Eric Narioo and his Les Caves team continue to bravely and fearlessly explore West London's 'badlands'. Last year it was Porchester Hall. For 2010 they moved a little further west down the tubeline to Latimer Road.
Tasting 'real or natural' wine is always interesting and an intellectual challenge. At what point along the drinkability continium do the faults or 'natural' characters outweigh its virtues and render it so bizarre or off the wall that it is no longer a pleasant drink? With one exception all were well on the right side of the drinkability continium.Little sign of jihadism in this selection of Loire producers!
The notion of a complete non-interventionist approach to wine-making is probably a caricature. Carried to its exteme you would wiat until the grapes fell from the vine. Good winemakers realise that you have to intervene – deciding when to pick, how long to macerate etc. I always think it is rather like cooking. Yes often using simple ingredients simply cooked is the best. But this doesn't mean you don't have to pay close attention to detail. Simply grilled fish is delcious if you get it right but there is a very narrow window when it is just right – a few seconds either way will give you either underdone or overdone fish. Often just less than a minute too much is enough to ruin that wonderful moist texture perfect fish has.
Good cooking tends to demand that you are at the stove not trying to do two things at the same time – off elsewhere catching up on emails or digging the garden leading all too often to burnt offerings.
Thierry Germain: Domaine des Roches Neuves
Domaine Pellé – Anne Pellé (Menetou-Salon)
Always very consistent. The 2008 whites showing good concentration and ripeness.
Domaine Catherine and Pierre Breton – Pierre Breton (Bourgueil, Chinon and Vouvray)
Domaine de la Chevalerie (Bourgueil)
Domaine Jean Maupertuis (Côtes d'Auvergne)
Having seen this domaine mentioed favourably on a number of occasions wasn't convinced by the two Gamays from 2009.
Domaine Frantz Saumon (Montlouis plus négoce activity under Un Saumon dans La Loire)
This was the most exciting range of wines I tasted having lovely purity and vibrancy, particularly from the 2008s and the 2009s. Interestting to see Frantz starting a small negociant activity. I liked the Menu Pineau (sourced from Saint-Aignan) and the Romorantin (from Philippe Tessier in Cour-Cheverny).
Domaine Sébastien Riffault – Sébastien Riffault (Sancerre)