Chris & Alex’s ‘ Charles Sydney Wines’ benchmark Loire tasting + MillyBio offs

Romain Paire in some of his vineyards


Last Thursday at this benchmark tasting held at Browns Courtrooms in Central London was my first chance since the 2019 vintage when I was able to try some newly pressed grape juice or partially fermented wine. As usual there were plenty of wines to try with the majority, especially the whites and rosés, coming from the 2019 vintage with very few finished and bottled. 

Overall is that 2019, although climatically a difficult vintage – frost, wet and cold during part of the flowering, heat spikes and drought, is yet another quality Loire vintage. Quantity for some, especially to the west of Tours, is another story. Although there are a few wines with high alcohol levels, this tasting appears to confirm my impression formed during the harvest that 2019 is a well balanced vintage less rich than 2018 but with more freshness. 

It was good to see the excellent wines of Romain Paire’s Domaine de Pothiers in the Roannaise getting the attention they deserve. Incredibly these wines are not yet imported into the UK. Following this tasting I expect this to change pretty rapidly. Although the vineyards of the Upper Loire are widely scattered and small, I am convinced that they are well worth exploring.

It was also interesting to taste the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (IGP Côtes de la Charité) from Grebet Père et Fils (Domaine des Rabichattes). 


Montpellier: Millésime Bio and assorted events

Sunday 26th January





The association Vinifilles dates from 2009 and is an association of women making wine in Languedoc-Roussillon. On Sunday (26th) they held their tasting in the magnificent first floor room in Montpellier’s Hotel de Ville.

I tasted a number of good wines at Vinifilles. Unfortunately I don’t have time to cover all of them but I do want to pick out two producers who particularly impressed me: Armelle Tafoiry and Emmanuelle Schoch.


Armelle Tafoiry (Les Terres d’Armelle) with her Amazone 100% Grenache Blanc – good texture allied with freshness in the finish. I was impressed with the freshness of this wine since the vines are only 110 metres over sea level – not a high altitude vineyard. Armelle created her 5 hectare domaine a little to the north of Béziers in September 2013.


Emmanuelle Schoch explaining her terroir at Mas Seren up to 400 metres high in the Cevennes. Emmanuelle created her  domaine of 6 hectares in 2009 after working 15 years in wine production as a chef de cave, regisseur and consultant. Having vines this high means that the grapes mature more slowly and there is a marked contrast between day and night in the summer, which is not the case down on the Languedoc plain.

Room & Exit

Over and out …..


The Outsiders

Early Sunday night before the start of Millésime Bio means it must be time for The Outsiders tasting. 2020 was no exception. Here are  afew photos from the tasting.


Kirsten explainingWinemaker Kirsten Creasy who has set up her own 35 hectare domaine
Terre 2 Sources  a year ago explaining the new project

Karen Turner

Karen Turner of Domaine Turner Pageot


Solenn Génot of Mas Llossanes


Jim’s new bio jacket – 1st year of
conversion – dark green by the 3rd year…..

4 réflexions sur “Chris & Alex’s ‘ Charles Sydney Wines’ benchmark Loire tasting + MillyBio offs

  1. David Cobbold

    Jim, I quite agree about the wines from Roanne of Domaine des Pothiers. I remember well first tasting them at the Salon des Vins de Loire about 10 years ago and being very impressed. Surprising that nobody has since picked them for UK distribution. Brexshit again ?


  2. Jim Budd

    David. I think the problem started long before Brexshit. I think there is both a reluctance to explore lesser known areas and there is the fixation of many on price. I believe we both agree that although the Upper Loire vineyards are small and widely scattered there are some interesting things happening there making the area well worth exploring.



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