Read Parts One and Two… Madiran We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad. –The Cheshire Cat, Alice in Wonderland O tannin bomb, o tannin bomb. There lurks a Tannat-ridden beast in the Madiran mould blacker than a black steer’s tuckash on a moonless prairie night… There have been vineyards in Madiran or Vic-Bilh (to […]


Aszu were with that slow furmint! The undisputed king of Hungarian vineyards, Mount Tokaj is located to the north of the country, 200 km east of Budapest. This legendary location produces exceptional wines, protected since 1772 by the first appellation of origin awarded in the entire world. The Royal Imperial Estate of Tokaj-Hétszolo has owned beautiful […]


The Autobiography of Les Caves de Pyrene. Chapter One Part Two: Mining our South West Origins

October 9, 2018

Read Part One HERE. [The three musketeers and D’Artagnan are escaping from the Cardinal’s men in his own coach] Porthos: Champagne? Athos: We’re in the middle of a chase, Porthos. Porthos: You’re right – something red. –The Three Musketeers (1993) I am in a large hall in a place called the Duke of York Barracks […]

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Is Natural Wine Moral?

October 5, 2018

We have two kinds of morality side by side: one which we preach but do not practice and another which we practice but seldom preach. – Bertrand Russell My innate liberalism says live and let live. Do not court conflict, do not proselytise, but lay out your view point calmly and rationally. My radical side […]

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The Autobiography of Les Caves de Pyrene. Chapter One: Roots, Lees, Oak and The Blood of the Soil

October 3, 2018

Free fighters, free lovers, free spend- ers – The Cadets of Gascoyne the de- fenders Of old homes, old names and old splen- dors. –Edmond Rostand, Cyrano de Bergerac I’m remembering a scene in the first act of a performance of Thornton Wilder’s brilliant play By the Skin of Our Teeth at the Young Vic, when […]

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Decanting our recent “Restyling Wine” tasting: Part Two

October 1, 2018

From Old Vines to Decanter by way of Pet Bubbles   Read Part One HERE. Old vines denoted wines that have seventy-plus years on the clock. Venerable the vines may be, the wines themselves are utterly vital and balanced, finding the point where intensity from low yields meets complete minimalism (in that there is no […]

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Doug Decants: The Wines of Le Domaine Plageoles

September 28, 2018

 Tradition is not a return to an obsolete past, but rather the permanence of its origins through time –Frederik Tristan Since 1805, seven generations of the Plageoles family have carried out the tradition of vigneron in Gaillac, producing white wines from native Gaillac white grape varieties, Mauzac and Ondenc and red wines from the native […]

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Decanting our recent “Restyling Wine” tasting: Part One

September 24, 2018

A Les Caves tasting with a difference   Part One Restyling Wine, our 18th September autumn trade tasting, was a tasting with a slight difference, an attempt to refresh wine categorisation and to make people think about different things when they are tasting wines rather than “is this wine typical of the grape variety” or […]

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Chenin: the grape we love (Part Two – Out of South Africa)

September 21, 2018

Read Part One of our Ode to Chenin Blanc here. Craig Hawkins makes wines in Swartland. His project is called Testalonga El Bandito, wherein he makes a pair of Chenins under the El Bandito label, one from free-run juice and the other with varying amounts of skin contact and “baby” counterparts thereof. When he started […]

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Stefano Bellotti: An Appreciation

September 17, 2018

Stefano Bellotti understood farming and the language of nature at a fundamental level; He made wines that were wild, long-lived and spoke deeply of their origins. He was the spirit of real appellation and fought hard to maintain the integrity of that word, often finding himself deeply at odds with bureaucracy. He was a kind […]

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