A couple from Jean-Luc Colombo

Jean-Luc Colombo, based in Cornas, is a Rhone modernist. His Cornas wines aren’t in my favourite style, I’m afraid. But I do like the wines he makes when he tries less hard: I bought a case of his northern Rhone Vin du Pays a year or so back, made from declassified young vine Cornas fruit [...]

Nicolas Perrin Crozes Hermitage Blanc 2012

Northern Rhone whites are some of the unheralded stars of the wineworld. There’s a good story to this wine, too. Before around 1995, Jaboulet were one of the top producers in the northern Rhône. Something seemed to go wrong after this with the Jaboulet wines, and in 2006 the family sold to the Freys from [...]

The incomparable Yquem 1986

This was the star wine in a star line-up at Tuesday’s lunch. Just thrillingly good.

Chateau d’Yquem 1986 Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
Powerful, spicy and intense with lovely flavours of marmalade, apricot, spice and citrus, as well as some sweet melon notes and a delicious creaminess. There’s also a hint of white pepper. This is tantalising. So spicy [...]

Three lovely Rhones: two Chaves and a La Turque

Had a great lunch at The Glasshouse restaurant in Kew yesterday, hosted by Keith Prothero. In attendance: Malcolm Thwaites, Greg Sherwood and me. The Glasshouse is such a great restaurant. I have never been disappointed with the food there: really beautifully presented, but also perfectly judged flavours. And the service is super – we were [...]

Visiting Cognac producer Les Grands Pateurs

So, I’m on holiday with my extended family in the Charente, attending a family wedding tomorrow. It’s not wine country, really – although a few wines are made here, the extensive vineyards around where we are staying pretty much all go into Cognac. Colombard and Ugni Blanc are the grape varieties, although small amounts of [...]

Two from Champagne Savart

Fred Savart’s Champagnes are the real deal. His elevage is in a mixture of oak and now concrete, and the production here consists of small volume, terroir focused wines. I’ve reviewed one of these wines before, and this time round, I gave it an equally high rating. UK agent is Indigo Wine.

Champagne Savart L’Accomplie [...]

Lalou Bize-Leroy Domaine d'Auvenay Les Folatieres Puligny-Montrachet

This was perhaps the stand-out wine of a wonderful weekend of wine. I tasted it with Raj Parr and some friends just before the salmon bake at the IPNC. We were left speechless. It’s an almost perfect wine, even though it comes from a vintage that isn’t one of the strongest (although it was better [...]

Some great wines at lunch, including Cristal, Faiveley Corton and Schlumberger GC Saering

After judging the Roederer Awards on Tuesday, we repaired to Chez Buce, where – naturally – we popped a couple of bottles of Roederer’s Cristal. This was followed up with some other gems from the Roederer portfolio (they own MMD, who distribute Roederer and other wines in the UK). Yes, these bottles were a little [...]

Two 1996 Bordeaux wines: right and left

Had a splendid afternoon with extended family today. Brother-in-law Beavington was kind enough to open two clarets (three bottles, we got through two of the VCC) from the 1996 vintage. It’s a vintage that is in a good place at the moment, it seems. Also, it reinforces the fact that you have to treat each [...]

Domaine Saparale 'Le Saparale' 2012, a lovely Corsican red

I’ve had a few really impressive Corsican reds of late. This is a lovely wine, a blend of 80% Sciacarello and 20% Nieulluccio, which spends 6 months in oak.

Domaine Saparale ‘Le Saparale’ 2012 Corse Sartene, Corsica
14.5% alcohol. Beguiling with hints of cherries, herbs and spice, as well as almonds, tea leaves and cedar. This [...]