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June 2009

les anciens will be sitting round the camp fire, mumbling about how the weather they anticipated a good while ago has come to pass - heat, sun, abundance. I hope they have handy supplies of rosé handy, but I expect their dish is more a Syrah or Grenache-inspired red. Having just celebrated two major and marvellous events, the Yapp 40th anniversary of their existence as the leading Rhône and Loire wine merchant in GB, and the Tim Johnston (Juveniles, Paris, famous for many a good bark at annoying people or regions near the Gironde, including the ejection of the Mondovino team onto the trottoir outside Juveniles, an event written up, no less, in the stately Revue de Vin de France) ?40th birthday luncheon - GOODNESS, this is a long sentence, but the home straight is in sight - I can testify to the refreshing qualities of the 2007 Tavel rosé La Forcadière from Domaine Maby (http://www.yapp.co.uk/) and the utterly delightful 2008 Château de Roquefort Côtes de Provence Corail rosé from the excellent biodynamic estate of Raimond de Villeneuve near La Ciotat, south of Marseille (http://www.leaandsandeman.co.uk/).

I have posted a review of 2008 Tavels under Recent Tastings. I find 2008 a really great rosé vintage from the Southern Rhône and Provence, providing the grower has been realistic and not pushed for too much extraction. There is no need for many of these wines to exceed 13 degrees, in which case the best are gorgeous to drink outdoors - great for the aperitif, picnics, barbecues and so on. Ship `em in, I say. There is also a recently posted full report on the 2007 Northern Rhônes. I am still grounded after knee trouble, so the dinners in the Rhône have been held over until 2010. Note that a few 2008 vat sample tasting notes are appearing after domaine visits made between December 2008 and March 2009. A full list of recent domaine additions is under the Goings-On tab in the left-hand margin.