Death to Wine of the Week
Time to fess up. I haven't done a wine of the week since the 8th of March, which is about 8 or 9 weeks ago. I am afraid life (i.e. my job, my family and Palace's glorious march to the FA Cup Final) has got in the way a bit. In my defence, I have written some wine articles since then. I just haven't bothered my arse to write a wine of the week. For those who have noticed, I apologise.
Given this poor show, I have made the decision to stop attempting to offer a wine of the week every week. Instead, I will select my favourite wine from each calendar month. Although I confess this decision is in part down to my laziness, there is another valid reason. I am not a full time wine critic/journalist/writer/whatever they are called. I haven't been paid a bean for anything I have written to this point. So far Wineloon is a hobby, which I love to do. But I also love spending time with my family, watching the Palace, playing golf, drinking beer, etc. Therefore worrying about writing a wine of the week every week is not worth it.
Most importantly for you the reader, I don't actually drink that much wine. I usually share a bottle with my wife 4 nights a week, occasionally 5 nights. Some weeks I attend tasting events and obviously taste much more but that's probably limited to one per month, two at most. Therefore some weeks, I might not have any amazing wines worth writing about. I always said when I set up Wineloon I would only write about wines worth writing about. Writing about bad wine is a waste of time and not much fun.
Wine of the Month #1; April, 2016
Chapelle, Domaine Des Accoles, Ardeche, 2013
This producer is a new discovery for me, run by a husband and wife winemaking duo called Florence and Olivier Leriche. The couple left Burgundy in 2011, after 13 years at Domaine de l'Arlot in Nuits St Georges, to set up this new venture in Ardeche. No wine was made there before they bought the land, the grapes sold to local co-operatives and merchants. They now make nine cuvees, including this one, using organic and biodynamic methods. The wines are fantastic across the range, but this is my favourite so far (I have only tried five of the nine). They are also great value in my opinion, ranging from about £10-16 across the range.
The Chapelle is made mainly from old vine Grenache and Carignan. It is deep inky red in colour and has a nose of spicy fruit. Flavours of sweet herby plums on the palate, which becomes almost floral. Really refined and fresh on the finish. You can feel the Burgundian winemaking in this wine.
The best new wine I have tried in a long time and phenomenal value for money.
£14.50 from Howard Ripley (www.howardripley.com)