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 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 [...]

A lovely wine lunch at La Colombe, Cape Town, with Coche, Raveneau, Jamet and Montrose

It was great to catch up with Keith Prothero, Ryan Mostert and Sam Suddons on Wednesday for lunch at one of Cape Town’s most celebrated restuarants, La Colombe. It was my first time there, and I was impressed. It’s in a beautiful setting high up in the Constantia valley, located in the grounds of the [...]

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 [...]

Seven older red Burgundies

JF Mugnier Chambolle Musigny 2003 Burgundy, France
Ripe and sweet with bold, textured sweet cherry fruit backed up by spicy warmth. Rich and broad with nice silkiness and good structure. Burly yet still attractive. Atypical because of the hot vintage. 92/100

Fourrier Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru Clos St Jacques 1998 Burgundy, France
Lively, fresh, juicy and bright with [...]

Mark Haisma's 2014s

Mark Haisma, Aussie ex-pat Burgundy micro-negoce showed his new releases yesterday. Here are my notes. As usual, please treat these scores as a very approximate indication of how much I liked the wines: they are baby wines and it’s hard to be precise at this early stage. He’s expanded his range to take in some [...]

Two nice Chardonnays: Seresin and Lafon Mâcon

Two Chardonnays tonight. Both quite lovely. My vote goes to the beautiful biodynamic Chardonnay from Seresin, but the Lafon is nice too.

Seresin Chardonnay Reserve 2010 Marlborough, New Zealand
13.5% alcohol. Wild yeast, 20% new oak. There’s a richness here, with a bit of mealiness and some spice, as well as lovely complex citrus fruits. Lovely tension [...]

Patrick Piuze Chablis Grand Cru Valmur 2010

Patrick Piuze is a Canadian – a Québécois. And a rising star in Chablis, where he’s now regarded to be one of the top producers. He started working in Burgundy in 2000, and then was hired as winemaker at Brocard. He started making wines under his own name in 2008. I had this at lunch [...]