Spring is the start of the wine year (for drinkers, not producers) because it’s when prices are set and the previous vintage is bottled and starts to be released.

We’ve found two new suppliers, coincidentally, a (long) stone’s throw apart, just south of Carcassonne in the Languedoc.

Domaine Begude (yes Jonny) is the home of Englishman, James Kingslake. He bought it from another rosbif, the eccentric Bertie Eden of Chateau Maris, so this really is ‘a corner of a foreign field that is forever England’.

It always sounds a bit ‘good life/year in Provence’ but the good thing about an English vigneron in France is that the end result tends to be the type of wine we want to drink. Despite its sunny climate, Domaine Begude is quite high and really catches the winter weather making ideal conditions for Burgundian Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Alsace Gewurztraminer and Austrian Gruner Veltliner.

The Pinot Noir was Jancis Robinson’s wine of the week last year and the lightly oaked Chardonnay Terroir is positively Chablis-esque. Domaine Py, just down the road and a little more traditionally French, make an intense Old Vine Merlot and benchmark Corbières, both of which punch way above their weight and, again, get high marks from Jancis Robinson. 

Look out for them in our stores and let us know what you think.