31 May 2010 3:00 pm | Posted by siteadmin

Domaine Dupont is situated in the heart of the Pays d’Auge Calvados. This is a region which has long been considered as to adding a little extra to the finesse and delicacy of the calvados because it only permits the use of apples and insists on double pot distillation.

In 1980 Etienne Dupont took over from his father and has worked hard to improve the orchards and distillation methods.The orchard is now a mixture of old taller trees as well as small standard trees. Varieties such as Saint Martin, Doux Normandie and Noel des Champs have been specially cultivated to provide the maximum aromatic qualities from their small fruits.

Etienne studied the methods of distillation from Cognac. These techniques and his inherited knowledge combine to produce a spirit that represents the flavour and ripeness of the apple alongside the mellowness and warmth of a well aged spirit. He has also experimented with ageing in different cask sizes and oak types to ensure that the flavour extracted through distillation is further enhanced during maceration.

Domaine Dupont uses three types of apples in a set formula : 30% sweet, 30% bitter and 40% are apples with high acidity, this gives the correct balance of flavour.The apples are cropped manually and stored in open wooden crates to allow them to rest and mature for up to a month before fermentation.

We list these fine calvados from this prestigious producer.

calvados-dupont-vsop_edited-2Calvados Pays d’Auge VSOP
Aged for around six years in 400 litre oak casks. This oak comes from the Loire Valley and is lightly toasted to help the capture the subtle vanilla aroma.The nose has fine oaky spice , touch of vanilla and balsam with an abundance of fresh apple and touch of butterscotch on the palate finishing with a little kick from the spirit.


Calvados Hors d’Auge
This is aged for 12 years. A fresh and elegant nose with intense vanilla apple, some floral notes of jasmine and rose and touches of sturdy oak and dried fruit. A smooth palate with good persistence, fine fruit with complex oaky flavour showing baked apples, vanilla, spiced fruit and good structure with a long finish and some mouth-tingling grip. 

calvados-dupont-half_edited-1Calvados Vintage 1989 Half Bottle
A nose of dried fruits, apple and vanilla, preserved oranges and a little hint of rosewater. These aromas come back on the palate, baked apples and tarte tartin, a touch of raisins and spice with some classic oak structure and a fine layered finish.


Also Calvados Pays d’Auge, Vintage 1989 700ml and Calvados Reserve Pays d’Auge 1500ml



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11 May 2010 11:29 am | Posted by siteadmin

FOOD and WINE PAIRING–SMOKED FOODS (continuation from blog ” Food and Wine Pairing ” dated 3rd April 2010

INTRODUCTION:—This blog and the many more following will examine the pleasurable and often complex relationship between good food and wine, with the ultimate aim to assist our many discerning customers evolve the convivial bonding of good food and wine.


CHALLENGES:—It is important that strong smoked foods are not fighting against the wine and vice versa . Fish and meat which have been smoked do have the same initial smoky taste and influence, but when moving further into the taste experience, the type of fish or meat you are eating should come through even though the overall smoky influence will still be there – this similar smoky taste generally allows you to choose similar wines for both fish and meat.

RECOMMENDATIONS:—Heavily oaked white wines can sometimes be a little overbearing, but they do have one good and most loyal friend, that being smoked fish. Good examples would be Wakefield Chardonnay from Australia or Hunter’s Chardonnay from New Zealand.

Smoked meats also go well with the two above mentioned Chardonnay’s and red wines well oaked with lots of vanilla flavours well support smoked meats, wines from  Riojas and Ribera del Duero such as Rioja Anares Tinto Crianza, Bodega Olarra and Portia Ribera del Duero Bodegas Portia do a grand job in matching smoked meats. These red wines also make an alternative and agreeable match with some fish dishes which include traditionally smoked eel and mackerel.

A very dry sherry like  Dry Sac Fino,Williams & Humbert  or a dry white port such as Sandeman White Apitiv  make a different and very interesting marriage and will certainly suit and match most smoked meats, fish and shellfish.

MAIN DIRECTORY:—click on The Marriage of Food and Wine to access our quick search facility to locate hundreds of other food/wine/food pairing options, including hors-d’oeuvres, starters,soups,main courses and desserts. Also Great Friends-Cheese and Wine for cheese and wine pairing.

NEXT ARTICLE:—Tuna, Marlin and Swordfish




Graham D 

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Cognac Ragnaud-Sabourin

5 May 2010 8:59 am | Posted by siteadmin

” For many cognac connoisseurs,the Ragnaud-Sabourin estate is the mecca of the whole cognac region.The family’s fruity and well-balanced brandies remain a yardstick with which to judge the best products of the Grande Champagne” , Nicholas Faith, Classic Brandy

The Ragnaud-Sabourin family owns one of the most prestigious private estates in Grande Champagne and certainly have a grand history.The estate was established in 1850 by Gaston Briand, one of the first in the region to push for an establishment of recognised crus. In 1941 a spilt took place in the Ragnaud family and one brother,Raymond Ragnaud,set off on his own. The other brother, Marcel Ragnaud,went on to develop Ragnaud-Sabourin and establish the house as one of the finest in Cognac.

Today the Domain La Voute is run by three descendants, from grandmother to granddaughter: Denise, Annie and Patricia Ragnaud-Sabourin.Together they oversee the vines, which stretch across the chalky slopes of Ambleville in the heart of Cognac’s premier cru region, Grande Champagne.They are also wholly responsible for all aspects of production and ageing, always determined to produce limited quantities of the highest quality.

All their cognacs are matured as vintages;there is no blending between years,no sweetening and no colouring. The name of each in the Alliance range illustrates the minimum age of the cognac contained in the bottle.

Our selection includes 


  XO Decanter which has an elegant finish with much finesse and just a tickle of spirit


Florilege with complex dried fruit character with a sweet spiciness and slightly dry but very long finish.



 Fontvieille No35 has a quintessential Grande Champagne cognac   nose, delicate  and elegant with a subtle  mix of oak spice and balsam, complex finish.


   Vintage 1990 , double distilled and matured in Limousin cask, rich oily unctuous notes and the famed rancio charentais clearly discernible



Alliance No20 Special Reserve has a deep, golden amber colour with spice, vanilla, citrus oil and a little  expresso coffee on the nose,light toffee undertones, oak and a dry long finish.



Others in the selection are Alliance No10 VSOP, Alliance No 4,Ragnaud-Sabourin VSOP



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