Saturday, 6 January 2018

O, not so little star of Sedlescombe

Jose Vouillamoz is one of the most extraordinary people one can hope to meet. His fields of interest are legion. Winelovers will know him as one of the co-authors of 'Wine Grapes' with those other two extraordinary people Jancis Robinson and Julia Harding. Acknowledged as the one of, if not the world's  leading authority on the origin and parentage of grape varieties through DNA profiling.

Jose bestrides plant genetics in general. He written or contributed to countless papers with titles such as

'The new Thymus vulgaris L. Hybrid Cultivar "Varico 3" compared to five cultivars from Germany, France and Switzerland,'

'Saxifraga rotundifola L. : determination du stade de recolte en fonction de la phenologie et de la phytochimie,' 

and the catchy

'Salbei (Salvia officinalis): Einfluss des Rueckschnitts der Stoppeln im Fruehjahr auf Bluetenbildung, Ertrag und Qualitaet.'

So when Jose says something it is worth listening.

Recently we were nonetheless troubled by his following comment on grape hybrids. Troubled because we had to acknowledge there might be truth in it;

"I have almost never tasted a hybrid-based wine that was close to interesting, barring some rare exceptions (such as Didier Joris's Divico that I tasted recently). That said, I'd be happy to change my mind. But for the moment I think we should make a different category of PiWis and not call it wine."

We would like to propose this magnificent 2004 Regent from the Demeter acredited Sedlescombe vineyard in East Sussex, England for his consideration.

It was the not so little star of our holiday celebrations in December 2017. We think Jose will add it to his very short list of interesting hybrid wines although it will be difficult and expensive to obtain a bottle.

We were certainly convinced of it as the best English red we have ever tasted and a fine wine in its own right.




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