French have a connection

The France Under One Roof tastings are previewed here by Emma Eversham

For the first time in its six-year history, France Under One Roof will be playing host to wines from a generic body. Provence Wines will join 54 of the UK's biggest importers at Lord's Cricket Ground later this month as part of a three-year promotional programme targeting the UK market.

"With the steady and considerable rise of rosé wine sales in the UK this is the perfect time for Provence to start pushing home its advantage," says marketing director Nathalie Chassard.

"Rosé wine was born in Provence and our research shows we are the leading region for the production of quality rosé worldwide, with nearly 8 per cent of the global market. We feel there is massive potential for Provence wines over here which we need to capitalise on."

Eleven of the region's 580 producers will be at the tasting, showing 20 wines.

With nine more new exhibitors at this year's FUOR there will be plenty to choose from, and buyers too busy to trawl through the main event can get a taster at the snapshot tasting, where 100 wines over £6 have been chosen for their quality and value.

The exhibitors

H&H Bancroft will be trying to lure buyers back to Bordeaux with a new St Emilion Grand Cru from the Grand Bert label, as will Castel with its family-owned Bordeaux ­châteaux wines, which include Château Tour Prignac Grande Réserve from Médoc and ­Château Ferrande from Graves.

Castel has also come up with a brand created specifically with the British consumer in mind. Cachet (rrp £5.99) is a selection of Vin de Pays d'Oc varietal and dual varietal wines from the south of France, made by Cédric Jenin with creative and strategic input along the way from Neil Tully MW, Winebrand's Lynne Whitaker, Allan Cheesman and Robert Joseph, to make sure they hit the spot in the UK market.

McKinley Vintners is focusing on spring and summer drinking with a specially selected range of white, rosé and red wines from southern Burgundy, the Loire Valley and Alsace.

Available to taste for the first time will be the Perraton brothers' 2005 Mâcon Loché, which shows how the duo have changed the style of production since they took over from their father, René, in 2003.

Mâconnais and Beaujolais specialists Les Vins Aujoux and Joseph Verdier will also be presenting a new Mâcon Villages Unoaked Chardonnay and Fleurie Belle Grace. Their Charte Qualité Loire range will be showcased at the event, as will new packaging for Affinity, a screwcap range of varietal Vins de Pays.

Louis Jadot's UK agents Hatch Mansfield will be exhibiting a number of the label's new Burgundian wines, including Les Climats Réserve Chardonnay 2004 and Pinot Noir 2004 (rrp £13.99) . It will also be giving those who missed the en primeur tasting in January the chance to taste wines from the 2005 vintage.

HwCg will be bringing over 30 of its wines to the tasting.

Burgundian umbrella brand Blason de Bourgogne has two new additions - ­Sauvignon St Bris and an Aligoté (rrp £7.99), which will be on taste at the show as well as going on sale in Waitrose on March 10.

French offerings from the recently launched Real Rosé Company will also be revealed, as will a Cinsault/Syrah

from Laurent Miquel and a Syrah/Grenache and Merlot/Grenache from Marrenon. Bordeaux brand Dourthe will be launching a 2006 rosé made from 100 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon.

Other launches will come from Charles Hawkins & Partners, which has a new range of wines from Julien Schaal's ­vineyard in Alsace, and Bottle Green, wh ich will showcase wines from its new French Connection Classics label.

Guy Anderson Wines has some brand extensions for Gabriel Meffre's La Châsse du Pape wines, and Chamarré will launch its own AOC Côtes du Rhône. Signe ­Vigneron will present a new "fun-packed" screwcap Beaujolais called Le Chat Rouge.

Organic wines have a hefty presence at this year's show, proving that French ­winemakers are keen to embrace this method of production. Julian Baker Fine Wines will be exhibiting Jean-Marc ­Brocard's 2005 organic Chablis and his 2005 biodynamic Chablis Domaine de la Boissonneuse, as well as wines from the Languedoc-Roussillon made from organically certified fruit.

Bottle Green is offering four organic wines, including the award-winning Domaine de la Grande Bellane Côtes du Rhône Villages Valreas, and Jean-Claude Mas will be showing three new wines from certified organic vineyard Domaine des Tannes (rrp £5.99).

Free Run Wines goes one better by offering an organic Syrah/Mourvèdre wine with a conscience. L'Olivier (rrp £4.99) is produced at the Andrieu Frères estate in southern France and supports the Tropical Forest Trust through donations from bottle sales.

France Under One Roof Tasting

Where: Nursery End Pavilion, Lord's Cricket Ground, Wellington Road, London NW8 8QN

When: 10am-5.30pm, March 14

Tickets: Contact Tina Coady on

01638 614775 or visit

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