Beaumes de Venise: the hidden red of the Southern Rhône

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge – and her sister, Pippa. Andy Murray – and his brother, Jamie. Beyoncé Knowles – and her sister, Solange. Having a more famous brother or sister can be a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it brings the benefits and opportunities of a star-studded surname. On the other, cynics may doubt the depth of your talents and it’s hard to escape the shadow of your sibling. So…

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Images of Rasteau

  The village of Rasteau, on a south-facing slope.   The cliff running down to the river shows the three types of clay: a thin layer of red clay, followed by deep yellow clay, followed by deep grey (sometimes called blue) clay.   The Coulon family of Domaine de Beaurenard in Châteauneuf-du-Pape have had land in Rasteau since 1980. New growth in one of their two…

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Images of Côtes du Vivarais

  Alain Testut, president of AOC Côtes du Vivarais   David-Alexandre Gallety, Domaine Gallety   Domaine Gallety   Rachel and Raphaël Pommier, Domaine de Notre Dame de Cousignac   The chapel of Notre Dame de Cousignac   Sébastien Etienne, grape grower for UVICA  

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Beyond Burgundy: The New World finds its way with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay

From big-fruit ‘varietal wines’ to joyless Burgundy-lite pastiches, the New World has taken a while to get its head around Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. But there is a third way – and it’s working. What does New World Chardonnay taste like? What about classic New World Pinot Noir? It’s a question that was easier to answer in the 1990s, when the ‘international style’ was easy to spot among leaner,…

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Images of Lirac, March 2019

Eric Pfifferling, Domaine L'Anglore   Carbonic maceration lessons with Eric   Ermitage de la Sainte Baume   Plateau de Vallongue, Lirac   Limestone pebbles, Saint-Laurent-Les-Arbres   Rodolphe des Pins, Domaine de Montfaucon   Bush vines planted in 1870, Domaine de Montfaucon  

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Images of the Luberon, February 2019

View from Bonnieux Valentine Tardieu-Vitali, Château la Verrerie Clay limestone bench under the Montagne du Luberon Nathalie Margan, Château La Canorgue Bonnieux from Château La Canorgue Philippe Tolleret, Marrenon

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The kingdom of the blind

Most wine professionals have a story of when they aced a blind tasting, a well-worn tale of olfactory deduction that would have Sherlock Holmes slack-jawed in amazement. It inevitably concludes with a self-deprecating comment along the lines of ‘normally I get it completely wrong of course’ in the hope that the taster can both impress and not come across as a shameless show-off. Blind tasting is…

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Images of Vinsobres, Feburary 2019

Vinsobres, the most northerly Cru of the Southern Rhône In the village of Vinsobres L-R: Laurent Reinteau, Cellier des Dauphins; Anais Vallot, Domaine Vallot; Philippe Chaume-Arnaud, Domaine Chaume-Arnaud; Pascal Jaume, Domaine Jaume; Mickaël Jaume, Cave La Vinsobraise (standing far right). Lieu-dit Les Préaux, on the Plateau Cédric Guillaume-Corbin of 6-ha Domaine La Péquélette - 'the smallest'…

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Images of Séguret, February 2019

Séguret Different terroirs: mountain, première terrasse, vin de pays at the bottom On the slope near the village, Domaine de Cabasse   A view of the Dentelles from the top of the mountain     Domaine Jean David, co-owner and winemaker Jean-Luc Auffrut in the background   Christian Voeux, Domaine de l'Amauve   From the mountain All images © Matt Walls

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Images of Beaumes de Venise, January 2019

Beaumes de Venise Beaumes de Venise terroir, near Lafare Rocalinaud The view from Rocalinaud Romain and Elisabeth Hall, Domaine des Bernardins Romain Hall, Domaine des Bernardins Sabine and Isabelle de Menthon, Chateau Redortier All images © Matt Walls

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