Three wines from Your Sommelier’s Bordeaux selection

These three are part of Your Sommelier‘s subscription service which costs £36 per month – so the average price is £12 per bottle Château Dubois Gramont Bordeaux Blanc 2015, France Rich but tangy style, with notes of ginger and honey alongside the herby greengage, plum and lemon curd. Nicely balanced, quite weighty but always fresh. […]

Tesco’s Spring Into Summer red collection

This is the Spring Into Summer Case from Tesco Wine By The Case which I’ve been sent to review. It’s £54 for one of each of the bottles, the estimated bottle prices below are those where the wines aren’t available individually. Valtier Utiel-Requeña Reserva 2009, Spain (~£9 Tesco) Some mature toffee aromas alongside the lightly […]

Three French rosés

Taste The Difference Bordeaux Rosé 2016, France (£7 Sainsbury’s) Not the most complex of wines, but the juicy red berry flavours and crisp, lightly tangy finish are quite appealing. B- Château d’Esclans Whispering Angel Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016, France (~£17.50 see wine-searcher for stockists) Subtle, slinky pink, slightly peachy with light red berry and […]

Chateau La Mission Haut Brion 1982

The postcoital morning after image. . .

One of the problems with wine, and there are many, is the yearning for hard to find bottles. Mostly (who am I fooling) I've managed to put this aside, opting for small run lo-fi wines that appeal to my curiosity without the same level of monetary hurt. It is a niche market mostly free of trophy hunters and the point driven. . .

With that in mind, a large and rare transgression to the RPJ 100 point dark side. My staccato notes even more inadequate than usual.

A super wine with a very stubborn but pure cork. Unbent and full of vim and vigour. Bacon fat, cigar, truffle, black olive and mushroom. . . Grace, beauty and complexity, surely no more advanced than early Autumn. . . Ripe, meaty and long. Soft leather and shellac, wonderful grip and beautiful lines; excellent tannins - supple, firm and complete.

Visit to Chateau Lagrange

It was great to see Charlotte Denjean, PR manager for Chateau Lagrange, again after the UGC visit to New York a few weeks ago. Chateau Lagrange is one of the most imposing looking castles in Bordeaux. The wine is among the best of the best, yet interestingly it wasn’t until 1842 when then-owner Count Duchatel added a drainage system in the vineyard did the wine really attract positive notice. In the century that followed, the usual story of debt and inheritance rocked the estate. Today it is owned by the Japanese company Suntory, a company that spent an enormous amount of money replanting the vineyards and restoring the 118 hectare estate. Vinification takes place in temperature controlled, stainless steel vats that range in size to accommodate individual parcels. The wine is aged in 60% new, French oak barrels for up to 21 months before bottling. During the tasting, the quality ...

Visiting Prieure Lichine in Margaux

It was delightful to see Lise Latrielle of Chateau Prieure Lichine again, who with technical manager Etienne Charrier welcome our little group for a tour, tasting, and dinner at the Chateau during En Primeur.
As the name infers,  Chateau Prieure Lichine started out as a priory for Benedictine monks. During the French Revolution, Prieure Lichine was seized  and sold at auction. Roughly two centuries later, Alexis Lichine put together a group to purchase the Chateau and try to restore it to its former glory. Today the chateau is owned by the Ballande groupe, who began to replant large sections of the vineyards.  Stephane Derenoncourt is part of the team with Lise and Etienne. Several years ago I was fortunate enough to attend a delightful luncheon with other new Master of Wine students, and from that day the biggest change has been in the thoroughly modern cellar. Lise and Etienne were ...