RSJ's 30th anniversary: 1980-2010

2010 was a very special year for us as the RSJ Restaurant celebrated its 30th year. We held a number of special events through the year to mark our 30th birthday.

36th Year: 1980-2016

Another milestone with events happening during our 36th anniversary year.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Château de Villeveuve (Saumur) – magnificent new cellars

 Front of the new Château de Villeneuve winery 

Recently we dropped in on Florence and Jean-Pierre Chevallier at Château de Villeneuve in Souzay-Champigny. Jean-Pierre had time to show us quickly round their new winery, which uses the amazing cellars/caves that run under the château. The caves are extensive and remarkably dry. 

In 1969 they were sold to the Pays Nantais négociant Santejeau, which is now part of Castel Frères. Later they were used by the Saumur sparkling wine house, Veuve Amiot. Then 15 years ago Jean-Pierre bought them back and has now renovated them. Previously his wine-making facilities were above Château de Hureau a little under two kilometres further west towards Saumur. 

Jean-Pierre is currently renting his old winemaking facility at Hureau to Patrice Rétif, who used to be one of the partners in Domaine des Champs Fleuris in Turquant. Patrice with his wife Catherine now has his own domaine – Domaine des Damoiselles.

The entrance to the winery is on the 
main road from Chinon to Saumur.  

Looking down on the winery 
with the caves under the château

Fermentation tanks
(above and below)

 CRM and Jean-Pierre inspect some foudres

 New barrels 

 A couple of eggs

The extensive cellars
(above and below)

Root growing down through fissures in the rock

Me and my shadow

Cave privée
Sorting the just picked 2017 Cabernet Franc 
for Saumur-Champigny 
(above and below)

Saturday, October 14, 2017

2017 Loire in Anjou – Anne, Marie & Yves Guegniard, Emmanuel, Catherine and Vincent Ogereau

In Tuesday we headed across westwards to Anjou to check on progress with the 2017 harvest there. We were well aware that the 2017 harvest is virtually over. 

Domaine de la Bergerie (Champ-sur-Layon)
Firstly we dropped in the see the Guegniard family – Anne, Marie, Marie-Annick and Yves (Domaine de la Bergerie) – and also caught up with Jean-Michel Monnier, their wine consultant who happened to be visiting at the same time.

They have virtually finished the harvest – there just remain a couple of tries in Chaume and Quarts de Chaume. Picking started pretty early on 4th September. Fortunately they have been less hit by frost in 2017 than they were last year. However, in the Moulin de Beaupreau (Savennières), which they share with the Ogereaus and Papins, was badly hit by frost where they lost two thirds. The Ogereaus lost even more – virtually 100%. Luckily the Guiegniard family's La Croix Pichot, a parcel further east in the Savennières appellation, was not hit by the frost. The Guegniards' La Croix Pichot is excellent and offers very good value at just under 14 euros from the estate. 

Unusually in 2017 the Cabernet here on schist was picked earlier than the Cabernet on limestone in Saumur – normally it is the other way round. 

On 4th October they did their first tri in the Quarts de Chaume, which came in at 21˚ potential, while Chaume was at 20˚. This year for the first time they have made an Anjou Sec from golden grapes in Chaume. The aim is to eventually create a Anjou Villages 1er Cru from a range of recognised sectors each with their own name. The intention is to give the top dry whites from the Anjou Blanc appellation great cachet than they currently have. Producers in Chaume and Quarts de Chaume are apparently the furthest advanced. However, I suspect that it will be some considerable time before this new designation will be accepted by the INAO and come to fruition.  

       Anne, Jean-Michel, Marie, Yves and CRM 

 Jean-Michel Monnier takes a sample from their 'egg', 
which is made from sandstone 

 Marie Guegniard

Domaine Ogereau, Saint-Lambert-du-Lattay:

Emmanuel Ogereau with their Vent de Spilite, 
which they hope will be an eventual Anjou Blanc Cru 

The Ogereaus have also nearly finished picking – just a last tri in the Quarts de Chaume – Les Martinières – and a parcel of Layon to finish. 

They started early – 1st September. By 30th September they had harvested their Cabernet Sauvignon parcel on the Côte de la Houssaye, which is remarkably early. Because of severe frost damage there will sadly be no Savennières this year. What few grapes they did pick have been combined with a small amount of dry wine harvested in their Quarts de Chaume parcel making just a barrel.

The first Quart de Chaume tri was on 25th September with grapes reaching a potential of 19.5%. For the second tri the potential was 22%.    

As at the Domaine de la Bergerie we tasted some nascent 2017 Chenin Blanc and again the juice was very clean with good length.  

Harvest virtually over the Ogereaus can relax:
Vincent, Emmanuel and Catherine 

Monday, October 9, 2017

News of one of our favourite producers – Vincent Roussely

 Vincent Roussely with two handfuls of 
Pineau d'Aunis picked on Saturday

News of one of our favourite producers – Vincent Roussely:

'Last Monday (18th September) on our way to the Central Vineyards we dropped in to see Vincent Roussely at his winery in Angé. Vincent was well into his 2017 harvest, having started on 4th September, with all his Sauvignon Blanc now picked. 

"The Sauvignon Blanc has great potential," enthused Vincent. "The potential alcohol is between 13.5% and 13.7% with 5.0 acidity. In terms of volume 2017 is much better than last year when we were badly frosted – making only 9 hl/ha. This year we are at 35 hl/ha I am happy with that." 

Vincent is organic, so accepts that his yields are likely to be well below the level that producers who use a range of chemicals on their vines can expect to achieve. 

He is waiting for his Cabernet to ripen properly.'    

 Vincent in his cellar at Angé with his amphore

 Sauvignon Blanc in the amphore 

 Vincent with his series of small vats that allows 
him to vinify small parcels of his vines separately

 Vincent has been very go-ahead with wine tourism 
– this is part of his shop

A selection of local goats' cheese (chèvre)
Sauvignon Blanc is a great match

 More shelves and a pink couch for the boss's siesta

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Taste of Singapore – Thursday 7th to Saturday 30th September

Sticky Mango's globe trotting chef Peter Lloyd, brings a progressive Taste of Singapore street food culture to London's Southbank. 

Enjoy his 10 favourite Singaporean dishes spread over 3 courses sharing style. Price £39.95

From Singapore Chilli Crab, Sambal Skate to Hainanese Chicken and Char Kuey Teow finishing with the local favourite Durian Ice Cream "certainly an ingredient for your bucket list"  

Available from Thursday 7th of September until Saturday 30th of September