This week we are finalising our wines with the winemakers at the domaines, checking stocks and availability and making our final selection for the website. Delivery will be arranged into the warehouse ready for the end of February.
First port of call on monday was winemaker Richard Desouche at Chateau de Chaintres. We sat in his office overlooking the walled vineyards. A beautiful winter scene of workmen pruning the vines whilst we beavered away in a cosy offices talking about the chateau wines and tasting each wine to ensure you are not disappointed when your order arrives!
Afterwards we retired to the local restaurant for a well earned lunch. Its a tough job tasting wines! Hey but somebody has to do it. Richard is a great raconteur and, as its nearly the six nations, Richard was at pains to point out that France will be champions this year. By the way Richard also has his own wines, a small parcel in Saumur Champigny, and we had to sample a bottle of the 2006 over a warm goats cheese starter, a roast poulet main and a soft merinque with creme francais. Heaven.
In the afternoon it was the turn of Francois Lethueil at Domaine de Saugourde in the Layon Valley a short hop from our French base Manoir de Gourin. We tasted the 2010 vintage Anjou rouge from the vat. We are of the opinion that our 2010 wines generally will be even better than the 2009, and that was a great year. Lots of sun and real concentration of the juice with small berries. The bad news is that we will have to wait for the new vintage Coteaux du Layon and Anjou Rouge until April. The good news is that it will be worth waiting for.