Rose all week, but after making a sharp exit we headed for the Caves de Roquebrun coop where we were both delighted and surprised to find some really excellent offerings and the first of very many friendly welcomes.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

I'm Back!

After an enforced break over the Summer, caused by technical problems and a trip to the Languedoc I am now back in blighty and will be giving you the lowdown on the St. Chinian Appellation, a french vine grower called Antoine and his dog Titus. More will follow towards the end of the week - after which I hope I'll be updating regularly again (I'm off to Cardiff for a few days so will once more be away from a computer)