What we’ve been drinking (23 April)

At Decanter we all love our wine, and every week members of the Decanter team - from editorial assistant to publishing director - tell us what they've been enjoying at home and when they go out... What we've been drinking index

Tina Gellie

Chief Sub Editor, Decanter

   Domaine des Roches Neuves, Cuvée Insolite, Saumur Blanc, Loire 2008

The volcano’s antics may have reduced the numbers of producers in attendance at London’s recent Real Wine Tasting from 60 to a mere dozen or so, but that didn’t dampen spirits – or numbers – at that evening’s dinner hosted by Les Caves de Pyrène. Tables groaned with the best of Brittany cuisine – oysters, proper butter, smoked fish, sablés and kouign amann prepared by Breton chef Anthony Cointre. Tables were also festooned with natural wines – those made with as little intervention as possible, including no cultured yeasts, fining or filtration and little added sulphites. Two of the best that passed along our communal bench (sharing wines between tables was actively encouraged) was the Côte de Py from Beaujolais star Jean Foillard in Morgon, and this superb Chenin Blanc from 75-year-old vines from Thierry Germain. Juicy golden delicious apple fruit and clover honey dominate the nose and palate along with a twist of citrus peel. The lovely weight of textural, ripe fruit is strengthened by a firm structure, leading to a long, dry, whistle-clean finish. Beautiful minerality and refreshing acidity make it an ideal palate-cleansing food wine. A seriously good, honest drop that’s well-worth seeking out.

Adam Lechmere

Editor, decanter.com

   Domaine du Merchien, JAS, Vin de Pays du Lot, 2006

Have I mentioned this excellent Cahors producer before? We spent a glorious holiday nearby last summer, and brought back half a dozen cases, from different producers, all of them small and many quirky. Domaine du Merchien is run by an English couple, David and Sarah Meakin. The JAS (Jurançon, Abouriou and Syrah in equal parts) was the last of the summer wine in the kitchen wine rack. I opened it last night to go with baked potato, cold sausage and various leftovers. Delicious, rustic but not tiresomely so, lovely peppery palate with bright raspberry leaf and blackberry fruit with juicy and still very fresh tannins. It transported me back to last August, and shirtless lunches by the pool.

John Abbott

Deputy Editor, decanter.com

   Rose Apanage, Pommery, Champagne, France NV

Champagne and fish & chips – the ultimate in opposing worlds colliding. An impromptu Friday birthday celebration was the ideal chance to update my memory of this lesser-known ‘classic’ food and wine match.

The quality of the fish and chips is always an important factor. Warm and not overly dried-out, with more salt than vinegar, wrapped up in big sheets of white greaseproof paper is ideal – yesterday’s newspaper seems a cliché these days.

The Champagne was Pommery’s elegantly-bottled non-vintage ‘rose apanage’, which had been sitting in the fridge for far too long and seemed pleased to be let out, even if it was served in Veuve Clicquot branded flutes.

Bursting with a vibrant mousse and searing acidity, it was the most refreshingly brilliant answer to the juicy, warm fish meat and slightly underdone batter. We were not in the mood to pontificate – instead, laughter and old-fashioned enjoyment were the order of the day.

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