Friday, 21 December 2012

Escarpment Kiwa Pinot Noir, (Martinborough), 2010

Tasted 20/10/12, 13% abv, cork closure. About £22 UK retail (Lea and Sandeman). Escarpment is a highly regarded up-and-coming winery in the new territory (for Pinot) of Martinborough. The entry level wine is widely available but the award winning Kiwa is much rarer. Quote: 'The Escarpment “Insight Series” allows individual vineyard expression from exceptional sites within the Martinborough Geographic Indication. This wine was grown on the Cleland Vineyard Cambridge Street, Martinborough from 29 year old vines'.
This is huge wine. We tasted one bottle from the case but have now decided to put the rest away for a while. This is not like an old world Pinot Noir by any stretch of the imagination. It is a big, tannic wine, with a large mouth feel of red fruit, spice, pimento and vanilla. However, it is clear that there is great potential here for development. This wine has real depth and elegance. It needs to be re-tasted in 2014, or so! From 2015, 18/20

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Pierre Paillard Grand Cru Brut Champagne 2002

Tasted 08/12/12. 12.5% ABV, cork closure. About £35 UK retail. Thanks to Chris Tew for bringing it back from France at considerable below UK retail price. Paillard's reputation is well earned and this 50 / 50 pinot / chardonnay blend really hits the spot. The nose is creamy, apply patisserie, with a pleasant yeastiness. Good acidity but very well balanced with many years left. An elegant wine. Drink 2010 - 2020. 17.5 / 20

Taylors Terra Feita Single Quinta port 2001

Tasted 11/12/12 at CFWS Christmas Meal, 20% ABV, cork closure. About £25 UK retail. Single Quinta port (from a single estate in a non-declared year) at this level is about twice the price of LBV, but well worth it. This is 11 years old and drinking well now but would pay for some longer keeping. Dark purple, beautiful 'Taylor's Nose' of violets and blackcurrants. Rich and elegant with a long finish, tight tannins - a slight dry style, as you'd expect from Taylors - great fruit, damson and blackcurrants with a raisiny finish. Superb value for money. From 2012, 17.5 / 20

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Vinalba Malbec Reserva 2009 (Mendoza)

Tasted 12/12/12. 15% abv. Cork closure. About £10.99 UK retail. Vinalba has an increasingly high reputation and of their three mainstream malbec wines - the reserva sits between the entry level and the Gran Reserva, I think this one strikes the best balance between price and quality. I tasted the '09 Gran Reserva and wasn't impressed. The Reserva also shows that it pays to keep good South American red wine for a few years.
This wine was just right - 5 years old and at its peak. Beautiful deep purple colour, coffee and dark fruits on the nose and a creamy mouthful of dark fruits - it screams malbec but a well made one. From 2012, 15.5 /20

La Réserve de Léoville Barton 2006 St-Julien

Tasted 8/12/12 with Sara, Beata and Jean-Marc. 13% ABV, cork closure. About £25 to £30 UK retail. This wines shows that France still comes up trumps on most occasions. This is the second wine of my favourite chateau from my favourite Bordeaux commune. Like its daddy, this wine is superb value for money. It is a typical Left Bank blend of cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc but with some merlot in the mix too.
Though '06 might be a bit too much like young drinking for some tastes, this wine is superb now. It's elegant, balanced, with silky tannins and rich, beautiful cassis on the nose, with a hint of 'cigar box', and berry fruits on the palate and a fine finish. Great little wine. From 2013, 17/20

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Brooks Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2008 (Oregon)

Tasted 18/11/12, 13.5% abv, cork closure, £25 UK retail (e.g. Stone, Vine and Sun, Winchester). This wine is $21 in the US, so the UK price doesn't seem bad for a top Oregon pinot.....the Pacific Northeast of the US produces more-European style pinot than California or South America where big wines are common - this is a lighter, more elegant style. Less in your face - Burgundy lovers would be happy. Light cherry red in colour, still youthful. The nose is candied fruit, cherries and rosehips. Great red fruits, forward in mouth , with a dry, long finish. A lovely wine, a real sense of terroir and the wine makers skill. From 2013, 17/20.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Beaujolais Nouveau 2012, Georges Duboeuf

Tasted 16/11/12. 12% ABV, cork closure. I last tasted this wine in its 2010 guise, during which time it has gone up by a £1 to £6.99 in Waitrose (or £7.99 on an offer in Majestic), but given the yields this year, it's not surprising. Most of France had a washout harvest but apparently, in Beaujolais, it was a small but concentrated vintage.
This is better than Duboeuf's 2010. Bright cherry red colour with cherry and hint of cassis on the nose. It's light and fruity with a short finish but a very pleasant luncheon wine that doesn't take itself too seriously. Nice red fruits in the mouth, 15/20, from 2012.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

St Joseph Blanc Domaine Perret 2009

Tasted 14/11/12. 13.5%, cork closure, about £16 UK retail (e.g. Goedhuis). An unusual white wine from St. Joepsh. Made from Marsanne and Roussanne varietals, this is a fleshy, minerally, almost salty wine, rich and great with fish or roasted chicken or even game. Light golden colour, the nose is clean and a litte closed, with some pears or apricots,  like a young Chablis. But the palate is alive and full, with good weight, dry with a long finish. Notes of capsicum and melon lingers in the mouth. An interesting wine, worth a try. From 2013, 16/20

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Chateau La Tour Blanche 2003 Sauternes

Tasted 10/11/12 with Sara, Chris and Fran. 37.5cl, cork closure, 13% abv. Medium golden colour. Excellent, concentrated nose. Apricots, almonds and seville oranges. The palate is sweet but not overwhelmingly so. Medium bodied. Candied peel, orange marmalade, vanilla and lemon. A lovely wine, perhaps needs a little more acidity to balance the sweetness. From 2012. 17 / 20

Prince Florent de Merode Corton Les Bressandes Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune 2002

Tasted 10/11/12 with Sara, Chris and Fran. 75cl, cork closure, 13%. About £60 UK retail (at release). A privilege to share this wine from  a great vintage - drinking very well now.  This wine had real finesse and elegance, great cherry red colour in the glass, little sign of age, the nose was refreshingly youthful. There was real weight and structure on the palate, complex melange of red fruits and a hint of spice, this is a classic Corton. 18/20, from 2012.

Moet and Chandon Grand Vintage Rose 2002

Tasted 10/11/12 with Sara, Chris and Fran. 12.5% ABV, about £50 UK retail. I generally don't like rose-anything but the much maligned but now improved M&C come up trumps with this one. 51% Pinot Noir and 49% Chardonnay and Petit Meunier, this wine has just been released from the incredible '02 vintage and is ready to drink now. Floral nose of blueberries and cherries, dry on the palate with a long finish. Elegant, well balanced and well made, this was a very enjoyable aperitif. From 2012, 17/20

Friday, 9 November 2012

Upcoming Events at Chelsea and Fulham Wine Society

Last night's fortified wine tasting with Ian was very enjoyable indeed.

That was our last regular tasting of 2012, and the final event will be the Christmas meal on Tuesday 11th December from 7.30pm (note Tuesday not Thursday). The meal will take place in the regular tasting room at Fulham Wine Rooms. We can accommodate a maximum of 20 for the meal and I am taking bookings now. The all-in price will be £40, including service (see menu attached - they can also do gluten free meals). This covers the cost of the food and I will provide the wine 'free' from the Society's coffers. Luckily, we don't need to pay corkage, etc. Hence, I have a good budget for the wine and I should be able to provide some excellent choices, starting with champagne and ending with the port! I'll circulate the wine list once I have worked it out.

I think I will take payment in advance from late November and ask you to make your provisional menu choices. The following people have told me that are coming so far: Ian M, Cheryl, Ann W, Vic, Glenda, Ian B. Please let me know if you'd like to come along.

On the 22nd of November, I'll again be presenting some fine, old and rare St. Emilions for my friend David Beguier-Barnett, as before at Broadway House in Fulham:

Broadway House

or see

My Blog

Tickets are available from Broadway House or David. For those that also enjoy younger Right Bank claret (like me!), David has now added some wines from the 2000's to the event.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

St. Emilion tasting, 22nd November 2012

Where: Broadway House (Fulham Broadway) 
Subject : Wine Tasting - Thursday 22nd November 2012 , 7.30pm

This is a very exclusive event and we want to invite you to Broadway House, our Private Members' Club, to join us.
All of these unique wines are all from David Beguier-Barnett's collection (ex-chateau cellars) and the bottles have not moved from their cellars since 'la mise en bouteille au château' until now.

David will be opening at least 5 vintages on the night with tastings of wines such as Chateau Monlot Capet and Chateau de Ferrand from 1962 to 1996 with canapés and you will hear from guest speaker Gary White.
At recent tastings, Chelsea & Fulham wine Society President, Gary White, tried all the bottles from the 1960's to 90's and scored them between 14.5 & 18.5/20. 
All the wine are St Emilion Grand Cru and Grand Cru Classe.

'The Sampler' in South Kensington (a specialist in old, fine wine) is selling the 1966 (Chateau Ferrand and Monlot Capet) and 1982 (Vieille Eglise) by the glass and bottle.

There are limited spaces for this event, so booking and payment for your tickets in advance is required. Tickets cost £35 including wine and canapés.
To get tickets please email Or me

Looking forward to see you on the 22nd November and share half a century old wine! -  David

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Casillero del Diablo Reserva Shiraz 2007 (Rapel Valley)

Tasted 01.10.12, 13.5% ABV. Screw cap closure. An entry level wine from Concha y Toro. Normally these wines are respectable but this one disappointed and is not as attractive as when I last had it. Basically, this wine should be drunk younger - I had forgotten that I had this bottle that was from a 5 year old vintage. Still a vibrant purple colour but the fruit had gone and acidity had become more prominent. 12.5/20. Lesson = well made wine, blended from young vines - drink young. From 2009!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Wither Hills Marlborough Pinot Noir 2011 (Asda Extra Special)

All wines tasted at the party held for baby Thomas on 25/08/2012. This was the disappointment of the night. It is Wither Hills entry level Pinot Noir sold for £11 under the Asda label. It did improve after opening but was still disappointing – far inferior to the Moko Black. Good medium purple colour but rather thin and astringent. Poor fruit and generally poor value for money. Drink now, 13.5 /20

Moko Black Pinot Noir 2011 Marlborough

All wines tasted at the party held for baby Thomas on 25/08/2012.13.5% ABV, screw cap closure. About £13 UK retail (Petit Canon, SW6). The entry level Moko Pinot Noir seems to have shifted from Central Otago to the well-established Marlborough region. Nice deep purple colour, elegant and well balanced. Nice berry raspberry fruit, very much a new world style of pinot noir. Needs longer but very pleasant now. A good future. 16/20, from 2014. 

Maycas del Limari Syrah 2008

All wines tasted at the party held for baby Thomas on 25/08/2012. 14.5% ABV, cork closure. One of my favourite wines, many people tasted this at the end when their palates were a bit jaded. Still a big wine. From my Blog: ‘Tasted 7/2010. Great wine, great value at ca. £8.99 from Majestic or Tesco, etc. Excellent, elegant cool climate syrah that Chile can do really well. This is bordering on fine wine - it's not just varietal New World much-of-a-muchness. Deep purple colour, stewed fruits and hint of allspice on the nose; in the mouth it’s all about chocolate and damson with a good finish. Still a little tannic, but good now. Ideally, drink from 2011. This wine is better than the 2007 vintage. In 8/2010, I said: "This wine is from a great winery and represents truly excellent value for money. This is very well-made, top-drawer wine - not cheap varietal syrah - equivalent (in my opinion) to a £25 Rhone or Croze-Hermitage. Though variation in vintages aren't quite the same issue in Chile as in the Old World, 2008 was notably excellent in Limari. This is much better than the 2007 I tasted. The wine has fantastic mixed spice and chocolate on the nose, black pepper and bell peppers too. Though it is full and a little tannic at this stage in the mouth, this will soften. I would like to keep this wine for a couple of years and see what happens!’ From 2012, 16.5 / 20