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 [...]

Ceilings for wine quality in Bordeaux

A nice-looking gravelly terroir

I’ve spent a few days in Bordeaux, during which I’ve had a chance to speak to a few knowledgeable people and also to walk through quite a few vineyards. (And run through some, too.) Harvest is a few weeks off, so it’s interesting to see the marked differences among the various [...]

Running the Marathon du Medoc

I am exhilarated. Yesterday I ran – and completed – the Marathon du Medoc.

To run any marathon for the first time would rank as a great life experience, but the fact that this was the Medoc Marathon, with a 42.195 km route taking runners through some of the world’s most famous vineyards, made this extra [...]

Term starts again, and a tasting at the Perfect Cellar

Jose Sanfins, Chantelune

Holidays are over, and the wine tasting calendar starts again here in London. I was in town for the first tasting in a long time – a small portfolio tasting from The Perfect Cellar, a new-ish merchant with an eclectic list of small producers, and a shop presence in luxury retail space [...]

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 [...]

Chateau Rahoul, an excellent white Bordeaux

The older I get, the more I like white Bordeaux. It’s such an interesting expression of Sauvignon Blanc (often bolstered with a bit of Semillon, of course), usually barrel fermented. My experience is that barrel-fermented Sauvignon ages really well, and – as long as the oak isn’t overpowering - it drinks well young, too. So it’s [...]

In Bordeaux for Vinexpo, some highlights

Just on my way home from Bordeaux, and a quick one-night stay for Vinexpo, the huge bi-annual wine trade fair.

These Castel girls were unloading a palette of gift bags every few hours, which – inexplicably – punters seemed keen to snaffle. But what was in them worth snaffling?

The scale of Vinexpo, with it’s multitiered [...]

Clos de la Coulee de Serrant 2009, a controversial wine

This is a controversial wine. It’s from biodynamic high-priest Nicolas Joly, who in Clos de la Coulee de Serrant possesses what is universally acknowledged as a special terroir. It’s just that lots of people don’t like the wine he makes, with some claiming oxidation, and others objecting to the 15+% alcohol levels.

I happen to love [...]

Château Sénéjac 2009

Relatively affordable yet really good Bordeaux is a rare thing. There’s good quality cheap Bordeaux, and high quality expensive Bordeaux, but I don’t encounter much between the two. Is that just my perspective? Anyway, this is really good, and it’s not too expensive.

Château Sénéjac 2009 Haut Medoc, Bordeaux, France
With a hefty dose of Cabernet Sauvignon in [...]

Five eclectic wines at the DIAM Rioja conference

Today I gave a talk on social media and the wine industry at a conference in Logrono (Rioja) organized by DIAM, the closure company. Also speaking was José Penin, author of the respected wine guide, chosen to represent the existing media. I was chosen because I have made a reputation with more modern media.

As well [...]