I had only two appointments scheduled today, but they were far apart. At the end of the day, the plan was to finish up at Restaurant Régis & Jacques Marcon located in the mountains of the Haut-Loire, which meant a lot of driving.
There is much more to the Southern Rhône than just Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and with that in mind, I spent the day focusing on domaines in Gigondas and Vacqueyras. Gigondas is often thought of as a small Châteauneuf, but in reality its terroir and wines are quite different.
As good as Mordorée and Lafond are, I couldn’t stay in Tavel and Lirac forever; that other town kept calling me back. The sun was shining from the start today, and the temperature quickly rose into the 90s, relieving the stress that had built up among vignerons over the wet and gray weeks that preceded my trip, so what better to do than check in at five of Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s best domaines? An early morning visit with Marie-Joseph Michel at Le Vieux Donjon was up first.
Domaine Vacheron-Pouizin , located in the northern end of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, on the back road heading north from Château Rayas, is owned and run by Sylvie Vacheron. The domaine was bought by Vacheron’s grandfather in 1939, but World War II prevented it from functioning as an estate.
A second straight day of gloomy, rainy weather dogged Châteauneuf today, with each grower I visited touting the increasing need for the official arrival of summer later this week. After bumping into Lucien Michel of Le Vieux Donjon on the street and chatting for a few minutes (his No.
I make an annual stop at Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe , so you can reference my previous Cellar Notes and blog entries for the basic background on this domaine, as well as the F. & D. Brunier -owned La Roquète and Domaine Les Pallières estates.
I arrived in the Rhône this afternoon to start my tastings in Châteauneuf, and two streaks were continued. The Southern Rhône's premier appellation has been on a streak of good vintages lately, which will continue with both 2006 and 2007.
I sat down last week to chat with Ana-Maria Cumsille, winemaker at Chile’s Viña Altaïr. The winery has undergone some changes since its creation in 2001 and subsequent debut wines from the 2002 vintage.
After splurging at Adour Alain Ducasse last week , Nancy and I dialed it down this week, but we kept the Ducasse connection. The plan was to try Benoit Restaurant & Bar, the casual-style French bistro in the former La Côte Basque space that is now part of the Ducasse group.
I sat down with Julie Campos this week, managing director of Cave de Tain l’Hermitage. The cave is a large cooperative, totaling 360 individual growers and over 2,700 acres of vines. The Cave represents 58 percent of the production of Crozes-Hermitage, 49 percent of St.
At its height, with its gilded walls, stunning floral arrangements and hushed elegance, Lespinasse was for me the city’s most beautiful dining room, a quiet, languid retreat away from the buzz that this city tends to generate over shallow flavor-of-the-month French bistro wannabes or "power lunch" midtown spots.
“Like it?” I asked, my standard question to Nancy when I pour her a wine. I always serve the wines blind, not as trickery, but to ensure an honest opinion. “A lot,” she said, with a big smile before issuing her usual response: “How much?” “Under $30 when you buy by the case,” I said.
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