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Jefford on Monday

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ipad wine

Many of my waking hours over the last month have been devoted to judging the Louis Roederer International Wine Writers' Awards.

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St Joseph Syrah

I was surprised to discover that I’m living in the biggest Syrah-growing region in the world. This variety is now France’s third most widely planted, after Merlot and Grenache, and there’s more of it in Languedoc-Roussillon than there is in the Rhône and Provence combined – 43,000 ha compared to 23,000 ha. (Largely, it must be admitted, because the Gard département is regarded as being part of Languedoc-Roussillon.) At a broader scale, France and Australia dominate global plantings of the variety, with 67,000 ha and 42,000 ha of the 180,000 ha found around the world.

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Father Hans Denk

"Les cordonniers," the French say, "sont toujours les plus mal chaussés" (cobblers are always worst shod). The saying comes from a remark of Montaigne's. Every time we have guests to dinner and I lay the table in preparation, this observation comes uncomfortably to mind.

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Jefford on Monday: The Crazed Giant

Hail in Burgundy 2013

It may be the event wine-growers fear more than any other: a wanton act of destruction by a crazed, machete-wielding giant. This 30-metre-high hooligan strides, eyes rolling, through your vineyard in a matter of minutes, lunging, slashing, slicing and flailing senselessly, trashing the vines and whatever they may be carrying. Then he’s gone, rampaging over the hill, leaving you to gasp at the wreckage.

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Jefford on Monday: A Bit of A Stink

judging

This is a column I've been drafting for a decade. Between 2004 and 2008, I noticed that more and more young and inexpensive reds (and some whites) at supermarket tastings in the UK were stinky. In other words, they smelled of sulphur compounds principally formed because wines were under-exposed to oxygen prior to bottling. This is usually called 'reduction'.

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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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