Fifth Grand New Year Blind Champagne Tasting Video

So here it is, the fifth Grand New Year Blind Champagne Tasting. A little shorter than last year’s (only 48 minutes!), but with two more wines, and some quality chat, not just on the subject of Champagne and sparkling wine. Eight Champagnes, three English bubblies, a Franciacorta and a Tasmanian fizz all in the mix. [...]

A lovely South African Chardonnay, and a top Champagne

I have been judging wines at Tranche 1 of the International Wine Challenge this week. The idea is, for the first time, to split judging into two sessions: the customary April two weeks, plus an additional week in November. This helps with southern and northern hemisphere wineries releasing wines at different times.

But I wanted to [...]

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 [...]

Champagne Eric Rodez Blanc de Noirs Grand Cru

Some more Champagne action. And another grower Champagne. Eric Rodez has 6.1 hectares of the second largest Grand Cru of all, Ambonnay. He uses 75% old oak for this particular wine, and does lots of work with the lees.

Champagne Eric Rodez Blanc de Noirs Grand Cru NV France
From Ambonnay, this has lovely complexity with a [...]

Champagne Savart L'Accomplie

Love this. It’s from Champagne Savart, a small grower with 4 hectares of vines, in two communes: Ecueil and Villers-aux-Noeuds. These 4 hectares are made from 50 separate plots, all premier cru, and 35 000 bottles are produced annually. This is a serious fizz, and it’s tremendous value at around £30 retail.

Champagne Savart Premier Cru L’Accomplie [...]

A great lunch with Clos des Goisses, Leoville Barton, Ducru Beaucaillou and others

Occasionally it is good to have a treat. So on Sunday, brother-in-law Beavington and I hatched a plan. He was sans famille, with my father staying. So why not invite me over for lunch? My father isn’t drinking at the moment, and without the usual hordes it was safe to bring some good stuff out [...]

At the cricket, with a spot of Champagne tasting on the way

Went to Trent Bridge today with some buddies to watch day 2 of the first Ashes test. For those unfamiliar with cricket, the Ashes is the hotly contested series between England and Australia. And these games can last up to five days each.

It was quite a drive – we set off at 7 am from [...]

Champagne Thienot Cuvee Stanislas 2005

Champagne rocks. It’s annoying that it costs so much, sometimes, but the older I get the more I like it. Here’s a good one. Actually, more than just a good one: a really serious Champagne from Thiénot.

Champagne Thiénot Cuvee Stanislas Blanc de Blancs 2005
Full yellow colour. Elegant citrus and white peach nose with subtle toastiness. [...]

Video: a conversation with Richard Geoffroy of Dom Perignon, with the 2004 and 2003 rose

Yesterday afternoon I met with Richard Geoffroy, of Champagne Dom Perignon, to chat and taste the 2004 Dom Perignon and the not yet released 2003 Dom Perignon Rose. Richard was in the UK to go to the British Formula 1 Grand Prix at Silverstone, where he was doing a DP event with the likes of [...]

Champagne Bruno Paillard Blanc de Blancs 2002

Enjoyed this, a rich style of Champagne from Bruno Paillard. This was released later than most of its peers, after spending 10 years on the lees, and has a relatively low dosage of 5 g/litre. The label this year was designed by French artist Jean Paul Agosti, and it sort of captures the flavour of the [...]