August 18, 2011 0

Summer Wine Trip – Part 1

By in Tasting, The Butler Wine-Show, Wine travel

Its summer time. The kids have broken up. Its pissing with rain.

Time to book a cheap flight somewhere and chances are Stelios will be part of your search.

The flight is £30 but Cameraman once famously worked up a £78 bill on a delayed flight back from Mykonos on Pringles, London Pride and Bacon baguettes.

Easyjet don’t commit their wine brands in the brochure in case of supplier changes. But chances are they will be one of the two we tried the other morning: white Gascogne and a Spanish Rose. It was too early for Red and at £4 a bottle the budget didn’t stretch to it.

Watch. Learn. Take to the skies.

The lonely road was calling, so with the help of our friends at Carte Blanche Wines, Cameraman and I were whisked off to Barcelona (via Easyjet – see seperate video) and into a three hour drive up the Pyrannes.

At the top is Castel D’Encus – a unique vineyard where the owner Raul Bobet (top brass at Torres) is making wines in frankly madcap ways.

Before we see them, there’s the journey, broken with a stop in lay by for some Cava, chilled red and a pee. The Spaniards urinated near the car, while Cameraman and I risked snakebite and worse for a little privacy.

The Cava was very good, and its worth noting that if you see a Brut Nature Cava it means there is no residual sugar in it. Great news for diabetics.


With the summer breeze whistling through the Pyrenees we caught up with nice guy Franck Massard; something of a fixer within Spanish wine.

Franck is an exporter, hence his connection to Castel D’Encus, but also a producer of wine in the Priorat in NE Spain.

We recommended his Herbis white wine when we visited master of the universe Gerard Basset at Hotel TerraVina (turns out Franck also worked at Chewton Glen and Hotel Du Vin).

Franck slugged his latest bottle (bottle just two-weeks ago) down our throats: El Mago.

We loved this red (Garnacha) served chilled and it also gave us a connection to the programmes we made about funky wine labels: El Mago (Spanish for Wizard) is an amalgamation of the names Franck’s two children and the cute label is drawn by son Hugo.

Look out for Massard wines – especially his popular Mas Amor rose which is a contender for our Pride and Valentine wines.

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