Archive

Cassis: A Timeless AOC

Cassis is the most beautiful AOC (appellation d'origine contrôlée) in France: the vineyards cling to the slopes of a magical amphitheater that plunges towards the shimmering Mediterranean. The Phocaeans (ancient Greeks from Asia Minor) must have been enchanted with these slopes when they first saw them 2,600 years ago. And they did well to plant them to the vine. The perfect exposure, dry and nutrient-poor soils and the cooling Mediterranean... [...]

Hermitage – the finest manifestation of Syrah and Marsanne

Standing guard with a fabulous view looking south over the Rhône Valley is the magnificent hill of Hermitage, crowned by the famous chapel of St Christopher.

Geologically, the hill was part of the right bank Massif Central until the Rhône River burrowed its way to the west, ensuring Hermitage as the only granitic terroir... [...]

A Roundup of Some Lovely 2019 Rosés

My 2019 schedule for tasting was so well laid out…. WineParis, Prowein, AIR Provence, Vinitaly, as well as numerous local tastings…. What could possibly go wrong?

But there is always a silver lining, and, in many ways my tasting this year has been much more focused. Tasting 183 Provence rosés for Decanter magazine just before lockdown and receiving (at home) a number of rosés to taste from around Languedoc have shown that the 2019 rosé vintage is excellent. [...]

DOMAINE DE L’AMAURIGUE CELEBRATES ITS 20TH VINTAGE

It’s been 20 years since Domaine de l’Amaurigue released its first estate-bottled vintage. To mark that special occasion, Jean-Marie Quef, winemaker and director of the domaine, created a special cuvée of rosé made from only the best and oldest parcels of the property, including their 55-year-old Grenache vines. There was just enough rosé to fill 4000 elegant... [...]

Easter Monday Brings Omelets and Rosé Chez Nous

Twenty years ago, in April 2000, we were tooling along the Canal du Midi with five friends. We rented a barge – a péniche -- and slowly cruised from Toulouse to Argens-Minervois, each of us taking turns behind the wheel and in the galley kitchen. Easter coincided with this trip and we produced a fabulous lamb dinner with all the trimmings to celebrate that occasion.  The next day, we made omelets.

We learned from someone during our market explorations that the Monday after Easter was also a holiday and that post offices, banks, stores, and most other businesses would be closed. Called Lundi de Pâques or, in English, simply Easter Monday, it is primarily a day to relax.  We were unable to establish any religious significance, but we did learn that the French in the south of France make omelets on Easter Monday.   Et Dieu sait while in France, we wanted to do what the French...

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KITÁ WINES: FOR NATIVE AMERICAN WINEMAKER TARA GOMEZ, DREAMS DO COME TRUE

By the time Tara Gomez graduated from high school in 1991, she knew she wanted to be a winemaker.  In many ways, she had been preparing for that role her whole life.  But, she probably never imagined she would be making wine for her tribe, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians in the American Viticultural Area (AVA) of Santa Barbara, California, or that she would also co-own a nearby winery, Camins 2 Dreams, with her wife Mireia Taribó, a winemaker, that specializes in natural wines. Dreams do... [...]
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