Burgundy 2012, first impressions

So, I went to my first tasting of the year. It was also my first taste of the 2012 vintage in Burgundy. The tasting was one of the big ones, Berry Bros & Rudd’s En Primeur offering, held at One Great George Street, a grand venue with appalling lighting for photography.

I tasted around 80 wines, [...]

Some amazing fine wines at The Sampler

Latour 1961 in the glass

Each Christmas The Sampler puts some rather special wines on its sampling machines, and this year is no exception. I popped into the South Kensington shop to try them; Islington has a different set of wines on. They aren’t cheap, but for many of these wines it’s a once in [...]

A quick comparative Pinot Noir tasting (and drinking)

So tonight, I have four Pinot Noirs open. A chance to do some comparative tasting.

I love Pinot Noir. It’s such a great grape variety. So, for me, this is a joy of an evening. How do the wines rate?

Cono Sur 20 Barrels Pinot Noir 2011 Casablanca Valley, Chile
I actually opened this wine yesterday evening, and [...]

Lunch with Pol, Cloudy, Lapierre, Jamet, Clair and Bachelet

Popped round for lunch at brother-in-law Beavington’s pad yesterday, which usually means that between us we’ll have something decent to drink. (In the process, I also very nobly assist him with his cellar over-stock issues.) All the wines showed really well yesterday.

Champagne Pol Roger NV France
This is showing really well: toast, peach and nuts, together [...]

The fabulous Dow 1963 plus other special wines

Simon Staples of Berry Bros & Rudd is a top bloke. He treated a few of us to a lovely dinner in the boardroom after Thursday night’s screening of red obsession. We had some lovely Burgundy, a cracking sherry, a stunning English sparkler, and – most appropriately – a Chinese wine. But my heart was [...]

Lunch at 28-50 with Philippe Pacalet

Great lunch today. It was at the new 28-50 in Maddox Street, with Philippe Pacalet, who I have met a couple of times before. Also present were Philippe’s wife, Monica, Steven Spurrier, and Davina Boyle and Mathieu Jullien of Wine Source  (www.wine-source.com), who import the Pacalet wines.

I have always liked the Pacalet style: he works quite [...]

An incredible wine lunch at Chez Bruce

Mareli Botha and Bertus Basson

Had a remarkable lunch yesterday. It was hosted by Keith Prothero with guest of honour Bertus Basson, star South African restaurateur (Overture at Hidden Valley). It was held at Chez Bruce, and the combination of food, wine and company was just about perfect.

Champagne Philipponnat Clos des Goisses 1996 France
Intense yet [...]

A big night out at the chief's!

Feeling a little tired after a wonderful evening at the chief’s last night. The chief is Harpers editor Richard Siddle, who convened a gathering of chums to eat and drink well together at his pad in Clapham. It was a very late night, but the company and the wines made it worthwhile. The evening began [...]

Keith's remarkable fine wine lunch

Keith Prothero sipping 71 Coutet

A great lunch. One of the best.

It was hosted by Keith Prothero at the wonderful La Trompette in Chiswick. Keith (astonishingly generously) provided the wines, which we tasted blind, and then drank sighted. Here are my notes and some pictures of the wonderful food.

Dagueneau Silex Pouilly-Fumé 2007
Loire, France Very fine, [...]

Domaine Parigot Savigny Les Vergelesses, a lovely red Burgundy

Really impressed by this, a stylish red Burgundy that marries sweet fruit beautifully with a refined savoury dimension. This is something Burgundy does really well: non-fruit complexity.

Domaine Parigot Savigny-Les-Beaune 1er Cru Les Vergelesses 2008 Burgundy
13% alcohol. Palish cherry red colour. Fine, expressive, slightly savoury nose with dried herbs, turned earth and red cherry fruit. The [...]