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  1. Flotsam and Jetsam
    Posted On: May 28th, 2015

    Flotsam and Jetsam

    As etymologists love to point out 'flotsam' is material that is found floating at sea whilst 'jetsam' is stuff that is jettisoned off boats and gets washed up on shore. Those distinctions are immaterial here as I deploy them collectively and metaphorically to describe the oddments that have found their way into my cellar during a career in the wine...
  2. Yapp Brothers – Own Label Wines
    Posted On: May 1st, 2015

    Yapp Brothers – Own Label Wines

    There is much excitement here at Yapp H.Q. in Mere as our keenly-anticipated, new own label bottlings have just arrived. One could argue that we have been slow off the mark here but, in mitigation, we do have a long and proud history of commissioning some great bespoke labels such as our magnificent Muscadet label by Quentin Blake that my...
  3. Loire 2014 Vintage Update - Part 2
    Posted On: February 9th, 2015

    Loire 2014 Vintage Update - Part 2

    Two further days of tastings and meetings in the Loire focused on the Touraine. The format of tastings in a region that incorporates diverse AOCs can be polarised.     For example, a visit to Didier & Nadège Aubert in Vouvray incorporated sec, demi-sec, sweet and sparkling versions of Vouvray (Chenin blanc) in multiple vintages. Didier pulled the cork on...
  4. Loire 2014 Vintage Update
    Posted On: February 3rd, 2015

    Loire 2014 Vintage Update

    The annual Salon des Vins de Loire at the Parc d'Expositions in Angers at the beginning of February is a great opportunity to meet multiple wine makers under one roof, catch up on their news and sample their latest offerings.     After two vintages when volumes were down in 2012 and 2013 the atmosphere was upbeat as growers along...
  5. Southern Symbolism
    Posted On: November 19th, 2014

    Southern Symbolism

    I was hosting a tasting for WSET diploma students last week and an inquisitive attendee from Korea asked me what the embossed crossed keys on the bottle of 2011 Châteaunueuf-du-Pape from Le Vieux Donjon symbolised. I was able to elucidate with a degree of professionalism that Avignon-based Clement V had been installed as the first of the 'exiled' Popes in...
  6. Rhône Ramble - Part 2
    Posted On: October 27th, 2014

    Rhône Ramble - Part 2

    Bright eyed and bushy tailed after a good night’s kip we were now ready for the Northern part of our Rhône foray. First stop was a visit to long-standing Yapp supplier and Rhône ‘royalty’ Jean-Louis & Erin Chave. On the way we dropped into the 4 hectare Clos Florentin vineyard which is where the Chave’s have Roussanne vines from they...
  7. Rhône Ramble - The South
    Posted On: October 22nd, 2014

    Rhône Ramble - The South

    Jonathan at the fountain in Chateauneuf du Pape. We've got one just like that...   By the time we arrived in Châteauneuf-du-Pape on Monday, morning mists were clearing to reveal a vista of vines in golden Autumn sunshine. Our first port of call was at Le Vieux Donjon where a smiling Claire Michel told us she was relieved to...
  8. Rhône Wine: Old and New
    Posted On: October 15th, 2014

    Rhône Wine: Old and New

    Our recent archive release of older vintages from the Rhône has been a spectacular hit, particularly with restaurants looking to get exciting, great value wines on their list for the Autumn. Trade magazine 'Drinks Business' reported as follows: "According to Yapp's Bianca Ford, there has been keen interest from the on-trade. 'I think these older vintages are giving very good...
  9. Presidents, Prime Ministers and a rosé to try before you die
    Posted On: September 23rd, 2014

    Presidents, Prime Ministers and a rosé to try before you die

    Some wines receive more attention than they deserve, others are scandalously un-championed. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s Château Miraval rosé has been getting quite a following in the past few years. It’s a good wine, and so it should be given that it’s made by the Perrins (of Chateauneuf’ Beaucastel fame), but it ain’t the real deal. If Miraval is...
  10. Gong Show
    Posted On: July 19th, 2013

    Gong Show

    With temperatures nudging 30°C we had to don black tie last Thursday and head off to the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane for the 30th anniversary of the International Wine Challenge. Having been nominated for four Specialist Merchant Awards – Loire, Regional France, Southwest of England and Rhône as well as the prestigious ‘Wine List of the Year’ award...

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