Chateau de la Chesnaie, Muscadet, 2012

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Another staple from Irish Wine lists of the 80’s and Muscadet, which was the only wine to have with Fish then, just dropped out of fashion.

More Muscadet is produced than any other Loire wine and it is of the Melon de Bourgogne grape also known simply as Melon.

Muscadet Sevre et Maine, ‘wine with a musk-like taste’ meaning Muscat though it hasn’t.

Competent, if standard, food fare from Brasserie Bure in Tours.


Chat de  la chesnaie Bure f Chat de  la chesnaie Bure R

Clos Roche Blanche, Sauvignon No 5, 2011, Touraine

Clos Roche Blanches No 5 f 0406 Artigny


We stayed in Chateau d’Artigny near Montbazon, once home to and fitted out by Francois Coty.

That night we dined in the plush l’Origan restaurant and had the mini tasting menu.

The friendly Maitre d’ recommended the No 5 Sauvignon over the No 2 and it was delicious.

A complex wine with lots of minerality, flinty, metallic well balanced with citrus and gooseberry notes, great blast of grass.

A rare find. Didier Barouillet is the winemaker at Clos Roche Blanche. Worth more investigation.

The bar service at Chateau d’Artigny is brutal but we met some nice Americans from Fargo and had a pleasant nightcap with them as a result.

Clos Roche Blanches No 5 b



Clos Roche Blanches No 5 R

We spit so you don’t have to …

… writes Ernie Whalley in last week’s Sunday Times 2013 Wine Companion, an insert in the July 14th edition.


110 wines tasted and reviewed.

Can’t say I disagree with the methodology or even with most of the tasting comments, though I have heard a few of them before.

In fact, I think Whalley’s Terroir notes are quite good.

What strikes me is the types and status of wines tasted and promoted by a mass middle market ‘Quality’ Sunday Newspaper.

Not to mention the vast value for money producing regions and territories completely ignored by a Wine ‘companion’.

Puglia. Loire Valley. Sardinia. Anyone?

A quick tot reveals that it would cost almost €2500 to stock your cellar with just one of each of the 110 bottles.

Yielding an average cost of €22.33 per bottle tasted.


A hefty wedge for a bottle of wine.

For which you would, not unreasonably, expect the wine to rate in the top Decile.

At these prices, swallow, don’t spit.

As one of my sisters in law says, there’s no need to spend more than a tenner a bottle in the off-trade these days, even with our tyrannical excise duty and VAT on wine.

Certainly for everyday drinking, given the many promotions and competition between the multiples.

For special occasions – and perhaps this is what the Sunday Times is aiming for, like its Michelin 3 Star  AA Gill restaurant reviews – OK perhaps, but it smacks to me of: we have a great idea; let’s set up a wine club; review the wines the shippers will give us the best deals on; get a local hack on board; flog the hell out of it – the more expensive the better – the more we’ll make.


Me, perhaps.

The Sunday Times, yes.

Maybe we should all spit.

Sunday Lunch in Aqua. Le Balbuzard Sauvignon Blanc 2011

Having watched the Pipe Bands practising for their competition, we took a leisurely stroll down the West Pier in Howth with Tony and stopped for lunch in Aqua. This crisp Loire Sauvignon Blanc complimented the Crab Claws and Chowder perfectly, €28 on the wine list I think. Howth sparkled in the sun and we also took a lovely stroll through the ‘Farmer’s Market’.

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