So, November is almost upon us! Here in London we are feasting on all that the game season has to offer. Fergus explains the thrill: "Nature hurls its menu at you, one delicious creature after another. We begin with grouse on the Glorious 12th, grey-legged partridges follow, then pheasant, woodcock and the rabbits and hares about your feet. It signals that seasonal change, and ah, the musk! The joy! A treat.”
That musk of Autumn! The last of the girolles and the first of the Jerusalem artichokes. The squash are a thing to behold, and the pheasants are starting to fly onto our chopping blocks and into our pies. But over in France, in our own winery and in the vineyards of our vigneron friends, there is no time yet to fatten up for winter. The focus is on those recently harvested grapes, preparing the 2017 vintages for your tables in the years to come.
Think of these winemakers with their sore backs, fingers purple from picking and noses red from the elements (and maybe from the 2016 vintage, too)! Their Autumn endeavours are all for your Winter comfort and with this in mind we have put together a selection of wines, which invite the drinker to curl up against the cold. Presenting our November Case.
This is the season to luxuriate in weightier whites, which sing next to those root vegetables (or on the sofa). There is the Prade Mari which shows you, with its Autumn orchard fruits, just how wonderful sometimes-maligned Viognier can be. Then across in Provence we have Les Genets, big sister to Raimond's Petit Salé which was in July's case. Heading North, Gerard Metz's Edelzwicker has the richness which one expects from the aromatic whites of Alsace, yet keeps freshness and lift... because we need some lift in the glass, we are not in deepest winter yet!
The reds! And to that lift again, the Fronton Reserve is made from a wonderful grape called Negrette which is lighter and prettily perfumed. Then here is our own rich and luscious Boulevard Napoleon Grenache Noir, showing the complexity of its 70-year-old vines and elegance from partial maturation in large seasoned oak barrels. And finally the Calcaire: wonderful now, brilliant when decanted... or if you'd like to wait even longer, let it cellar for the next 6-12 months.
Then you, like the winemakers, can benefit next year from the good decisions made in this one.