Funniest label of the year, so far

Caught a glimpse of this new wine label from D’Arenberg, for a celebratory sparkling wine they are releasing.

It’s very funny indeed. (For those who don’t get the joke, see this link.) I hope Pernod Ricard, who own Champagne Mumm, can see the funny side too.

The third New Year Great Blind Champagne Tasting video!

So here it is. The third installment of the Great Blind Champagne Tasting, which is – by tradition – held on new year’s eve. This years’ was bigger (16 wines) and longer than ever. But I hope you’ll find it gripping viewing.

Some real surprises here. There were three ringers: a top Cava, a famous English [...]

The mechanics of the £20 Taittinger offer

This is the time of year when the supermarkets try t0 outdo each other with special offers on well-known fizz.

I was surprised when I popped into my local Asda and found Champagne Taittinger NV for sale at £20 per bottle, with a maximum of three bottles per customer. I’ve heard from others that Sainsbury’s and [...]

A lovely wine dinner focusing on Champagne and Bordeaux

Headed over to brother-in-law Beavington’s place for a joint birthday celebration (ours are 6 days apart, but he is a year older than me). We had some fabulous wines.

Champagne Philipponnat Clos des Goisses 2000
12% alcohol. From a south-facing, steeply sloped vineyard of 5.5 hecatres, this is a blend of 65% Pinot Noir and 35% Chardonnay, [...]

Champagne Roederer Vintage 2005

Unsurprisingly, Roederer’s Vintage 2005 is a tasty Champagne indeed. Here’s my note on the bottle consumed this evening:

Champagne Louis Roederer Vintage 2005
12% alcohol. Very youthful, fine and taut on the nose. Crisp with focused, complex citrus fruit and some fine toasty notes on the nose. The palate is fruity and precise with nice structure adding [...]

At the sparkling wine symposium

Just back from day 1 of the 2011 instalment of the International Sparkling Wine Symposium, held at Denbies wine estate in Dorking, Surrey.

I’m one of the organizing committee, so it was a day on duty, hoping things went well. Did they? Yes, absolutely. It was a great day.

I can’t hope to summarize proceedings adequately here (I’m tired, [...]

Veuve Clicquot Vintage 2004 and Vintage Rose 2004

A chance to taste the new releases from Veuve Clicquot, both of which are really impressive. Caveat: these bottles had been open for a while.

The Vintage 2004 is quite deep coloured, and has lovely concentration of citrus fruit with some richer, toasty notes. Really great balance here, with quite powerful flavours. Lovely intensity. 93/100

The Vintage [...]

A delicious R&L Legras Champagne

This stuff rocks. It’s really elegant, precise and fruit-driven. Serious fizz, served before the Haut Bailly lunch at Berry Bros on Tuesday.

Champagne R&L Legras Presidence Vieilles Vignes 2002
12% alcohol. Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs. Intense, fresh, appley and fruity, this is very lively with nice citrus fruit freshness. Power and precision combine. Elegant and compelling [...]

Champagne Veuve Clicquot NV

Had this last night, and really enjoyed it. I’m slightly nervous about posting this because most winewriters like to bash the big Champagne houses such as Moet and VC. But remember: non-vintage blends change every year, and they could change for the better. This bottle certainly tasted good.

I’m not saying that with £30 in your [...]

Fonseca 1970, Delamain 1914, Vin de Constance 1988 and other treats

Had a very enjoyable dinner last night at the offices of Mentzendorff, a major high-end UK agency house. It was more fun than work, but I took some notes on the wines in my usual geeky way. Here they are.

Champagne Ayala Perle d’Ayala Nature 2002
This is the non-dosage version of Ayala’s prestige cuvee, and it’s one [...]