The scene at the latest Jenny & Francois tasting? Energized. Wines showed well and there were plenty of slurpers and spitters getting down with them. Amongst the luminaries were Brooklyn Guy (http://brooklynguyloveswine.blogspot.com/), Ruben Sanz Ramiro from The Monday Room (his first taste of these wines, he was particularly enamoured by Domaine Rimbert from St. Chinian). Fifi (La Pere Pinard..etc.) and Jorge, of 360 fame and is now shaping the list an unlikely spot, Soho's Circle Rouge (I guess I have to show up there and see what he's up to). Dress was informal but all indications point to some version of rasta casing for hair meeting the snood as a look on the rise. Many thanks for Jenny for synching the tasting handouts with the sequence of the wines. Brilliant. All of this meant that Alice was far less confused! If I were putting together my next wine list, these are the wines I would choose. CHAMPERS!! Lassaigne Brut. One of my favorites. I bowed to it and went down the line. OUDIN CHABLIS VAUGIRAUT '04 Just adore the Vaugiraut. Yum. A mineral blast. A classic crystal and steel chard. AUDREY & CHRISTIAN BINNER The 04's from this Alsatian house are brilliant. *Pinot Gris is refreshing. *Katzenthal Riesling is got a long grip and layers of flowers and petrol. *Gewurtztraminer: a great one for people with fear of Gewurtz. Very dry with the appeal of a gin &tonic. PEYRA COTES D'AUVERGNES, SG ‘04 Geek alert wine: For those who are mourning the financial demise of Stephane Majeaune there are three more vintages on the way, made in the trendy, hard-core Jules Chauvet method. Though I defy anyone to ident the grape in the bottle, it is a great drink and a text book illustration of how a vin naturel differs from the conventional, even the conventional ‘natural.” It is twiggy, earth meets currant and delivers plenty of puppy breath while still managing to intrigue. BOBINETE SAUMUR-CHAMPIGNY '06 I admit I didn't love his first two vintages, but now all has quieted down and was much impressed. The wine is a mouthful, has a bit of barnyard brett to flesh out some ripe green/red pepper. DOMAIN DE LA PATIENCE, ST. GUILHEM MERLOT ‘05 By the glass alert. A merlot that is woodsy with a nice dollop of tar and edge, reminds me of a great 1970's zinfandel. ROMANEAUX-DESTEZET Herv Souhaut’s Souteronne is old vine Gamay. The ‘05 is edgy and lush with more syrah animal than gamay floral. The ‘06 syrah has got a nice flash of horse, chalk, dander and white pepper. Admittedly, both should be labeled-- geek alert—for for those who love Dard & Ribo? Enough said. L'ANGLORE LES TRAVERSES '06 Another one with Chauvet style little extraction and you've got to wonder, white or ros? But the flavor delivers with interest and elegance... hard to spot the syrah--supposedly is 60%? CAVES ESTZARGUES I love this Southern Rhone cooperative. I really do like the '06 Les Grandes Vignes cheap, typical rhone fruit, and reliable and interesting but…..the star is…….. BAG IN THE BOX!!! 3 liters are wrapped up in a plain brown wrapper. They call it From the Tank. If I had a restaurant I'd pour the crap out of this wine. It is perfect. Be a nice guy, sell it for $5 a glass and make your customers happy. (Hey, I'd serve it for parties, or keep it on hand for nightly tipples.) The finish is slightly loose, but it's got enough licorice, tar and white pepper to keep it going. DEUX ANES: I've writen about these wines from Corbieres often. Licorice marks all three wines. The '06 Premier Pas is easy to love. The '05 Fontanilles has a slight skunk but great texture, some sand, and acidity. L'Enclos is brooding. JEAN LOUIS TRIBOULEY L'ALBA '03. No, not THAT Alaba! This is from the Roussillon. A dense red wine with plenty of power and spice to have a touch of peach. Go figure. CLOS DES CAMUZEILLES VdP Always a fan of Laurent Tibes' wines. This is all carignan, and it's tense and animal with a touch of hay and honey.