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BKWine Pick: Domaine Jean-Marc Brocard, Chablis

>> Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Soil, or terroir, is important for Brocard. To best express the Chablis character Jean-Marc Brocard has chosen not to use any oak for his wines. He thinks that this best enhances the minerality and typical Chablis style. The property covers a substantial 96 hectares and produces a wide range of wines, including premier cru and grand cru wines as well as non-AC-Chablis wines. These are made in similar style and specifically to express the terroir and therefore carry the name of the soil type: Kimméridgien, Portlandien och Jurassique. Jean-Marc has recently deservedly been very successful in marketing his wines internationally.

Read about more of our favourite producers and find the contact details on my Producer Page.


BKWine Pick: San Pedro, Molina, Chile

>> Sunday, January 29, 2006 Vina San Pedro is Chiles biggest wine producer. They make 3 million cases each year most of their "base" wine Gato Cabernet Sauvignon. Their top cuvee is called Cabo Horno and they also have three mid range selections called 35 South, Castillo de Molina and 1865. Consistently good quality.


Do you want wine news on your site?

>> Saturday, January 28, 2006

BKWine Brief BlogDo you want to help us publicize our BKWine Brief Blog? Or do you want wine world news on your site like this animated headline gif?

Put this animated gif on your page! It will scroll the five latest headlines from the BKWine Brief Blog.

Here's what to do: Copy the code below and paste it on your site in html (you must copy it as pure html, so you might need to do it over Notepad or similar. I'm not very good at making text boxes so I hope this works...):

You can get the same thing from our Wine Picture Blog here.
This neat little thing comes from


BKWine Pick: Albet i Noya, Sant Pau d'Ordal

The Albet i Noya family has been making wine in Penedes since the early 19-hunderds. Since 1979 the vineyard is run by the two brothers Josep and Antoni Albet i Noya. That year they also decided to transform the property to organic agriculture. The wines are generally of high quality and made from a variety of grapes, e.g. Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon. In Paris you can find their wines at e.g. Lafayette Gourmet.


Some wine links from BKWine

>> Thursday, January 26, 2006

Some wine sites worth having a look at:


BKWine Pick: Château de Targé, Saumur-Champigny

>> Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A very impressive chateau just outside Saumur. Very good reds with AC Saumur Champigny and whites with AC Saumur. Has belonged to the same family since the 17th century and is now managed by Edouard Pisani Ferry. Look especially for the prestige wine Cuvée Ferry. If you buy directly from the property the Saumur-Champigny Targé 2003 is (was, probably sold out by now) 6.75€ and Cuvée Ferry 2000 is 10.50€. The white Saumur Blanc Les Fresnettes 2003 is 11.50€. Take a look at their web site: They have a fun animated description of the vinification: go to “soil, wine, and cellar” and click Next.


BKWine Pick: Château Haut Bertinerie, Premières Côtes de Blaye, Bordeaux

>> Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Château Haut-Bertinerie is the leading estate in Premières Côtes de Blaye, just east of Médoc on the other side of the estuary Gironde. The red wines are made from old Merlot (65%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (35%) vines. It is full bodied with some spiciness and what the French call ‘torrefacion’ (the slightly burned aroma from roasting coffee) and with good fruit. The white is also good, fresh with just a touch of wood. The chateau was bought in 1961 by Daniel Bantegnies and is run today by his two sons Eric and Frantz, both oenologists.

Read about more of our favourite producers and find the contact details on my Producer Page.


BKWine Pick: Domaine du Vieux Chêne, Roussillon

>> Monday, January 23, 2006

This is a large property covering some 110 hectares just outside of Rivesaltes. Denis Sarda-Bobo makes a fresh and fruit Muscat de Rivesaltes (100% Muscat Petits Grains) and some very powerful dry red wines, the best from 100% Syrah.

Read about more of our favourite producers and find the contact details on my Producer Page.


Cellier du Mas Montel/Mas Granier, Sommières - BKWine Tip

>> Sunday, January 22, 2006

Mas Montel makes both Vin de Pays d’Oc and AC Coteaux du Languedoc. It is very nice and good value for money wines, for example the Cuvée Jéricho, a Vin de Pays made from 80% Syrah fermented in maceration carbonique (uncrushed grapes fermenting, similar to what is done in Beaujolais). Easy to drink with lots of fruit and berries in the character.

Read about more of our favourite producers and find the contact details on my Producer Page.


Recommended: Château Mourgues du Grès, Costières de Nimes

>> Thursday, January 19, 2006

Château Mourgues du Grès is owned by Anne and François Collard. François is oenologist and has previously worked at Château Lafite-Rothschild. Their sun-drenched 35 hectares property is close to the Rhône river and has deservedly received quite a lot of attention for their wines with plenty of character and personality. They are often seen in Paris wine bars.

Read about more of our favourite producers and find the contact details on my Producer Page


Wine Link Tips

>> Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Some wine sites that you might enjoy visiting:

  • Wine Learning Centre: Various wine information and a quite amusing section on how to pronounce wine terminology:
  • Marc Squires, not the most up-to-date web design but lots of contents and tasting notes on the site:

Send us suggestions on sites to be included here.


Don't forget: Go on a wine tour

>> Monday, January 16, 2006

040917-133-3396Just a reminder to you that we have some exciting wine tours lined up this year:

You know, you really should go on a wine country holiday this year!


Today's Tip: Château Roubine, Valerie and Philippe Riboud, Provence

Valerie and Philippe Riboud bought the beautiful Château Roubine with the adjoining 75 hectares of vineyard in 1994. Neither of them had much experience of wine growing at that time. Valerie had been working in the hotel and restaurant sector and Philippe was a sportsman (six Olympic medals in fencing!). So they had to learn everything from scratch. As for all growers in Provence rosé wine is important for Chateau Roubine. It accounts for 45% of production and is a high quality rosé, in particular the prestige cuvée “Philippe Riboud” made exclusively from the unusual but interesting grape variety Tibouren (~12 €/bottle). It has concentrated fruit, some smokiness and some touches of lemon and orange peel. Also the red “Philippe Riboud” (14€), predominately made from Syrah, and my favourite among the white wines, Cuvée Bargemon (~12€) made from Sémillon and slightly oaked, are very good. All are Appellation Contrôlée Côtes de Provence.
Click here for address.



Today's Tip: Domaine Pierre Gaillard, Condrieu and Saint-Joseph

>> Sunday, January 15, 2006

A short drive away from the river, uphill along winding roads with breathtaking views you will find Domaine Pierre Gaillard. Pierre started his career at Vidal-Fleury (now owned by Guigal) in Ampuis a short distance away. While at Vidal-Fleury he was planning his own wine growing business, bought some land and planted some vines. In 1987 he made his first Saint-Joseph. His property has now reached 20 hectares including Saint-Joseph, Condrieu, Côte Rôtie and Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes. Certainly one of the best wine estates in the region both for red and white wines.
Click here for address.

Read about more recommended producers on the site: Favourite Producers



Where are you?

>> Saturday, January 14, 2006

Oh, and by the way, why don't you put a pin for you on the Frappr map, just for fun, to show us where in the world you are! Click the Frappr sticker in the right hand column.


Restaurant Recommendation: Le Porte-Pot, Bistrot à Vins, cave, épicerie, Paris

A nice wine bar and wine shop in the centre of the Quartier Latin (Latin Quarter). It just opened in February (2005). Nicely decorated with a dominant red that contrasts with the old wooden beams. The choice at lunch is “today’s special” (served hot – all other dishes are served cold) (12€) and salads (8€), smoked trout (12€), charcuterie or cheese platters (11€). In the evening they offer a wider choice of hot food. The wines are well chosen and reasonably priced. You even have a choice between 7cl glasses or 15cl glasses. Good option if you want to try several different wines. In December they had two Alsace wines as the special of the month: one surprisingly powerful Pinot Noir 2003 from Seppi Landman, the hot vintage giving the wine the extra punch (2.20€ for 7cl) and the same growers fruity and well made Riesling (3.90€ for 15cl). Open Mon-Fri 12.00-14.00 and 19.00-22.30.
Click here for address.

Read more recommendations on restaurants and winebars on my Restaurant and Wine Bar page.


Guest Writers on BKWine

It’s been one of our projects for some time now… And now we have the Guest Writer section live on First guest writers are:

-- Grahame Martin
-- The Coteaux du Lyonnais – All 380 hectares of it!
"Living in France has many advantages for wine lovers. One of the most rewarding can be seeking out the lesser known wines of the smaller Appellations…"

-- Richard James
-- Armagnac
"Watching Marc Saint-Martin stoke up Marie-Jeanne’s fire with chunks of dry wood evokes romantic images of steam trains and times gone by. It’s actually the name of his “probably at least 100 year old” travelling still…"

-- Wine World Tour (already featured in the Brief):
-- Schramsberg
"Jamie Davis était émue, quand en 1965, elle et son mari, quittèrent Los Angeles. Jeunes parents trentenaires,…"
-- Central Otago
"Vue d’Europe, que nous évoque la très lointaine Nouvelle-Zélande ?..."

-- Virpi Sorvisto
-- Alsace, eleganttien valkoviinien maakunta
"Ajaessa autolla Strasbourgista etelään voi ihailla upeaa maisemaa, kauniit viinipengermät kohoavat Vosges – vuorijonon rinteille, tunnelmaa täydentää auringonlasku vuorten taakse..."


The 1976 Paris Tasting – a revolution

>> Friday, January 13, 2006

In 1976 a blind tasting was organised in Paris (by Steven Spurrier if I remember correctly). It pitched, blind, some top French wines against top Californian wines. The Californians came out on top. A book on the event written by the only attending journalist has just been published (George Taber: Judgment of Paris: California vs. France and the Historic 1976 Paris Tasting). Read a long interview with the author here.


BKWine will be interviewed in the Wine & Dine podcast

The (Lynn Chamberlain) will feature an interview with Britt the week starting January 8. Listen to it here:
(the link in the centre just under “Listen to the current Wine & Dine Radio Show”)


Last Minute (Christmas) Gifts

>> Thursday, January 12, 2006

(This post originally appeared in The BKWine Brief before Christmas, but it works just as well for non-Christmas gifts...)

There’s still time (depending on when you read this of course) to get some last minute Christmas gifts from BKWine:
-- Free 2006 Wine Calendar, download and print it
-- Free Wine Screensavers for the computer
-- A wine tour or contribution to a wine tour – get a gift voucher from us
-- A subscription to the magazine The World of Fine Wine, special offer for the readers of The Brief (Subscription offer. Big pdf to download here)

And even if it won’t arrive in time for Christmas, take a look here:
-- Wine Calendar, Wine Notebook (for your tasting notes?), Greeting Cards, Framed Wine Photos – all with wine motifs.


Bordeaux wants to pull up 10 000 hectares of vines

The goal is to pull up 10,000 ha of vines in Bordeaux, which represents around 10% of the total area. Those who pull up can receive up to 15,000€ per hectare. The vignerons have until December 31 to submit the dossier. At the end of November only 500 ha had been identified.


EU will allow oak chips

>> Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Contrary to previous reporting the EU has decided to allow the use of oak chips at a meeting on December 12. The decision was taken on a proposal from the Italians but quite a few French producers have been positive too. Some other wine technologies were also approved: wider use of ascorbic acid; a new type of protein to stabilise wine; limited use of active coal for red wine (previously only allowed for white); use of dimethyl-dicarbonate (?) (DMDC) to stabilise primarily sweet wines. More info on


Some Wine and Food Blogs

It is becoming more and more popular to blog. Have you tried? There are both very interesting and, hrrmm, less interesting blogs. Here is a selection of wine and food blogs to keep you busy over the holidays:

English Blogs
-- An American in Spain - Catavino
-- Wine Whys – Two women in wine (no longer active?)
-- Appellation Australia

French Blogs:
-- Vins de Loire
-- Sommelier-consultant, Paris
-- C’est moi qui l’ai fait!
-- Patrick Chazallet

Some Wine Producers' Blogs:
-- Champagne Tarlant
-- Jean-Luc Thunevin (Château Valandraud et al.)
-- Marc Perrin (Château de Beaucastel)
-- Hervé Bizeul (Clos des Fées)
-- Iris Rutz-Rudel, Lisson
-- Dupéré Barrera

And our own BKWines Blogs:
-- BKWine Brief Blog (that's here!)
-- Monopolbloggen (Swedish)
-- Wine Pictures Blog


Fitou – quality in southern Languedoc

>> Monday, January 09, 2006

Fitou is at the very southern edge of Languedoc, just before it changes to Roussillon. It is a region that has since long tried to keep a high quality profile. This region, basking in sun, with mild winters, was consequently the first to get an Appellation Contrôlée for red wines in the Languedoc. They were awarded AOC status already in 1948 when the rest of Languedoc was busy making cheap table wine.

Today Fitou covers 2,500 hectares, stretching almost from the seaside up to the mountains, the Massif du Corbières. The Carignan grape thrive in the poor and dry soils here and produce quality grapes, giving the wines a good structure. The Fitou growers are keen to keep Carignan, elsewhere often considered a poor grape. In addition to Carignan they use some Grenache, giving finesse and some softness, and two relative newcomers, Mourvèdre and Syrah, to add complex aromas and tannins.

There are some 500 growers in Fitou (not all of them on the picture, right) but only 35 individual producers, so the co-operatives play an important role. There are five coops, for instance the well known Les Vignerons du Mont Tauch (picture), making excellent wines like for instance the Cuvée Les Quatre (12€ at the winery) and Terroir de Tuchan. Another co-operative, Cave des Vignerons de Fitou, makes a spicy, well balanced and elegant wine called Domaine de Roc Nègre. Among the individual producers you should look for, for example, Château Wiala whose Cuvée Tradition 2003 is round and full with a good structure and aromas of cherries and cherry pits giving it a nice additional punch, or Château des Erles made by the omnipresent (it sometimes feels like) Lurton brothers Jacques and François. Their prestige cuvée is very full-bodied and you can also look out for the somewhat less expensive Cuvée des Ardoises.


New boss for wines at Vin & Sprit V&S

V&S Vin & Sprit AB, the state-owned largest Swedish importer of wines and spirits have appointed a new manager for the business area V&S Wines: Andreas Carlsson. Carlson leaves his job as CEO of Fuijcolor in Sweden. He has previously been with e.g. Stepstone and Unilever


Guilty verdicts in the first bribery judgement in the scandal involving Systembolaget

>> Sunday, January 08, 2006

All accused were found guilty in the first of several trials in the bribery scandal around the Swedish alcohol monopoly Systembolaget involving in total around one hundred persons. 18 people were fined, two from one importer, Vin-Trädgårdh, and the rest ex-employees (ex-shop managers) at Systembolaget. More info here from SR. Or in The Local.


5,500 euro for a bottle of Hock 1727

One bottle of Rüdesheimer Apostelwein 1727 was recently sold by Christie’s in Amsterdam for more than 5,500€. According to Michael Broadbent it had a taste reminiscent of apples and of an old sherry, according to tasting notes from when he tasted the wine in the 80s. It has hardly, relatively speaking, aged much in the 20 years since.


Unwins in liquidation

>> Saturday, January 07, 2006

We just learned that Unwins, one of the UK’s leading chains of wine shops (380 shops, 24 employees) has been put in liquidation after a long period of uncertainty. It would be easy to crack a joke on the term but it is sad that a big merchant has been forced to close its doors. BBC News


Wine agreement between the EU and the US

The EU commission voted to approve an agreement between the EU and the US on wine trade on December 20. Exactly what the agreement will mean is unclear to us at this moment. It is said to be just the first step in a process that will continue with a negotiations on a wider agreement soon. The purpose is a mutual recognition of e.g. appellations and wine making practices that will facilitate trade. Germany, Portugal and Austria voted against and Greece abstained. International Herald Tribune, La Journee Vinicole.

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