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One of the joys of wine is owning a 'cellar', whether it be ten bottles tucked away in a cupboard, or 5000 cases neatly catalogued and stacked in a vaulted crypt. Another of the joys is developing an understanding of this magic liquid, the people behind it, its origins and history; every bottle has its own story to tell. Wine for me is not just about slavishly following point scores and recommendations. If you choose to view wine in this way, buying only high-scoring bottles from one or two prominent critics, you will undoubtedly chance across some safe and possibly delicious wines, but you will never know the true joy of wine. To buy and drink wine in this manner is a little like expressing a love of art, but insisting that somebody else tell you which paintings you should view.
For this reason my regular Weekend Wine features wines which I hope pique your interest, and encourage you to explore more. Some wines are superb, but some less so, but all have stimulating in one way or another. I don't really intend my reports to be seen as buying recommendations, but if you choose to view them that way then you should be able to find most of the featured wines for sale, somewhere, using the links at the foot of each review. Nevertheless, it is inevitable that some wines will prove difficult to track down. Many of the wines are pulled from my cellar (which, I hesitate to add, is like neither of those described above) after many years of slumber, and may thus have disappeared from the marketplace. Others are tasted in their extreme youth prior to bottling, in which case all that is required is a little patience. Others are just not that well distributed, something we all just have to live with I'm afraid.
And so, below are my weekly choices for the current year. Expect a strong focus on Bordeaux and the Loire, these two regions being a major focus for me, but also expect some diversity, with occasional appearances from the Douro, Alsace, Jerez, the Mosel, Rioja, Champagne and beyond. I feature wines both old and young (perhaps too old and too young, in the case of some!), aged cellar-orphans, wines plucked from recently delivered six-packs and cases, the occasional inexpensive bargain as well as the rare, unusual and possibly unobtainable from the depths of my cellar. (14/7/06, updated 7/1/13)
- Pierre Jacques Druet Bourgueil Les Cent Boiselées 2009 (25/5/15)
- La Petite Église 2005 (18/5/15)
- Pierre Gimonnet Champagne Premier Cru Gastronome 2002 (11/5/15)
- François Pinon Vouvray Première Trie 2003 (4/5/15)
- Pithon-Paillé Anjou Blanc Mozaïk 2009 (27/4/15)
- Domaine de la Robinière Vouvray Bel-Air Sec 2013 (20/4/15)
- Ampelidae Le K 2005 (13/4/15)
- Vincent Ricard Touraine Le Petiot 2013 (6/4/15)
- Domaine du Clos Naudin Vouvray Sec 2010 (23/3/15)
- Les Trois Petiotes Côtes de Bourg 2010 (16/3/15)
- Verdier-Logel Côtes du Forez Cuvée des Gourmets 2014 (9/3/15)
- Château Lassègue 2006 (2/3/15)
- Sylvain Gaudron Vouvray Moelleux Le Grain d'Or 2010 (23/2/15)
- Domaine de la Pépière Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Clisson 2012 (16/2/15)
- François Pinon Vouvray Moelleux 2003 (9/2/15)
- Bernard Baudry Chinon Le Clos Guillot 2010 (26/1/15)
- Champalou Vouvray 2010 (19/1/15)
- Alphonse Mellot Sancerre Blanc La Moussière 2013 (12/1/15)
- Domaine de la Pépière Muscadet Sèvre & Maine Quatre 2010 (5/1/15)
For previously featured wines, see my 2014 Weekend Wine Archive.