Doug decants: The Wines of Antoine Arena, Corsica

November 13, 2018

…The maquis co(u)rsing through his veins Antoine Arena, like most Corsicans of his generation, grew up in a family that earned a modest living working the land on an island largely unknown to the outside world. As soon as he could he joined the mass exodus of Corsicans to the French mainland, in search of […]

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Chapter Three: They have embiggened our soul. Part One

November 8, 2018

Read Chapter One Parts One, Two and Three and Chapter Two Parts One, Two and Three here. Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born. –Anais Nin, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934 It is a cliché to talk about one’s […]

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Doug Decants: Domaine Le Briseau’s Le Verre des Poètes

October 30, 2018

Nathalie Gaubicher founded Domaine Le Briseau in 2002, with her first husband, Christian Chaussard, in an area encompassing Jasnières and Coteaux-du-Loir. Briseau’ is named after a plot on the estate that contains clay with large pieces of flint-stone that have tended to break (‘briser’) all tools that are used on it. The entirety of Jasnières […]

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Georgians back in the house!

October 30, 2018

After a few months with scarcely a qvevri-wine to our name, we have now received our long-awaited shipment of new vintages (mostly 17s) and a few new wines too. We have two Rkatsitelis – one with 10% skins added and an old vine version, called Kakabeti, which is a magnificently complex wine. Niki Antadze works […]

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Chapter Two: The Reign of Terroir: Part Three

October 26, 2018

Continued from Chapter Two, Part Two. Read Chapter Two Part One, and Chapter One Parts One, Two and Three here. Terroir and the good, the bad and the ugly grapes In the way that humans like to impute value to systems and impose hierarchies of taste certain arbiters have determined that some grape varieties are inherently more aristocratic than others. Hence, […]

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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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