The Irish Times: Happy Anniversary

Le Caveau, Kilkenny From a small, unprepossessing shop tucked away to the side of a large car park in Kilkenny, Frenchman Pascal Rossignol runs one of the finest wine businesses in Ireland. Inside, the shop is crammed with an amazing selection of wine, most of it French, including a lot from Burgundy, but all of it from small artisan producers. Pascal was born and brought up in Gevrey-Chambertin in Burgundy. Before embarking on a career in the hotel and restaurant trade, (where he met his Irish wife, Geraldine) he worked for three years with his uncle, Joseph Roty, one of the great names in Gevrey-Chambertin. This is an advantage when buying Burgundy, where having the right contacts makes all the difference. It probably also helps that Pascal is a modest but intelligent man, with a real passion for wine. In 1999, he and his wife decided to open a wine shop in Kilkenny, close enough to Dublin, but offering the benefits of a rural lifestyle. “We had in mind to bring in a selection of wines we liked, without thinking too much about what was selling in Ireland at the time. So we ended up with lots of Burgundies and wines from the south-west – we have up to seven different Cahors from three producers!” Their selection from this part of France includes some of my own personal favourites, wines that have featured on these pages. They also have wines from the Jura and other lesser-know regions. “We used to run tastings in the shop every Saturday which helped us understand what Irish people liked and why.” They now ship directly 180 wines from 75 producers, as well as stocking a well-selected range from other importers. Le Caveau wines are also available through a number of retail outlets, or through their website, Wines of the week: LE CAVEAU Maranges 1er Cru Fussieres 2005, Jean-Claude Regnaudot, €21.65-€22.95. “This has everything that I love in wine,” says Pascal Rossignol. “An expressive nose, primarily of dark cherry and red berries, some earthy flavours, a hint of game; all hugely enticing. The palate is slightly muted but fresh and perfectly ripe, multi-layered and textured. “It is a wine that begs for food as all real wine should do – maybe pheasant, grilled beef, or cheeses. The wine ends with firm (but manageable) tannins and good acidity.” Stockists: Fallon Byrne, Exchequer Street; Liston’s, Camden Street; Avoca food halls, and Le Caveau, Kilkenny. John Wilson, The Irish Times Magazine, Saturday 21st March 2009 Irish Times March09
Pascal Rossignol

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