Thursday, March 24, 2011
The Bermondsey natural wine mafia
One of the most interesting things about the brilliant new clutch of artisanal stalls and warehouses in the Druid Street and Maltby Street area is that it includes two natural wine shops - Gergovie Wines and Aubert & Mascoli - both with first class foodie pedigrees.
Gergovie (pronounced jer-go-vee) is a partnership between Harry Lester, founder of the Anchor & Hope and Raef Hodgson, son of Neal’s Yard Dairy’s Randolph Hodgson (the name Gergovie comes from a plateau in the Massif Central where Lester has an auberge).
They have a few bottles open for tasting on Saturday mornings. Last week there were two whites, a quirky Pignoletto from Alberto Tedeschi near Bologna and a fragrant Durello called Montemagro from Daniele Piccinin in the Veneto that tasted oddly like a dry dessert wine.
Then three vivid young reds - a 2009 vin de pays de l’Herault Cinsault from Catherine Bernard, Les Orgues from Frédéric Gounand of L’Arbre Blanc in the Auvergne and Viti Vini Bibi a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan from Domaine Benjamin Taillandier in the Minervois.
A couple of doors down you can find Aubert & Mascoli which also specialises in French and Italian wines and supplies the members’ club Blacks which Mascoli founded (and also, I discovered from their site, the highly successful Franco Manca pizzerias).
My star wines there were a lush Bourgogne Aligoté Vieilles Vignes from Jean Fournier and another bright breezy red with a delicious bitter cherry flavour - Le Rouge 2008 from Domaine de l’Ocre Rouge just north of Nimes (a blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah)
And yet another natural wine merchant Six Wines Eight has set up in nearby Bermondsey Square though I haven't had a chance to check them out yet.
Druid and Maltby Street are just south of Tower Bridge about a 10-12 minute walk from London Bridge station.