There is no denying that the chaotic weather
that France endured last year had an impact across all regions of
The 2017 harvest produced the smallest crop since 1945 and most
of the major areas were effected in some way, be it from frost,
hail or drought. Along with many countries, the fruit that France
was given was healthy and ripe in the main, offering good
concentration and solid potential alcohol levels indicating a very
good vintage in prospect.
We travelled south this year, down to Burgundy, Beaujolais and the
Rhone, as well as further afield to refresh our range and welcome
some wonderful new producers to our stable.
Domaine de Denante from the Maconnais are rising stars of this
increasingly important and interesting sub-region. Elegant and
restrained wines that are deliciously drinkable, and also
incredible value. Gautier Marion, of Domaine de la Couvette in
Beaujolais, has added a further delightful dimension to our
portfolio with his traditional approach and aged vines he creates
spicy, earthy examples of Beaujolais wrapped around a lovely
Heading further south, we discovered the husband and wife run
Domaine de Bethete. On clay, limestone soils, full of stones, they
manage to produce vigorous wines full of garrigue and spicy fruit,
all hand crafted from 35 year old vines.
Our last acquisition is about as far south as you can go and still
be French. In the heart of the Mediterrean, Corsica is an island
full of paradoxes as Clos Venturi demonstrates sitting high up in
the mountains on the island, right at the limits of where
winemaking is possible. This fascinating position allows some low
intervention wine to be made using local varieties showcasing the
distinct terroir of the Corsican landscape.