Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Neirano Barolo Collezione Marchesini 2007

There's a far better picture of this wine, here, where you can buy it for £19.99 a bottle, which I think is well worth it at that price.

I'd recommend it with the steak at the Cadogan Arms in Chelsea, where it sits quite reasonably on their menu.

Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape 1999

A friend and I splashed out and shared a bottle of this recently over a fine piece of venison. Life, it ain't so bad sometimes. It's not cheap, but it is wonderful.

The Wine Cellar Insider says:

"Blackberry liqueur, minerals, blueberries, fresh herbs, pepper and smoke with a hint of coffee. This intense, full bodied, voluptuous wine is rich, thick, intense and mouth coating".

But back in 2005 it was clearly awful:

"Huge, packed and stacked but perfectly balanced. Black and red fruit, earth, gunpowder and herbs scream from the glass. Layers of fruit take over your palate. The long red fruit filled finsh is a pleasure."

Norwegian artist references aside, apparently it has either 91 or 94 Robert Parker points, which is good enough for me.

I'd still go with the 2005 description above, but what do I know? I can never taste all the things reviewers can. But it is bloody lovely, complex, bold and spicy, with that finish that keeps going. What more can one ask for?

Wine Searcher says it's around £50 a bottle, but then Fine and Rare have it for 'just' £38.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Barons de Rothschild Lafite Réserve Spéciale 2007

"Lavish aromas of bramble, plum and vanilla. Then a sumptuous mouthful of damsons, ripe blackberries and soft, silky tannins. Beautifully structured and long-lasting". So says the Laithwaite's website, and who am I to argue with that?

I think this is a REAL find. We had two bottles on Christmas day and it was the best we had all holiday, (with the exception of this, a lovely Chateau Gruaud Larose 1998)

For the price (three bottles included in a 15 bottle Laithwaites case for about £160) you simply have to hand it to Laithewaites, it's a stunner.

Apparently, "Charles Chevallier, the winemaking legend behind Lafite, oversees production from premium Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, cherry-picked from the finest sites".

Why they sell it at that price I don't know, but am forever grateful. Unfortunately it's not available right now. Which may make the glass I hold in my hand the last I drink of it. I'm certainly appreciating it on that basis, or any other. I'll keep looking for more.

2000 Chateau de Lamarque, Haut-Medoc, France


Now this is a complete bargain
at around £20 a bottle. I had it at my local, Planet of the Grapes in London's Leadenhall market, recently.

One reviewer says it is: "Very aromatic, with plum, tobacco and coffee aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, chewy and rich, with lots of ripe tannins and a long, smoky finish".

I'm not sure I could be that eloquent about it, but we thought it was superb.

I can't recall the last time I saw a 2000 Cru Bourgeois at this price. Pick some up.

Beaucastel at the Hawksmoor, London

I don't recall the year on this bottle when we had this particular beauty the other week at the Hawksmoor restuarant in London. I believe it was the 2009.

But it goes beautifully with steak.

When you see this kind of spicy Côtes du Rhône with the word "Beaucastel" in the title, you rarely go wrong.

The Hawksmoor offers some interesting tips on wine and steak matching too.

Check them out, here.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Lamothe-Cissac 2006: Big, full and complex, and under £14

I've blogged on the Lamothe-Cissac 2003 before. That's a stunning wine at the price. The 2001 is also amazing, if you can get it.

The 2006, given it's a bit younger, and still a bit young, seems more easily available.

At under £14 a bottle you can't go wrong. All the length and depth of the earlier wines, but of course lacking a little age. If you have a cellar, put some in it and leave it for five years.

The Chateau itself is right on the border with Saint Estephe, which is perhaps why I like it more than other Haut Medoc wines. It has that complex robustness and, yes, slight minerality that I really enjoy.

I was lucky enough to sample it at Goodman's on Maddox Street in London, where it went wonderfully with a burger. I hope they don't run out of it soon.

Haut Beausejour 2003: Typically wonderful Saint Estephe at only £20-25

The Haut Beausejour 2003 is a little cracker. At only £20 or so a bottle it represents excellent value as a Saint Estephe wine and a Cru Bourgeois to boot.

I had it at a favourite place of mine in London, Planet of the Grapes.

The 2003 is typical of the year and the region. Big fruity flavours, but with the superb lingering mineral complexity of Saint Estephe's terroir that other Cabernet-Sauvignon wines of a similar ilk often lack.

Get some, before I and all my wine loving friends drink what's left out there. It's hard to find online, but it will be there somewhere...

On Wine Searcher it's scoring 85-90. That's about right. I'd give it an 88, which for the price, you will struggle to beat.