Wines of the year (2) older vintages

So, continuing with my theme of wines of the year, I have gone through my notes and pulled out the highlights. This post is concentrating on older wines, pre-2000. I’m well aware that this list looks like a bit of a boast. I apologise. I make an effort to benchmark with established classics and older [...]

Icon wines at The Sampler, including Latour 82, La Chapelle 78 and Ygay 59

Each year The Sampler put some high-end ‘icon’ wines on their enomatic machines. It’s a real highlight tasting through them, and this year was no exception. The highlights included the almost perfect Latour 1982 and the thrilling La Chapelle 1978.

Domaine de la Romanée Conti Richebourg 1995 Burgundy, France
Beautifully aromatic with cherries, plums and fine spicies. [...]

Jean-Paul and Benoît Droin Chablis 2015

I was given this blind to taste. Immediately I opted for very serious Chardonnay, and Chablis in quick succession. I wrote my note and scored it. Then I was stunned to find out that this wasn’t a grand cru or premier cru, but just a regular Chablis. It’s quite brilliant.

Jean-Paul and Benoît Droin Chablis 2015 [...]

Domaine Leflaive's switch to DIAM

Celebrated Burgundy producer Domaine Leflaive have switched away from natural cork to DIAM for all their wines, beginning with the soon-to-be released 2014 vintage.

I was alterted to this news by a tweet from Neal Martin, and I spoke on the phone this morning with Adam Brett-Smith of exclusive UK agents Corney & Barrow, who confirmed [...]

Sylvain Pataille, master of Marsannay

Over the last 15 years Sylvain Pataille has built up his domaine from scratch. He first made wine in 1999, while he was still employed in an enology laboratory in Beaune, but he released his debut vintage in 2001. His domaine is now 15 hectares, all located within Marsannay, which is at the top of [...]

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 [...]

Dinner with Dirk: Chave 1988, De Vogüé Bonnes Mares 1969 and Taylors Vargellas 1976

Dirk Niepoort is one of my favourite people on the planet. Last night we dined at Noble Rot, and shared some very special bottles.

Chave Hermitage 1988 Northern Rhöne, France
This bottle was pretty much perfect. In beautiful condition and still a deep, primary colour. Lovely detailed black cherries, spice, tar, pepper and meat notes, as well [...]

Domaine Jean-Noël Gagnard Hautes-Côtes de Beaune Sous Eguisons 2014

Caroline Lestimé, winemaker at Jean-Noël Gagnard, decided to plant Chardonnay vines on this plot of the Hautes-Côtes de Beaune, back in 2007. It’s in Rochepot, opposite Saint Aubin, and it is a relatively protected site for the Côtes, with limestone soils. Organic farming since 2011. Winemaking is the same as with the other Gagnard wines, [...]

Two Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos: Billaud Simon and Louis Michel

Over the last couple of years I have grown to love Chablis. Its appeal is a little less obvious than many other expressions of Chardonnay, but the best wines are definitely ones that repay cellaring. Indeed, one way to waste money is to drink Grand Cru Chablis young. What I love in good Chablis is [...]

At Noble Rot with the IPOB crowd, drinking Raveneau and Chave

Jamie Kutch

On Tuesday evening I was back to Noble Rot, for dinner with the In Pursuit of Balance crowd: Raj Parr, Jamie Kutch, Jasmine Hirsch, Steve Matthiason, Mark Andrew and Totte Steneby. We ate and drank really well, beginning with the excellent Hambledon sparkler (one of England’s finest), and progressing from there.

Steve and [...]