My Next Book…

November 13, 2011

Jean Valeix, an English widow, is the owner of a fabulous vineyard in the wine village of Saint-Emilion. But her cherished château is struggling to sell its produce. A handful of people, among them a charming middle-aged Scotsman, a jaw-droppingly beautiful girl and a talented autistic boy, will change her life completely. But not all of her visitors are who they claim to be. All she needs to do is find out who’s telling the truth – oh, and save her business from bankruptcy and solve a murder, too. Only then might she discover that sometimes even good things come in threes.

Viticulture and poetry, mental health and mortality all tumble, along with the cabernets and merlots, into the fermenting vat of the author’s first fictional creation: Broke the Grape’s Joy.

On sale on Amazon from the 30th of November 2011…


Foires aux Vins – Bordeaux Crus

August 30, 2010

The following table is a summary of the ‘best’ prices for a batch of Bordeaux crus classés and equivalents at the forthcoming Foires aux Vins (Source: RVF magazine September 2010):

Wine Year Price € Supermarket
Chateau Beychevelle 2008 25.45 Carrefour
Chateau Boyd-Cantenac 2006 24.95 Intermarché
Chateau Brane-Cantenac 2007 26.91 Intermarché
Chateau Calon Ségur 2007 37.15 Auchan, Intermarché
Chateau Carbonnieux 2008 19.30 Carrefour
Chateau Chasse-Spleen 2008 15.55 Leclerc
Chateau Citran 2007 10.40 Intermarché
Chateau Clinet 2008 39.50 Leclerc, Intermarché
Chateau Cos d’Estournel 2007 77.65 Leclerc
Chateau de Fieuzal 2008 18.90 Systeme U
Chateau Giscours 2008 25.75 Intermarché
Chateau Gloria 2007 20.90 Auchan
Chateau Labégorce 2008 16.90 Systeme U
Chateau Lafon-Rochet 2008 22.25 Leclerc
Chateau Lafon-Rochet 2007 23.35 Auchan
Chateau Lagrange 2006 29.90 Auchan, Carrefour, Intermarché
Chateau Léoville-Las Cases 2006 150.90 Carrefour
Chateau Léoville-Las Cases 2007 106.30 Leclerc
Chateau Léoville Poyferré 2007 35.50 Leclerc
Chateau Lynch-Bages 2008 38.65 Carrefour
Chateau Lynch-Moussas 2008 17.65 Intermarché
Chateau Les Ormes de Pez 2008 16.90 Systeme U
Chateau Pontet-Canet 2007 51.35 Leclerc
Chateau Poujeaux 2008 15.80 Leclerc
Chateau Rollan de By 2008 12.50 Intermarché, Systeme U
Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte 2007 37.90 Carrefour
Chateau Sociando-Mallet 2007 26.35 Leclerc
Chateau Taillefer 2005 18.90 Carrefour
Chateau Talbot 2008 24.25 Carrefour
Chateau du Tertre 2007 19.95 Auchan, Leclerc
Chateau La Tour Carnet 2008 17.90 Intermarché
Clos du Marquis 2007 25.70 Leclerc
Domaine de Chevalier 2007 28.70 Leclerc

Claribès Wins Bronze at IWC

June 15, 2010

Congratulations to Helen and Nick at Chateau Claribès in Gensac near Sainte Foy whose latest wine – Vieille Vigne Malbec – has just been awarded a Bronze Medal at the International Wine Challenge in London.  This award follows stars from the renowned French wine guide the Guide Hachette and goes to prove that British winemakers are pleasing palates on both sides of the channel!  You can visit Helen and Nick’s organic vineyard, taste their wines and stay in the gite next door to the Chateau – click here for details.

Bordeaux Organic Primeurs

March 29, 2010

48 Organic wines at Chateau Franc Pourret in Saint Emilion – Tuesday 30th and Wednesday 31st of March.  Click here for a full list of exhibitors…

Côtes de Bordeaux

March 11, 2010

My very good friends Chrystelle and Jean-Marc Lirand, owners of Chateau Roche-Pressac near Saint Emilion, explain the new ‘Côtes de Bordeaux’ labelling.  Here’s the video from the French TV station TF1… 

Roche-Pressac is a must for lovers of rich, mineral ‘côtes’ wines; Chrystelle is the head of the Order of the Brotherhood of Castillon Wines, and a great cook too.

The côtes vines at Chateau Roche-Pressac

Look Inside “French Vineyards”

February 26, 2010

To take a look at one of the entries from the guide (Chateau du Tertre in Margaux), click on the image below.

Chateau du Tertre in London

February 23, 2010

French Vineyard B&Bs don’t get much grander than Chateau du Tertre: classed growth wines, sumptuous lofty rooms, a 70 metre pool… Fans of the Chateau (there are many!) didn’t have to go all the way to Margaux this weekend to taste its crus classés reds. They came in legions to London, to Decanter Magazine’s Fine Wine Encounter.  Nearly seventy of Bordeaux’s top wine producers were there at the Landmark Hotel.  Awash with wine,  the two grand ballrooms were crammed with over seven-hundred Bordeaux-loving souls, all there to worship at the altar of Bacchus!

Alexander Van Beek  – General Manager of Chateau du Tertre and Chateau Giscours

Wine writers Oz Clarke and Michael Schuster came along to sign copies of their latest books, as did Alastair Sawday and yours truly – delighted to meet so many Francophiles with a yen to travel to the French wine lands.

Oz Clarke and Patrick Hilyer