A Tale of Two Bottles

It was a cosy little tasting in the private cinema of The Soho Hotel with Régis Camus last night. The raison d’être was, of course, the UK launch of Rare Rosé 2007, which proved to be truly something special, but that was not all we were treated to. We tasted five different cuvées, each paired with food … (more…)

Lanson on-trade in magnum

When Lanson released their stylishly presented ‘Pere et Fils’ (effectively the previous release of Black Label, benefitting from an extra year on yeast) exclusively for the on-trade, its invigoratingly fresh, crisp fruit and long, complex finish made it a natural gastronomic Champagne, but there was no magnum … (more…)

Champagne 2016: The Great Escape!

Two months ago it looked as if 2016 could be one of most disastrous vintages in Champagne’s history, but in this northerly, Atlantic-influenced region, vintages are made or broken at harvest time more often than not. Here is the latest vintage news received from one of today’s most talented chefs de caves, Frédéric Panaïotis of Champagne Ruinart … (more…)

How good is the new Joseph Perrier cuvée?

Joseph Perrier Cuvée Royale Blanc de Noirs Vintage Brut Nature is the most exciting, most innovative Champagne this house has released in my lifetime. There are faults, but thankfully they are confined to its presentation and packaging, not the contents, the sheer quality of which had me spellbound from the start … (more…)

Albet i Noya Nosodos: an exception to the rule!

Over the years I have tasted hundreds of wines that claim to have been produced without the addition of sulphur and as a rule they were vile. A few have been just about drinkable, but I have yet to find one that I would be happy to drink. Until now that is … and guess what? It’s a Cava … (more…)

Hedonistic Range of Rare Dom Pérignon Vintages

I don’t normally reproduce a press-release, but for collectors out there with deep enough pockets, this treasure trove of DP is an absolute bargain … all 11 rare and very special bottles direct from the cellars for less than the cost of one bottle of Romanee Conti DRC 2005! Not that the DRC isn’t mind-boggling in its own right, but I will probably have to wait until I am dead before the 2005 reaches its peak, whereas every one of these DP gems is absolutely à point now. The point is, however, that anyone who has DRC in their cellar will be able to pick up this haul of DP for small change … (more…)

Why Lambrusco bottled it!

There are a number of different Lambrusco appellations in Italy and most are located in the lush valley vineyards of Emilia-Romagna, where we find the DOCs (or DOPs as they tend to label them these days) of Grasparossa di Castelvetro, Modena, Reggiano, Salamino di Santa Croce and Sorbara, with just one in neighbouring Lombardia (Mantovano). Until this tasting I thought the best Lambrusco come from Sorbara and the best of those was Chiarli Fondatore, but not any more … (more…)

Trentodoc

Unlike Conegliano-Valdobbiadene, Trentodoc slips off the tongue of an Anglo-Saxon speaker very easily. Unfortunately, however, this made-up word is rather harsh-sounding to the Italian ear and although there is a cleverness in its construction (Trento + DOC), it does rather scupper any hopes the producers may have of promotion to DOCG!… (more…)

Man on a mission: Asti & Brachetto d’Acqui

They are without doubt the world’s greatest dessert-style sparkling wines, yet no Asti and Brachetto d’Acqui performed well in the first year of the Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships (CSWWC). Was this due to receiving entries exclusively from the dregs of the industry or had the overall quality of both appellations nose-dived? I was a man on a mission to find out!… (more…)