It is not every day you get to go to a 200thanniversary party, but 200 years is how long Ellis of Richmond have been trading, with the company now run by the 7thgeneration, James, William and Robert.    So to mark the occasion, they hosted a large tasting in the magnificent floral Hall of the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.

And what fun it was. There were so many different wines to and so many people to see  that I stayed far longer than I intended.  I talked to friends in Tuscany and New Zealand and caught up with English wines and of course tasted the various offerings from the south, Provence as well as Languedoc, beginning with Famille Fabre.

The prices quoted are those on Ellis of Richmond’s list, so a trade price per bottle ex. VAT

Famille Fabre

Clémence Fabre recognised me from our zoom conversation so it was very sympa to meet her properly.   She was showing just four wines:

2020 Sauvignon Blanc Grande Courtade d’Or, Pays d’Oc  – £8.85

Quite rounded ripe sauvignon fruit.  A touch of exotic fruit, with some balancing acidity.

2021 Grande Courtade Rosé d’Oc – £8.75

An unusual blend of 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Pinot Noir and 45% Merlot.  A very pale colour.  Quite rounded ripe fruit on both nose and palate.  Dry raspberries.  Fresh with a streak of acidity.

2019 Corbières – £9.35

A blend of 35% Carignan, 25% each of Syrah and Mourvèdre and 15% Grenache Noir.  Aged in vat.  Ripe spicy garrigues fruit, supple tannins.  Youthful with some potential.  A satisfying example of Corbières.

NV Pét Nat – £15.60

60% Sauvignon and 40% Colombard.  No fining or filtering and the second fermentation takes place in the bottle. Very Sauvignon on the nose. Frothy, rounded and fun.