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 [...]

Chateau Rahoul, an excellent white Bordeaux

The older I get, the more I like white Bordeaux. It’s such an interesting expression of Sauvignon Blanc (often bolstered with a bit of Semillon, of course), usually barrel fermented. My experience is that barrel-fermented Sauvignon ages really well, and – as long as the oak isn’t overpowering - it drinks well young, too. So it’s [...]

A thoughtful piece on Bordeaux primeurs

I liked this thoughtful piece on Bordeaux primeurs by Oliver Styles, a Brit now resident in New Zealand.

I love Bordeaux as a region, but I have consistently avoided the primeurs. I just don’t think they work in the consumers’ interest. You get to taste barrel samples of very young wines. But there is no control [...]

In Bordeaux for Vinexpo, some highlights

Just on my way home from Bordeaux, and a quick one-night stay for Vinexpo, the huge bi-annual wine trade fair.

These Castel girls were unloading a palette of gift bags every few hours, which – inexplicably – punters seemed keen to snaffle. But what was in them worth snaffling?

The scale of Vinexpo, with it’s multitiered [...]

A really good, affordable Bordeaux - amazing value

I’d just come back from a long run, and was tucking into some lunch. Fiona suggested setting me a blind tasting challenge. This is dangerous.

In the blind tasting challenge, she picks a wine at random from my racks (I have about 400 bottles in the home, ranging from fairly serious to cheap samples) and serves [...]

Château Sénéjac 2009

Relatively affordable yet really good Bordeaux is a rare thing. There’s good quality cheap Bordeaux, and high quality expensive Bordeaux, but I don’t encounter much between the two. Is that just my perspective? Anyway, this is really good, and it’s not too expensive.

Château Sénéjac 2009 Haut Medoc, Bordeaux, France
With a hefty dose of Cabernet Sauvignon in [...]

Keith's remarkable fine wine lunch

Keith Prothero sipping 71 Coutet

A great lunch. One of the best.

It was hosted by Keith Prothero at the wonderful La Trompette in Chiswick. Keith (astonishingly generously) provided the wines, which we tasted blind, and then drank sighted. Here are my notes and some pictures of the wonderful food.

Dagueneau Silex Pouilly-Fumé 2007
Loire, France Very fine, [...]