Articles from: June 2012

Wine Blog – An afternoon wine tour

Its a journey around a passionate winemaker's domaine today with four lovely guests Tim and Hazel and David and Marlies in Saumur country in the middle of the Loire valley, France. The wines here are elegant and light. We tasted the full range of Domaine de L'Enchantoir. Saumur Blanc classique, Saumur Blanc oak aged, Saumur rouge classique,  Saumur Puy Notre Dame classique rouge, Saumur Puy Notre Dame oak aged, Cabernet d'Anjou pink, Cabernet de Saumur pink, Saumur Brut blanc and pink and Vin mousseux rouge. A great range. Cheers.

Wine Blog – Our film project

So our film project with Maggi Law is taking shape very quickly. Our visit on Wednesday was not involved with filming but to spend a very relaxed afternoon with hosts Hakan and Christina who have a most delightful house near Loudun in the Loire valley. We arrived after filming and spent a very lovely time in the garden enjoying firstly a Cremant de Loire that Hakan had aquired from his neighbour, followed by a very acceptable Bordeaux that I had brought along as a possible buy as its in my view a very good wine for the price. Hakan countered this with a superb 1989 Medoc and a 1989 St Estephe both sublimely smooth and destinctly fine wines. I was very priveleged to drink such good wines but the company and occasion allowed such an event. Thank you Hakan and Christina for a super time under the maple in the front garden with some good foie gras and selective other eats. Cheers.

Wine Blog – Monday Dinner


Sorry missed our dinner date on Monday. From left to right our lovely guests as follows: Julie, Jim. Hazel, Tim, Duncan, Hazel. A wonderful evening. Wines served  were Saumur rouge  and blanc, Coteaux du Layon appellations. Cheers.

Wine Blog – A wine tour

I told you this week would be busy and today it was a wine tour with Hazel and Jim to Saumur Champigny appellation in the central Loire Valley, France. They have been staying at Manoir de Gourin in our garden apartment. Have a look at our website They went on  one of our one day wine tours that started off on the terrace with an introduction talk that helps to give a broad picture of the wines of the loire valley. The morning was spent at the Chateau de Chaintres with lunch on the terrace. The afternoon visits included the sparkling wine house of Gratien and Meyer where our guests were taken on a tour of the cellars followed by a tasting and the distillery in Saumur Combier again with a tour of the old distillery and a tasting of the liqueurs and aperitifs. A great day out enjoyed by our guests. Cheers.

Wine Blog – Next week

Its a full progamme next week and we have a full house with our dinners on Monday, A full days wine tour on Tuesday in Saumur Champigny country in the Loire valley, France in the morning and the famous sparkling wine houses in Saumur in the afternoon, with lunch in the wineyard, and a half day wine tour on thursday with supper on our return to Manoir de Gourin. In between Karin and I have been filming today for this year's film from Maggi Law and we are also bystanders on Wednesday at a friends place for some more filming. So a busy week ahead. On top of all that the new wine room is moving apace so we can get it ready as soon as possible for our wine guests. We'll let you know the progress on the tours during the week starting tomorrow. Cheers.

Wine Blog – Wine tour guest comments

Here's a recent review on trip advisor from our guests.

Booking the Cottage with Karin was a breeze. The contract was signed, a deposit was paid and thankfully, we took the options of the half day wine tour with Simon and the four course dinner in our hosts sumptuous Manoir.

We took the decision to drive from Bristol to the Loire Valley without an overnight stop, it was a bit of a trek and in hindsight we should have got a halfway hotel. It was very hot on arrival and our hosts helped us settle immediately with a bottle of chilled chenin blanc. Delicious. On entry, we found the cottage interior to be of an exceptional standard and was immaculately clean. Karin and Simon gave us some great local advice and we read through the handy information pack before hitting the sack for a very comfortable night's sleep.

The Cottage was perfectly located for us, we wanted a secluded location in the beautiful Anjou Countryside that was still within easy driving distances to surrounding Towns, Cities, Chateaux and Vinyards. In the moments between eating cheese, the handy fob for the electronic gates to the driveway meant we were able to whizz in and out with no problems. We also found the grounds and pool to be perfect for just lounging and relaxing when we felt like lazing.

Ordinarily, when on holiday we would probably shy away from group Dinners but we are so glad we (Along with our lovely co-holidaymakers) decided to opt for our hosts Monday night four course dinner with wine. Amazing food and company, we had a right laugh.

The half-day wine tour with Simon on the Thursday was just as good. He took us on a five minute drive to meet the jocular, passionate and charming winemaker Pierre at the Domaine De L'Enchantoir estate. The tour was fascinating and we were thoroughly impressed by Pierre's steadfast refusal to produce wine that was in any way dishonest to the grape and the soil. And boy, when the massive variety of wines started flowing, you could taste the quality. Fizzy & still reds, whites and pinks came at a satisfying pace and were in almost every instance, exceptional. I am drinking a glass of the red while writing this review. It is as good in rainy England as it was in Sunny France. Good job because we brought 23 litres back with us.

Finally, thanks once again to our amazing hosts and their beautiful Loire Valley retreat. Unbeatable.


The Cottage.
The option of fresh bread and croissants delivered to the front door each day.
The lush Garden.
Hosts Dinner.
Wine Tour.


I honestly cannot think of any.

Wine Blog – Filming


More photos of the filming of our latest blockbuster Momento Mori. Cheers.

Wine Blog – Film 2012

Having starred in a mega film last year and seen the results at our premiere recently, we are now embarking on a new venture this year with our director of filming Maggie Law. Its called 'Momento Mori' and yours truely is 'starring' as a retired copper with Karin as his wife. Today we did some scenes at Manoir de Gourin so our blog will keep you up to date. We had to have a drop of pink sparkling from Domaine de L'enchantoir to finish off  a super day. Very nice thank you!. Cheers.

Wine Blog – Wine tasting

A bevy of guests desended on Chateau de Chaintres yesterday to taste the wines of Richard Desouches. Peter and Maggie and their friends from UK. Maggie had invited two of her old chums from her days of waitering in London so a nastalgic reunion. Richard was his usual brilliant self being informative and helpful and talking about his wines. I had a chance to talk to the owner and he reckons that Richard has produced a cracking 2011. Certainly the pink Cabernet de Saumur 2011 has loads of fruit and a nice twist of something elegant at the end. Cheers.


Cabernet de Saumur

Chateau de Chaintres

Type: Still rosé wine

Appellation: Cabernet de Saumur AOC

Location/parcel: Top of enclosure on south facing incline just below the clos (walled enclosure)

Terroir: sandy and clay topsoil on underlying limestone

Harvest: by hand with selection of bunches before destemming

Vinification and ageing: direct pressing for a light salmon pink colour. Vinified and aged in stainless steel vats

Vintage: 2011

Style:  a dry fruity easy drinking wine

Bottle size: 75cl

Grape variety: 100% Cabernet Franc

Vine age: 25 years +

Alcohol content: 12.5%

Tasting notes: A refreshing fruity soft dry style with a velvety attack on the palate of peaches, blackcurrant and nectarines.

Serving temperature: 8-10°C

Food pairing: Good with a summer BBQ. Richard suggests enjoying on a lazy Sunday after the victory over the English rugby team on the previous day.

When best to drink/laying down: best consumed within 2 years



Wine Blog – London Wine Fair part three

According to our french winemaker Richard Desouche the joy of an english chip is the size. It has to be bigger than a french frite about the size of your small finger! Anyway back to the real business of the fair. We had some good contacts and are now busy following these up. The usual tribe of buyers from europe and the far east were looking for wine under 2 euros. Well let them find the crap elsewhere. The serious buyers were looking to find some good quality good value wines and so that is what we will be concentrating on over the coming months. Some good contacts overseas as well in the US, Australia and Far East. Richard from Chaintres will be following these up. We are looking to interest clients with groupage deals from different domanes. Here's to a good future. Cheers.

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June 2012
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