Dinner with Dan at Noble Rot: Raveneau, Lynch Bages and Dervieux Thaize

Had a lovely dinner with Dan Keeling at Noble Rot last night. The food was as good as ever, and the wines were just thrilling. I’ve rarely drunk as well, or as much.

Raveneau Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre 1992 Burgundy, France
This is such a beautiful wine, although it faded a bit over the course [...]

Lunch at Daniel Primack's with some lovely wines

Lunch at Daniel Primack’s on a perfect June day. We sat outside, listened to music, ate salt marsh lamb and talked. And drank some lovely wines.

Champagne Pierre Gimonnet Blanc de Blancs 1er Cru Oenophile Extra Brut 2008 France
This is just such a pure expression of Chardonnay. It’s direct and quite taut with precise lemony fruit, [...]

The 1855 Classification of Bordeaux's Médoc

When I was first getting into wine, one of the things that fascinated me most was the 1855 classification of Bordeaux’s Médoc. Coming to wine with little knowledge and no education, I all found it rather daunting. I remember reading Robert Parker’s Wine Buyer’s Guide that a friend had by their toilet, and finding it [...]

Bordeaux: some reflections

I’ve just spent a very enjoyable couple of days in Bordeaux. The first was a free afternoon (I walked and walked), followed by dinner; the second a big tasting of the 2014 vintage. So here are some thoughts about Bordeaux, in no particular order.

First, this is a lovely city to visit. The changes enacted under [...]

Visiting Château Marquis d'Alesme, Margaux, for the opening of a grand winery

Last night I was one of a group who visited Château Marquis d’Alesme on the occasion of the opening of their new winery in Margaux.

The winery

The estate, which has 15 hectares of vines, was bought by Hubert Perrodo in 2006. Perrodo, a French national, built up a successful petrochemical company (Perenco), of which he [...]

Christmas Clarets: Lafite, Talbot and Gruaud

There’s something about Bordeaux. It’s fashionable to knock it (I even saw one of my colleagues boasting on social media about how he rarely drinks it), but there’s a reason Bordeaux is the world’s leading fine wine region. It’s because the top wines have history, age beautifully, are made in sufficient quantities that you can [...]

1937 Margaux and 1966 Lafite: what are we to make of old wine?

Yesterday I popped into The Sampler on Upper Street, Islington, to try some of their ‘icon’ wines (and a few others). This time every year they put on some lovely older wines, as well as some newer super-expensive or rare wines. It’s one of those rare opportunities to try these sorts of bottles. My write-ups [...]

Why I have no beef with the Bordeaux primeurs

As I write, the 2014 Bordeaux primeurs week has just finished. So my twitter stream has been full of complaints from the UK wine trade and several journalists complaining about the system and bemoaning the way that prices have been too high for the last few years. ‘Primeurs is broken,’ they cry. ‘It’s not fit [...]

A nice fine wine dinner with Burgundy, Bordeaux, Loire and South Africa

Last night we had a lovely dinner at Terroir, hosted by Keith Prothero. This is the restaurant on the Kleine Zalze estate, and the food was very good. The wine and the company were better though. In attendance Gary and Kathy Jordan, Rianie Strydom, Nicolette Waterford, Greg Sherwood and Keith and I. As usual, notes [...]

An amazing fine wine lunch at Chez Bruce

This was one of the most remarkable lunches I’ve experienced – and I’ve been to quite a few special lunches. The food, company and wines were all just perfect. The pace was ideal, too: there was no need to rush these special bottles: we started at 1215 and finished at 1730.

Keith and Greg

 

Jim and Neil

Neleen [...]