I have another new phone - this time, it's love

We’re so used to our smart phones that it’s hard to imagine what we’d do without them, and it’s hard to remember what it was like to have really terrible smart phones. But it wasn’t all that long ago that we got quite excited and paid lots of money for handsets that now we’d never […]

Dinner at Café Sillon, Lyon, with Ganevat and Dard & Ribo

It was my birthday. And I was in Lyon. And at short notice we managed to get space at the bar at Cafe Sillon, which I’d heard a lot about. It exceeded expectations: the set menu was sensitively cooked and very imaginative, with a couple of options for each course (for a small place like […]

A couple of nice Chablis

I’m a big Chablis fan, and these two bottles really hit the mark.

Sebastien Dampt Chablis 2016 Burgundy, France
12.5% alcohol
£19.50 Berry Bros & Rudd
This is benchmark Chablis, with lovely concentrated flavours of lemons, wet rocks, a twist of creaminess and some white peach richness. It has real presence in the mouth, and lovely fresh acidity. 92/100

Fèvre-Fèvre […]

Two lovely sparkling wines from Langham, Dorset

Very impressed with these English sparkling wines, from chalky soils in Dorset.

Langham Rosé 2014 Dorset, England
12% alcohol. From Cretaceous chalk soils in Dorset, this is a blend of the classic Champagne varieties. It’s an attractive light pink colour, and shows taut, compact cherry and citrus fruit with a hint of red apple and just a […]

Grower Champagne: Marie Noelle Ledru Grand Cru 2009

I found this on the list at La Maison du Columbier in Beaune the other night. It was beautiful. This place has the most amazing wine list: it’s so good it hurts that you can only share a couple of bottles between two of you.

Champagne Marie Noelle Ledru Grand Cru 2009 France
Intense and bold with […]

Château Pichon Baron 2013

Recently I was lucky to be able to taste all the Pichon Barons from the current era, 2001 until 2014. They were lovely wines, but one was missing: the 2013. This is widely regarded to be the weakest Bordeaux vintage of recent years (perhaps alongside the 2007), but I had a bottle lurking, so I […]

Champagne Dom Pérignon 2009

This, the latest release of Champagne Dom Pérignon, was released out of sequence, before the 2008. It’s because of the ripeness of the year, which has produced a wine that drinks superbly young, but which has plenty of finesse and manages that ripeness superbly.

Champagne Dom Pérignon 2009 France
Amazing finesse and purity here. Fine aromatics of […]

A gem from Yarra Yering

Yarra Yering, with its distinctive labels, is one of my favourite Australian wineries. I drank this gem last night: probably well before its time, but it was lovely. [Read more about Yarra Yering here.]

Yarra Yering Dry Red Wine No 2 2012 Yarra Valley, Australia
This is the Shiraz-based wine. Fresh, sweetly fruited and textural with a […]

Pio X 1903 from Gonzalez Byass: an ancient Moscatel

There’s something special about very old wines. While I was tasting through the Las Palmas sherries with Martin Skelton last week, I got a chance to try this remarkable wine, and alongside it as a comparison, the same wine that had been aged in bottle since 1919.

The Pio X hails from a single barrel of […]

Gamay 35, Château de Grandmont Beaujolais Villages Nouveau 2017 France

So, it’s Beaujolais Nouveau day. For quite a while, those of us who love Gamay and Beaujolais were a bit embarrassed by this seemingly outdated celebration. We cringed when we saw a region market itself through its worst wines. But as the reputation of Beaujolais has been rebuilt, now people are taking this day – […]