Francis Cabrel: “It’s killing me!” 

Installed in Astaffort, in Lot-et-Garonne, far from the grayness and the rumors of the capital, Francis Cabrel doubtless thought he could escape mirages. It is also his friend Jacques Dutronc who had advised him to stay on the sidelines of the system, as the singer has just confided to our colleagues from the Parisian. “I learned the lesson: it’s a dangerous job if you get too close to it. So, I am a bit of a lonely bear, reclusive far from Paris. And happy to be. 

But even keeping an eye on the grain, being careful not to be devoured by the demons of notoriety, Francis Cabrel could not totally escape his fate… Today, in fact, there is something in his existence which destroys him a little more each year, to the point that the singer declared that this activity was killing him! What is it about ? Well the harvest, in which he regularly participates, especially since his brother, Philippe, is a winegrower on the family estate! “We harvested a fortnight ago,” he explained. I had my kidneys broken for three days! It kills me every year! “

However, this participation in the work of the vine is not the only thing to undermine the artist. Indeed, when we listen to his last album, the fourteenth, we say to ourselves that Cabrel has perhaps never been so far in privacy. Never before, for example, had he spoken so clearly about his father and the ties between them. Nor the great guilt that inhabits him at the idea that the latter has toiled all his existence to support his family. “I feel guilty every day for having a life that is too simple and too easy, with a guitar, a notebook, a pencil, compared to my father’s. The money earned, it has always been cumbersome … I do not talk about it easily elsewhere … “he confessed to Laurent Delahousse, on October 11, at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, on France 2.

But if he finds it difficult to “talk about it”, Francis Cabrel has managed to write a magnificent song in memory of his father, Te resembling: “I would have liked to resemble you, I swear. But now, it is not enough to want, it was not in my nature. You must have really questioned yourself, I’m sure. And one day, I crossed a guitar, I lived as we have fun. You had your feet on the ground. And I was just the opposite… ”

A sublime declaration of love and admiration, which should free the son and touch the father, if he can hear him, from “up there”.

Source: Francis Cabrel: “It’s killing me!” – France Sunday

French warm to ‘impossible’ wine from Calvados country

When a solicitor from Normandy announced plans to make wine in his home region, connoisseurs were incredulous. “It seemed totally incongruous to them,” Gérard Samson, 62, said. “It wasn’t just that they thought the wine would be bad. They thought the idea was impossible.”

It has taken Mr Samson more than 20 years to overcome the deeply held belief that only a fool would create a vineyard so close to England, but, at last, he appears to have beaten the prejudice.

Sales of reds and whites from his Arpents du Soleil vineyard in the Calvados area have risen by about 20 per cent compared with 2019, and the demeanour of customers arriving for tastings has changed completely.

The French former lawyer Gérard Samson has found success with his Normandy vineyard
The French former lawyer Gérard Samson has found success with his Normandy vineyard [ . . . ]

Continue at The Times: French warm to ‘impossible’ wine from Calvados country | World | The Times

Bright and vivid, it’s hard to beat Beaujolais for ‘gluggable’ wines


Caves de Juliénas-Chaintré Villages Cuvée Six, Beaujolais-Villages, France 2018 (from £9.95, It would be very hard to find a red wine region in the world offering better value for money than Beaujolais at the moment. I don’t just mean that the land north of Lyon provides some of the most reliably drinkable red wines you can find for not much more than a fiver. Wines that are relatively light and, with their soft to non-existent tannin and bright berry thirst-quenching juiciness, are the ideal incarnation of that onomatopoeic wine adjective, gluggable. Chillable, wines such as Tesco Beaujolais Rouge or Sainsbury’s House Beaujolais (both exactly £5). The region also regularly hits a thirst-quenching, prettily-scented spot for a couple of quid more, with “villages” wines, from superior vineyards, such as Morrisons The Best Beaujolais Villages (£6.50 until 4 October), Waitrose Blueprint Beaujolais-Villages 2018 (£7.99) or, in super-succulent, vivid, finger-staining, fresh-off-the-bush style, the Cuvée Six made by a 170-strong co-operative of local growers.

Continue reading “Bright and vivid, it’s hard to beat Beaujolais for ‘gluggable’ wines”

Beaujolais Wine Is Back: What to Look For and How to Drink it

The French wine varietal Beaujolais is making a comeback after decades in the shadow of Burgundy. Here’s what to look for and pairing ideas.

Years ago, while I was tasting exquisite Bordeaux vintages with a high-flying collector, he described Beaujolais in a memorable way: “Sadly stuck in the shadow of Burgundy.” He dismissed it with a wave of his hand. The way he said it, referring to its neighbor to the north, you’d think the region was a sickly Dickensian orphan with no hope.

Until recently, the region struggled mightily from a bad rap—and for good reason. In the 1970s and ’80s, the late, legendary wine merchant Georges Duboeuf created a whole November festival around the release of Beaujolais Nouveau, the entry-level wine named for its being bottled and distributed so soon after harvest.

It succeeded but also created a “crisis,” says Sonja Geoffroy, who works on the winemaking team at the wonderful family-owned Chateau Thivin, in the town of Brouilly (try their Cote de Brouilly). “People didn’t know there was anything beyond Nouveau.” The success created such a demand that many producers planted new versions of Gamay vines that delivered on yield but not quality.

By the late 1990s, Beaujolais was the wine that dared not be sipped in some circles—even though great stuff was still being made by the top producers in the region’s best vineyards. Critics and collectors wouldn’t touch it with a 10-foot wine stem.

Fast-forward to today, when the crus of Beaujolais—the wines from 10 areas in the northern part of the region officially designated as producing the highest quality—are some of the most talked-about bottlings among wine lovers in the know. They can age very well, but most are not made to cellar for more than a decade. We still need something to drink tonight with dinner, right?