Frank had ridden through the night. The moon was lucent, the terrain rocky and an antagonising posse of some of the hardest lawmen in the West were after him. Upon their chests shone the stars of the law; on Frank's a death's head adorned by grape clusters and crossed with venencias, emblematic of the League of Outlaw Sommeliers. Frank, better known as the Cornas Kid, was the fastest corkscrew in the West.
Very few wine estates have been as formative in my career, nurturing to my love of wine and the source of so many pleasurable bottles as Domaine Huet of Vouvray in the Loire Valley. In addition to introducing me to biodynamic farming, proving the virtues of truly old wine and serving as early vinous tutors to the idea of terroir, Huet also makes my favourite sparkling wine in the world (sorry Champagne!) and masters a stylistic spectrum that would be the envy of many German growers. Many readers will identify with this sentimentality as the best bottles of Huet are nothing short of haunting.