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Jefford on Monday

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Jefford on Monday: Drinker's Delight

Vosne-Romanee village - Jefford

Do I provide enough drinking notes in this weekly bulletin? Perhaps not. The smell and taste of wine is, after all, magnetic north for all of us; everything else is just the scenery along the way. (Feel free to remonstrate about this or any other matter to me directly.)

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Hortus vineyards

Back in October, I took a Chinese friend to meet one of wine’s pioneers in my part of the Languedoc. Jean Orliac was, in his earlier years, a keen climber. As he looked down (back in the late 1970s) from footholds on the crags of Hortus and of Pic St Loup, he saw potential in the limestone rubble which lay beneath the branches of cade, holly oak and Aleppo pine.

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Family grapepicking day at Domaine Virgile Joly

You may, over the next few weeks, begin to pencil out a holiday plan for 2014. It may involve a vineyard visit or two. If you're hoping to visit leading addresses in Europe's classic regions, write for an appointment well in advance. And prepare, when the reply comes, for disappointment.

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Professor Kym Anderson University of Adelaide Wine Economics Centre.jpg

They're at it now. At any moment during the earth's daily rotation, and on every day of the 365 our planet takes to circumnavigate the sun, someone, somewhere, will be working in a vineyard. In often lonely but always (I'd argue) noble anonymity, the vineyard worker will be patiently seeing to the needs of one of 2,019 grape varieties, in one of 521 regions, in one of 44 countries.

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sancerre

It will be a while before we get our first taste of 2013 Sancerre, but when it finally begins to splash into glasses in the fish restaurants of London, New York and Singapore, drinkers may detect an unusually pronounced note of gunflint.

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Jefford on Monday

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Award-winning writer Andrew Jefford's Monday column on Decanter.com

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