April 8, 2014

Bordeaux Days 5 & 6 – Right Bank – Saint-Émilion and Pomerol

Days5-6

Our last two days were spent on the right bank. Friday started off rather grey and gloomy but with a cracker of a schedule. There is a palpable sense of achievement in the bus that we have now tasted a lot of wines and are at the business end of...
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April 7, 2014

Bordeaux Day 4 – St Estephe, Joanne, Carmes Haut-Brion

Ducru-beaucaillou

Rain. It started last night at dinner - we were unprepared and got mercilessly drenched on the walk home. This morning is a little better, in a drizzly, foggy sort of way. The new tour bus game is spotting vineyard workers rising eerily from the mist as we drive past. Another...
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April 4, 2014

Bordeaux Day 3 – UGCs, Phelan Segur, Haut-Brion, Mission Haut-Brion

SONY DSC

Having been consistently late yesterday, we have turned over a new leaf and were so early for the St Julien Union des Grands Crus tasting that they were still setting up when we arrived. There is a distinct nip in the spring air today, but it started sunny and crisp...
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April 2, 2014

Bordeaux Day 2 – Pauillac, Margaux, Sauternes (mostly)

Chateau-Lynch-Bages-label

Just as we were dozily watching the sun come up over the Medoc from the comfort of our executive VW minibus, we hit traffic. Someone had gone off one of the notoriously narrow Medoc back roads into a ditch. Fortunately the pompiers were on hand and the only damage appeared...
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April 1, 2014

Bordeaux 2013 tasting – Day 1

Pontet-Canet-looking-over-vineyard

Some brief impressions from the road on our first day tasting the Bordeaux 2013 vintage. The first thing to say is that this is nothing like as bad as we have been led to believe. Yes, the fruit concentration is lighter than in the top years, and yes there are...
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March 31, 2014

Bordeaux 2009, Mouton IMW tastings

Mouton-Rothschild-2009

While we are gearing up for Bordeaux 2013, it is tempting to revisit two recent Bordeaux tastings as a reminder of how untouchable this region can be when it hits its stride. Both tastings were courtesy of the Institute of Masters of Wine; the first an exhaustive stock-take of the...
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March 13, 2014

The Great Claret Tasting at Southwold, 22nd – 24th January 2014

La Croix de Beauxcaillou

  The annual Claret Tasting, held every year in the seaside town of Southwold since the early 1980’s, was this year tasting the much heralded 2010 vintage. The 20 tasters, including Jancis Robinson MW, Neal Martin and Stephen Spurrier, tasted over 300 wines in 24 flights, all served blind. 2010 is of...
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January 28, 2014

Oxford University Wine Circle tasting with Andrea Franchetti

Franchetti-1

  On Thursday just gone I was delighted to join Andrea Franchetti in a tasting given for the Oxford University Wine Circle. The tasting was, two trios of the great estate but ten years apart. The wines were in magnum and had been sent to Oxford one week prior to the...
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August 7, 2013

Dining on Domaine de la Romanée-Conti

Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Line Up

  It was a very balmy evening when I was on the way to the restaurant L‘Etranger on Gloucester Road in South Kensington a few weeks ago. A fantastic restaurant creating great dishes of French and Japanese influence, I highly recommend you to go. Excited about the dinner ahead yet nervous about...
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July 30, 2013

Tasting and dinner with Roberto Conterno of Cantina Giacomo Conterno

CONTERNO JULY 13 3

For the last three years it has been a real privilege to travel out to Piedmont and taste with Roberto Conterno of Cantina Giacomo Conterno, in many ways my favourite estate in the world of wine, not that one needs to have a favourite. I look forward to it like...
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