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

September Foires aux Vins

August 24, 2010

It’s that time of year again when the French hypermarkets cram their front aisles (and even the odd marquee in the car park) with cases and cases of fine wine. Lots of good value 2008s this year at not much more money than the en primeur prices; and lots of firmly-priced 2007s too!

I’m collating the prices quoted in the French wine press, before the offers are made later in September, starting with these first Bordeaux and Burgundy offers – as published in La Revue du Vin de France (RVF). I’ll be adding more regions (more Bordeaux Crus Classés soon) and more wines over the coming days and weeks…






Price (€)


Graves Château Ferrande Red 2008 7.95 Systeme U
Graves Château Lugaud Red 2009 4.90 Carrefour
Haut-Médoc Château Barreyres Red 2007 8.90 Monoprix
Haut-Médoc Château Cantemerle Red 2005 21.00 Carrefour
Haut-Médoc Château Coufran Red 2001 9.95 Casino
Haut-Médoc Château La Tour Carnet Red 2008 17.90 Intermarché
Haut-Médoc Château Sociando-Mallet Red 2007 27.51 Intermarché
Listrac-Médoc Château Fouras-Hosten Red 1999 10.90 Monoprix
Listrac-Médoc Château Fourcas Dupré Red 2008 9.75 Systeme U
Margaux Château Pieuré Lichine Red 2008 24.50 Systeme U
Margaux Château Pouget Red 2008 29.95 Systeme U
Margaux Château Rauzan-Gassies Red 2008 24.50 Auchan
Médoc Château Bessan Ségur Red 2005 7.50 Carrefour Market
Médoc Château Les Grands Chenes Red 2008 12.95 Systeme U
Moulis Château Chasse-Spleen Red 2007 17.95 Casino
Moulis Château Chasse-Spleen Red 2008 16.20 Intermarché
Moulis Château Mauvesin Red 2009 13.00 Carrefour Market
Moulis Château Poujeaux Red 2003 19.90 Monoprix
Moulis Château Poujeaux Red 2008 15.80 Leclerc
Pauillac Château Lynch-Bages Red 2008 38.65 Carrefour
Pauillac Château Lynch-Moussas Red 2008 17.65 Intermarché
Pauillac Château Pichon Longeville Baron Red 2002 69.95 Leclerc
Pauillac Château Pontet-Canet Red 2007 51.90 Carrefour
Pauillac Château Pontet-Canet Red 2006 55.00 Casino
Pessac-Léognan Château Carbonnieux Red 2008 19.30 Carrefour
Pessac-Léognan Château Carbonnieux Red 2008 19.75 Intermarché
Pessac-Léognan Château de Fieuzal Red 2008 18.90 Systeme U
Pessac-Léognan Château Haut-Bailly Red 2008 47.95 Auchan
Pessac-Léognan Château Lafon Menaut White 2009 8.50 Casino
Pessac-Léognan Château Larrivet Haut-Brion White 2008 26.95 Systeme U
Pessac-Léognan Château Limbourg Red 2008 11.50 Carrefour
Pessac-Léognan Château Olivier Red 2006 19.95 Casino
Pessac-Léognan Château Smith Haut-Lafitte Red 2008 36.95 Auchan
Pessac-Léognan Domaine de Chevalier Red 2007 29.95 Casino
Pessac-Léognan Domaine de la Solitude White 2009 13.95 Systeme U
Saint Julien Les Fiefs de Lagrange Red 2008 13.95 Systeme U
Saint-Estèphe Château Cos d’Estournel Red 2007 79.00 Auchan
Saint-Estèphe Château Haut-Marbuzet Red 2008 24.95 Auchan
Saint-Estèphe Château Lafon Rochet Red 2008 22.25 Leclerc
Saint-Estèphe Château Lafon-Rochet Red 2006 25.00 Casino
Saint-Estèphe Château Les Ormes de Pez Red 2008 16.90 Systeme U
Saint-Estèphe Château Petit Bocq Red 2008 15.20 Leclerc
Saint-Estèphe Les Pagodes de Cos Red 2008 27.50 Leclerc
Saint-Julien Château Beychevelle Red 2008 25.45 Carrefour
Saint-Julien Château Léoville-Poyferré Red 2007 35.95 Auchan
Sauternes Château de Malle White 1998 18.95 Auchan
Sauternes Château de Rayne Vogneau Madame de Rayne White 2001 14.90 Systeme U
Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux Château Montseigneur Red 2009 5.30 Carrefour
Bordeaux Château Marjosse Red 2009 6.90 Carrefour
Bordeaux Supérieur Château La Caderie Cuvée Aurélie Red 2009 4.50 Auchan
Bordeaux Supérieur Château Reignac Red 2008 13.50 Leclerc
Côtes de Bourg Château Fougas Maldoror Red 2008 9.95 Auchan
Côtes de Bourg Château Montfollet Cuvée Altus Red 2009 6.90 Carrefour
Côtes de Bourg Clos des Moisettes Red 2006 5.60 Intermarché
Fronsac Château de la Rivière Red 2002 11.90 Monoprix
Fronsac Château La Fleur Chadenne Red 2006 9.50 Casino
Graves des Vayres Château Cantelaudette Cuvée Prestige Red 2008 6.00 Leclerc
Graves des Vayres Château d’Arveyres Cuvée Prestige White 2009 6.00 Intermarché
Graves des Vayres Château Lesparre Red 2005 6.30 Carrefour Market
Lalande-de-Pomerol Château de Bel Air Red 2007 9.90 Systeme U
Lalande-de-Pomerol Château Jean de Gué Red 2008 16.99 Leclerc
Lalande-de-Pomerol Château La Fleur de Bouard Red 2008 18.95 Auchan
Lalande-de-Pomerol Château les Capucins Red 2009 5.99 Carrefour Market
Montagne-Saint-Emilion Château La Croix Bayard Cuvée Tradition Red 2009 5.79 Systeme U
Pomerol Château Clinet Red 2008 39.50 Intermarché
Pomerol Château La Croix de Gay Red 2008 20.90 Leclerc
Pomerol Château Plince Red 2008 18.50 Systeme U
Pomerol Château Taillefer Red 2005 19.95 Monoprix
Pomerol Château Taillefer Red 2005 18.90 Carrefour Market
Puisseguin-Saint-Emilion Château Bois de Cadet Red 2009 4.90 Carrefour
Puisseguin-Saint-Emilion Château Branda Red 2008 9.50 Carrefour Market
Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Château du Calvaire Red 2007 8.70 Casino
Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Château Jean-Faure Red 2007 22.00 Monoprix
Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Château La Fleur Cardinale Red 2008 24.50 Auchan
Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Château Larmande Red 2008 15.95 Systeme U
Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Château Monbousquet Cuvée Angélique Red 2006 13.50 Casino
Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Château Pavie-Macquin Red 2008 47.95 Auchan
Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Château Yon Figeac Red 2007 16.95 Carrefour Market

Burgundy & Beaujolais

Appellation Producer Colour Year Price (€) Supermarche
Saint-Amour Château de Saint-Amour Red 2009 5.90 Carrefour
Givry Domaine Vincent Lump Red 2009 7.95 Carrefour
Chablis 1er cru Sélections Domaines Brocard White 2009 9.95 Carrefour
Chambolle Musigny Domaine Frédéric Magnien Coeur de Pierres Red 2009 27.95 Carrefour
Morgon Domaine de Bellevue Red 2009 4.95 Casino
Chablis 1er cru Andrée Tremblay Montmains White 2009 10.50 Casino
Pommard P Charlopin Grandes Réserves Red 2009 21.90 Casino
Macon-Villages Domaine Eloy White 2009 4.70 Intermarché
Juliénas Domaine Grumeline Red 2009 4.85 Intermarché
Pouilly-Loché Domaine du Clos des Rocs White 2007 13.95 Intermarché
Gevrey-Chambertin Domaine Harmand-Geoffroy Red 2007 18.95 Intermarché
Rully Jean Chartron Mont Morin White 2008 10.59 Systeme U
Santenay Domaine Sorine & Fils Vieilles Vignes Red 2009 10.05 Systeme U
Saint-Aubin Chateau de Santenay En Vesvau White 2007 12.50 Systeme U
Chambolle Musigny Dominique Laurent Vieilles Vignes Red 2008 29.00 Systeme U
Moulin-a-Vent Domaine des Rosiers Red 2009 6.75 Auchan
Rully Domaine du Meix Guillaume Vieilles Vignes White 2009 8.95 Auchan
Santenay Domaine Saint Francois-Michel White 2008 13.50 Auchan
Passe-Tout-Grains Chateau Ferrey Montangerand Red 2009 3.95 Monoprix
Pouilly-Vinzelles Domaine du Clos des Rocs White 2008 9.95 Monoprix
Ladoix Domaine Claude Chevalier Red 2008 15.50 Monoprix
Meursault Ropiteau White 2007 18.90 Monoprix
Savigny-les-Beaune 1er cru Louis Jadot Les Lavieres red 2003 19.95 Monoprix
Juliénas Thorin Terres de Galene Red 2009 4.95 Carrefour Market
Chablis Domaine Eugene Carion White 2008 7.80 Carrefour Market
Brouilly Les Tours de Pierreux Red 2009 5.95 Leclerc
Morgon Arnaud Aucoeur Vieilles Vignes Red 2009 6.15 Leclerc
Chiroubles Domaine Cheysson Cote 400 Red 2009 6.65 Leclerc
Nuits-Saint-Georges Coron Pere & Fils Les Vigottes Red 2009 15.80 Leclerc
Gevrey-Chambertin Domaine Harmand-Geoffroy Red 2009 18.50 Leclerc

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…

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

Vignerons at the launch of French Vineyards

November 5, 2009


Bloomsbury, October 28th. A warm evening brought fourteen award-winning winemakers to the October Gallery’s art festooned salons and courtyard to celebrate the launch of French Vineyards.  Seduced by the aromas of over 50 different fine wines, the 150 or so guests came from near and far to toast the success of the book. The vignerons included:

Mathieu Mélinand (Domaine des Marrans, Fleurie)

Vincent Rapin [photo] (Domaine Valmengaux, Bordeaux)

Pascal Méli (Ch. Bujan, Côtes de Bourg)

Jacquie Franc de Ferrière (Ch. de Carbonneau, Sainte-Foy de Bordeaux)

Helen Kelly (Ch. Claribès, Sainte-Foy de Bordeaux)

Laurence Ployez (Maison Ployez-Jacquemart, Champagne)

Jonathan James (Domaine Saint Hilaire, Languedoc)

Jorje Maslakiewicz (Domaine Saint Ferréol, Languedoc)

Chantal Comte [photo] (Ch. de la Tuilerie, Costières de Nimes)

Paul Uhart (Ch. Lavanau, Côte de Duras)


…and representatives from Ch. Franc Pourret (Saint Emilion Grand Cru), Domaine Gayda (Languedoc), Ch. La Villatade (Minervois) and Clos de Caveau (Vacqueyras)

…plus a groaning tasting table of wines from Domaine Horcher (Alsace), Domaine Agapé (Alsace), Domaine de la Chapel de Vatre (Beaujolais Villages), Ch. Saint Robert (Graves), Domaine Désertaux-Ferrand (Côtes de Nuits and Meursault 1er cru), Anne Gros (Clos Vougeot grand cru), Ch. Haute Fontaine (Corbières), Mas du Soleilla (La Clape), Domaine Saint Luc (Côtes du Rhone Villages) and Saint Estève de Néri (Luberon).

My thanks go to all of the above plus Alastair Sawday [photo] and his talented, hard-working team who hosted the soirée so well.