"As bars and restaurants across the U.K. empty, thanks to COVID-19, the recycling bins of the population fill up and none could be fuller than those of Jason and David both, coincidentally, returned from holidays in more benign climes and obliged to quarantine at Her Majesty's pleasure in their respective domiciles. But rather than spend their house arrest staring holes into the air, our bibulous pair heroically set themselves the task of tasting their way through no less than five different appellations in an attempt to ascertain whether or not 2019 was a good year for wine. From the off, judging by Domaine André Vatan's Sancerre, the auguries are very good. This is a classic sauvignon blanc with an elderflower and nettle nose and a reassuringly racy palate. On to Leon Beyer's La Cuvée from Alsace. It's touch-and-go for a moment as David's recently applied aftershave takes an early lead over this delicately-flavoured 'edelzwicker' but thankfully, quarantine measures mean that he's able to keep his audacious faux pas (and the 'edelzwicker') to himself. Next up, Philippe Girard's honey-coloured, late summer rosé from the up-and-coming Malepère region is not only beautiful to look at but delightful to drink. Fresh and bright, it wears its 13.5 ABV well. From Central France, Jason and David's next sampling, is a 'vin de soif' - a forward drinking, hedonistic, highly quaffable 'La Ficelle' from St-Pourçain. Just a couple of glugs are enough to dispel even David's reservations about the 'Charlie Hebdo' label - but why should wine drinking always be such a po-faced affair anyway? Lastly, from Corsica, is Domaine Pieretti's wonderfully briary red. 'Loganberry,' says David. 'Untamed,' says Jason, before both agree that while 2020 may not be their favourite year, 2019 is definitely looking up."
The series of 'Adventures in Wine' podcasts featuring Jason Yapp and David Chandler can be downloaded from the iTunes store here.