Chapter Two: The Reign of Terroir: Part Two

October 23, 2018

Continued from Chapter Two, Part One. Read Chapter One Parts One, Two and Three here. Digression Concerning the Art & Nature of wine transformation Science commits suicide when it adopts a creed. —Thomas Huxley The subject of wine (not just the wine itself) is sometimes in danger of becoming an intellectual dead-end due to the rigorous-to-the-point-of-being-hamstrung appliance of science in […]

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Chapter Two: The Reign of Terroir: Part One

October 19, 2018

Read Chapter One Parts One, Two and Three. My agent narrowed his eyes and bit down on the end of an unfeasibly large cheroot. “Look, kid. You’re meant to be writing a book about Lez Caves of Pie-reen. (Is that the name of your hero? Strange name.) My readers want a story with a beginning, […]

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The Autobiography of Les Caves de Pyrene. Chapter One, Part Three: We’re all mad here

October 15, 2018

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 […]

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Doug Decants: Tokaji Aszu 5 Puttonyos

October 12, 2018

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 […]

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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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