Yesterday was the annual New Zealand London tasting. I spent a little over an hour there as I find large generic tastings increasingly uncongenial – must be a sign of reaching middle age, I suppose …….
Anyway I did spend enough time at the tasting to discover the wines of Clos Marguerite, a small producer in Marlborough. As the name might indicate this 10-hectare vineyard has close links with a French speaking country – not France but Belgium. It is owned and run by Jean-Charles Van Hove and Marguerite Dubois from Belgium where they married and then set off to New Zealand to seek their fortune – or rather establish their own vineyard.
In 1998 they bought 10 hectares in the Awatere Valley, the most southernly part of Marlborough and most enclosed valley. It wasn’t until 2000 that they started to plant.See here. In the meantime Jean-Charles worked as wine-maker for a number of NZ companies. See here.
There were three Clos Marguerite wines to taste – 2016 and 2015 Sauvignon Blanc and the 2012 Pinot Noir. I was impressed by the nicely restrained 2016 Sauvignon Blanc – the 2015 is a little more opulent but still attractive. Equally I liked the quite bricky coloured 2012 Pinot Noir with its silky texture, delicacy and length. The wines are distributed in the UK by Clark Foyster.
Isabelle Clark and Lance Foyster MW
Sophie Lafourcade Cachard, Domaine les Luquettes, Provence
Diane Cauvin, Château Colombière, Fronton
On Saturday we were invited to join St John Restaurant‘s annual growers lunch, which was a great opportunity to taste many of the wines on the restaurant’s list, meet the growers and enjoy a long lunch – we could get addicted to this. Above are two of the growers, whose wines we particularly liked and who were present at the lunch – Diane from Fronton and Sophie from Bandol.
CRM and I are planning a charity ride from Pauillac to La Livinière in the Minervois where Trevor Gulliver and Fergus Henderson, the owners of St John, have a vineyard. The ride will be to raise money for a Parkinson’s charity as Fergus has had this disease for some time. We will be riding in June to coincide with Fergus and Trevor’s annual Fête des Vins in La Livinière. More details to follow.