Lunch at Chez Bruce with some of South Africa's finest, plus some old world stars

Had a special lunch at Chez Bruce last Thursday, with some memorable wines. Keith Prothero was hosting, and also present were Chris and Suzaan Alheit, Peter-Allan Finlayson, Chris Mullineux, John Seccombe, Nigel Platts-Martin, Greg Sherwood and Jancis Robinson. As usual, the food was close to perfection. But what was really interesting was seeing how some [...]

Domaine Jamet Côtes du Rhône 2008

This is the sort of wine I just love, even though it’s one that probably needs to be drunk up now. It’s inexpensive but it’s authentic. It tastes of where it comes from: the northern Rhône, interpreted through the lens of Syrah. It’s not trying to be anything other than what it is, and I [...]

Lunch at St John with Dujac, Niero, Barthod and Bereche

Lunch at St John today. A special time with Francis Percival, Dan Keeling and Jeremy Seysses. The company, the wines, the food: all were on sparkling form. I haven’t been to St John in a while. I will be back soon, for sure. Highlights included a wonderful crispy pig skin salad, and decadently rich devilled [...]

Three lovely Rhône wines with dinner

Had a nice dinner last night with three lovely Rhône wines. I just love the Rhône. It’s inconsistent but can be so lovely.

Domaine St Prefert Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc 2010 Southern Rhône, France
Broad with nuts and spice and fine stone fruits. Lovely texture and mouthfeel with some spiciness under the pear and peach fruit. Stylish [...]

Christmas Day highlights (2): Suduiraut 01, La Chapelle 97, Le Dome 96, Gruaud Larose 00

Some more Christmas Day wines.

Château Suduiraut 2001 Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
14% alcohol. Remarkably fresh still with complex, spicy lemon and grapefruit notes as well as viscous apricot, pear and peach characters. Lively and powerful with lovely weight. This is a stunning wine with great potential. 95/100

Château Le Dôme 1996 Saint Emilion, Bordeaux, France
Normally a cult Saint [...]

Burgundy and Rhone, Cathiard and J-L Grippat

Met for pre-dinner drinks with Raj Parr and his cousin Prerna at 28-50 yesterday. Two bottles between three before dinner wasn’t a smart idea, but they were super wines. The Cathiard is, as you might expect from the producer and vintage, a big expression of red Burgundy – ripe and rounded. The Jean-Louis Grippat was [...]

Lunch with two great South African wines, and a good northern Rhône

Had a lovely long lunch yesterday. It was at Bread Street Kitchen, part of the Gordon Ramsay empire, located next to St Paul’s Cathedral.

The dining room is huge. Really huge. Impressively huge. It’s beautifully finished in a faux vintage, semi-industrial style, but it’s really noisy. We could hardly hear the waitstaff as they talked to [...]

Vidal Fleury Crozes Hermitage 2012

Regulars here will probably know that the northern Rhône is one of my favourite regions, and that I am crazy about cool-climate Syrah. It would be fair to say that negociant Vidal Fleury is not one of the northern Rhône’s elite producers, but they seem to be getting better, and this is a very smart [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]