Saturday Tasting: A heated exchange with a scorpion

Whilst I was unpacking the Gigondas bottles, I had a surprise visitor on the Borough Market Stand. A little scorpion fell from the box.

I guess it could of made it to the papers (there is nothing as desperate as an editor to fill a blank page minutes before deadline) But I am not that of an attention seeker. And the said scorpion was in fact only the shell – the poor little fellow must have died of starvation in transit.

But what message does a tiny scorpion tells us about the climate of the vineyards? First of all, that no matter what we think, the southern Rhone is definately a sub mediterranean macro-climate. On the other hand, the area is full of massive pebbles, or as they call them – the galets.

It used to be a riverbed, but as the Rhone redirected its flow elsewhere, the region now benefits from these great heat radiating stones. They can be found mainly around Chateauneuf du Pape, but I think you can easily find some if them in the neighbouring Gigondas… Therefore the climate must be perfect for the heat seeking little creatures like that little scorpion…

And I guess this is what we all need at the moment: heat. The weather has changed drastically – we can call this a proper autumn now. The gift of last weekend’s bbq heatwave is gone, I think we need to bid adieu to summer.

But hey! We can regain heat inside bottles! The climates where this little scorpion travelled from, and the ones further down to the Languedoc, preserve their summer heat in their wines. And this summer heat radiates within us, when we enjoy these bottles. I think the aromas are the ones that show the true summer preserving capacity: fresh red fruit, pungent spices, earthy and dusty notes.

Ladies and Gentleman, time to go red! On the Borough Market today we present a newcomer, from Languedoc’s Herault valley, made by Cecil & Stephan Yerle. Come and have a try of their 100% Syrah, the Gros Grains!

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  1. […] that was slightly cooler than the neighbouring regions. As we know that the area is warm enough for scorpions, we can really understand why the pope valued the pre-aircon […]



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