Some amazing fine wines at The Sampler

Latour 1961 in the glass

Each Christmas The Sampler puts some rather special wines on its sampling machines, and this year is no exception. I popped into the South Kensington shop to try them; Islington has a different set of wines on. They aren’t cheap, but for many of these wines it’s a once in [...]

Christian Seely talks sense on the 2013 vintage in Bordeaux

I was very impressed by this blog post from Christian Seely who is managing director of AXA Millésimes, and therefore in charge of a number of wine estates, including Pichon, Petit Village and Suduiraut in Bordeaux. Seely is quite rightly unimpressed by people writing off the 2013 vintage in Bordeaux without having tried the wines. I [...]

Senejac, a bargain Christmas Claret

I was really impressed by this pair of Christmas Clarets, currently available for £16.99 from The Co-op. It’s two vintages of Chateau Senejac. I tried the 2009 last year and rated it highly. This time round, I have a slight preference for 2008, which is a bit more structured and classical. If you like the riper fruit [...]

Chateau Margaux 1993

‘Gourmet dinner Saturday night?’ enquired brother-in-law Beavington by text. ‘I have something VERY special.’ So, on Saturday night we headed over to my sister’s place for dinner.

The special item was a magnum of 1993 Margaux, which he’d purchased in the late-1990s from Justerini for £50 in a bin-end sale. 1993 is a vintage that has [...]

Red Obsession, a film about wine

Warwick Ross, filmmaker, and Simon Staples

Red Obsession is a compelling film. It tells the story of the rise in interest in the top wines of Bordeaux, and how China has fallen in love with wine. With the 2009 and 2010 vintages, prices reached unprecedented levels. The Chinese market has embraced these wines and is now the  [...]

Ceilings for wine quality in Bordeaux

A nice-looking gravelly terroir

I’ve spent a few days in Bordeaux, during which I’ve had a chance to speak to a few knowledgeable people and also to walk through quite a few vineyards. (And run through some, too.) Harvest is a few weeks off, so it’s interesting to see the marked differences among the various [...]

Running the Marathon du Medoc

I am exhilarated. Yesterday I ran – and completed – the Marathon du Medoc.

To run any marathon for the first time would rank as a great life experience, but the fact that this was the Medoc Marathon, with a 42.195 km route taking runners through some of the world’s most famous vineyards, made this extra [...]

Term starts again, and a tasting at the Perfect Cellar

Jose Sanfins, Chantelune

Holidays are over, and the wine tasting calendar starts again here in London. I was in town for the first tasting in a long time – a small portfolio tasting from The Perfect Cellar, a new-ish merchant with an eclectic list of small producers, and a shop presence in luxury retail space [...]

An incredible wine lunch at Chez Bruce

Mareli Botha and Bertus Basson

Had a remarkable lunch yesterday. It was hosted by Keith Prothero with guest of honour Bertus Basson, star South African restaurateur (Overture at Hidden Valley). It was held at Chez Bruce, and the combination of food, wine and company was just about perfect.

Champagne Philipponnat Clos des Goisses 1996 France
Intense yet [...]

A great lunch with Clos des Goisses, Leoville Barton, Ducru Beaucaillou and others

Occasionally it is good to have a treat. So on Sunday, brother-in-law Beavington and I hatched a plan. He was sans famille, with my father staying. So why not invite me over for lunch? My father isn’t drinking at the moment, and without the usual hordes it was safe to bring some good stuff out [...]