Alternative Bordeaux (3) Château Lafon-Rochet

Basile Tesseron

We arrive at Lafon-Rochet on what proprietor Basile Tesseron describes as a ‘typical harvest day.’ The vines planted on gravelly soils on the 41 hectare St Estephe property have mostly been picked, and it’s just the grapes on the clay soils that remain. ‘I’m more than happy,’ says Basile. ‘With a lack of […]

Alternative Bordeaux (2) Château Falfas, Côtes de Bourg

Véronique Cochran is the proprietor of Château Falfas, which she runs with her husband John. This estate is beautifully situated in the Côtes de Bourg, with 20 hectares of vines planted on gravel, clay and limestone soils (with limestone bedrock), running down to the Gironde esturary on a gentle south-facing slope. The dominant feature of […]

Alternative Bordeaux (1) biodynamics at Château Palmer

Bordeaux. It’s the world’s most famous wine region, but peoples’ perceptions of this place are dominated by the 4% or so of famous properties that sit right at the top of the tree here. The celebrity estates deserve their accolades: this region is home to some of the world’s most sought-after wines. But there is […]

A vertical of Château Pichon Baron, 2001-2014

Second-growth Château Pichon Baron is one of the great vineyard terroirs in Bordeaux. Located in Pauillac, just opposite Latour, it boasts three of the five Médoc first growths as near neighbours.

Christian Seely was in London to present an extensive vertical of the modern era of Pichon Baron. ‘Pichon is capable of making wines that are […]

Château Pichon Baron 2013

Recently I was lucky to be able to taste all the Pichon Barons from the current era, 2001 until 2014. They were lovely wines, but one was missing: the 2013. This is widely regarded to be the weakest Bordeaux vintage of recent years (perhaps alongside the 2007), but I had a bottle lurking, so I […]

Château Gruaud Larose 2000

Drinking this tonight. Whatever your preferences in wine, whether it’s for natural stuff, or new wave South Africans, or Kiwi Pinot, it’s always great to drink proper Bordeaux, picked at the right time (12.5% alcohol), from a good vintage, and given some bottle age. I’m enjoying this a lot. It’s not perfect: wine doesn’t have […]

Coutet 2005: let's drink more Sauternes

Had this last night. Lovely wine. Sauternes/Barsac is one of the great sweet wines of the world and it is currently undervalued. While red Bordeaux has steadily got more expensive, the sweet wines have stayed sanely priced, especially considering the risk producing them. This wine was beautiful.

Château Coutet Premier Cru Classé Sauternes-Barsac 2005 Bordeaux, France
14% […]

All you need to know about Bordeaux 2016

Cabernet Sauvignon on the vine, October 2016, St Estephe: 96-98 points!

So this week it’s Bordeaux primeurs.

Unfortunately, for the 15th vintage in a row, I’m unable to attend. But I am a generous soul and I will tell you all you need to know about the 2016 Primeurs.

First of all, all the very important people […]

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. […]