Two nice Sauternes

I don’t drink enough Sauternes (or Barsac). No one does, which is why this – one of the world’s great wine styles – is relatively under appreciated. If you bought lots of top Sauternes en primeur a decade or two back, you’ll probably have lost money. If you’d bought top red Bordeaux, you’d have made […]

Domaines Delon: Léoville-Las-Cases, Potensac, Clos du Marquis and Nénin

Jean-Hubert Delon owns four Bordeaux estates, with the Jewel in the crown being second growth Léoville-Las-Cases in Saint-Julien. In addition, he owns Nénin in Pomerol, Clos du Marquis in Saint-Julien, and Potensac in the northern Médoc. I recently attended a masterclass where we were introduced to each of these estates, and tasted through a few […]

Alternative Bordeaux (5) natural wine at Château Peybonhomme, Côtes de Blaye

The Hubert family are sixth-generation vignerons based in Cars, near Blaye. The family arrived at Château Peybonhomme-Les-Tours, which is on a small hill overlooking the Gironde estuary. Sister and brother Rachel and Guillaume Hubert run things these days, and the reason they are included in alternative Bordeaux is that they are one of the relatively […]

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% […]