Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Lynch Bages

Notes from my visit to this great Chateau. We were shown round the immaculate facilities including barrel hall where the workers were busy racking off the wines by hand using a candle to check for sediment in the run off!

2001 Chateau Haut Bages Averous
Dark fruits, blackcurrants and raspberries with a delicious savoury coffee aroma from a long barrel fermentation. A smooth body and touch of tannin gives it a nice long finish.

2001 Chateau Lynch Bages
Delicious smoky spicy nose, beautiful perfume. More savoury toast and an excellent meatiness with integrated fruit and tannins. Very smooth and excellently balanced wine that has aged perfectly and can go on.

Saturday, 27 June 2009


I learnt that Chateau Mouton Rothschild is not named after a sheep.
This revered wine is in the top five wines available to mankind! Famous artists illustrate the labels for this estate. The ground is practically sacred and it is obvious that nothing is spared in the making of the wine on this illustrious property.

We were treated like royalty by the staff who were expecting us arriving by bicycle. A tour round followed by a tasting from a special half bottle of Mouton 2008 opened for us.
The cellars underneath the chateau are very atmospheric and we also visited the old wooden vats which are still in use to this day! fantastic.

Chateau Mouton Rothschild 2008
vibrant ruby red with elegant soft fruit and aromatic vanilla nose. Lovely blackcurrant and plum with floral violet notes and savoury toast on the palate. it is very well balanced and smooth with long, textured tannins.

Lynch Bages

Pauillac is on the left bank of the river in Bordeaux and produces powerful cabernet sauvignon based wine. Merlot and cabernet franc is used to add smooth body and aromatic qualities to the blend.

Up on the highest rise in Pauillac is the Lynch Bages Estate.
Covering 200 hectares, the cabernet vines take prime position with merlot and cabernet franc spreading off into the distance. The vineyard was being worked upon leaf by leaf as we cycled up the gravel path to meet Guillame.
A great tour guide, Guillaume was interested to hear our questions and we learnt a lot about the evocative history of Lynch Bages. Until fairly recently they still used to stamp the grapes and use wooden vats in the winemaking! The harvest is done by hand. Each parcel of land vinified separately before the final mixing and blending is done.
Analysis in the lab, bottling and storage of wine at the chateau is all closely monitored.

The wine produced here has an elegance completely outside of its 5th classification.

Thursday, 25 June 2009


Update on the Sauternes dessert wine spillage.
My clothes have been soaked in it at the bottom of my bag. Currently wearing a rather scented jumper!


On a cloudless day in June we visited Chateau Guadet. Vincent started with a tour of his vines. Growing in only a foot or two of soil above a limestone plateau opposite the village, it is the best of the superb St Emilion Terroir! Every care is taken in looking after and harvesting the grapes. We discussed recent problems with hail damage and Nematoad pests but you would never know. The vineyard looked really smart and it evidently produces diamond grapes!
Winemaking is done at the maison in the middle of the village. Large temperature controlled concrete tanks hold the juice for the wine to develop. Vincent carefully monitors and pumps over the wine before it is bottled on premises and stored under ideal conditions in the labyrinthe of limestone cellars carved under the house.
This is an estate at the top of its class.
St Emilion Grand Cru Classe


Bottle of Sauternes.
Smithereened as my baggage trolley careered down an escalator in Paris Nord.
Was fairly expensive so may try claiming for it on my travel insurance.

Friday, 19 June 2009

St Emilion

Blackberry battery still alive.
Im in St Emilion and have come back from a wonderful days cycling and tasting.
Have ridden through Fronsac, Pomerol and St Emilion arriving at a wine festival in the town.
Some of the wines are lovely soft and fruity where as the stronger recent vintages eg 2005 are aromatic, high in tannins and will age really well. The true colopur of vintage St Emilion is best described as tile coloured.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Trippets Wine Bar

False bay chardonnay 08

Ambrose- single cream.
Very drinkable. Light in colour, a 'classic wine colour'. 2nd glass it has asserted itself a bit more. Still very smooth.
Peter- no, its buttery. Bit of apple. Stands on it own. No more comment
Chloe- winey.indisputably wine flavours. Yes, apple. No more comment

Friday, 12 June 2009

Vino shop, Chesterfield

Italian Andreas and Peter have opened a fantastic new wine shop and restaurant in Chesterfield. NON SOLO VINO. They specialize in Italian wine with a broad range of handpicked bottles from all across the country. Offering wine tasting, draught wine, specialist producers, olive oil, antipasti and their welcoming friendly nature and honest advice top off a great wine buying experience.

Here are some highlights from my visit this afternoon.
Pietroso Vendemmia 2003
Brunello di Montalcino DOCG

100% Sangiovese
2003 was a decent vintage in Tuscany.
Light red in the glass with excellent red/black currant cherry fruit and fragrant floral aromas. An elegant palate quite dry with ripe fruit cut with refreshing acidity and grippy tannins.
Brilliant wine, I will be drinking this bottle and fetching a couple more to keep.

Terre Bianche Torbato 2008
Its fun to try Italys weird and wonderful grape varieties.
there are hundreds of them and I wouldnt know where to start.
Andreas recommends this sipper for the summer months.
small berry grapes grown in the dry soil make a lovely soft off dry wine with light aromatic melon fruit and a light acidity.

Bianco di Pitigliano 2008
Aromatci white with apricot lemon fruit and smooth buttery oak notes. Available on tap for $7.50. Bring your own container, drink there or takeaway!

House Barbaresco
Satisfying dark crimson colour hides a soft and smooth wine with powerful fruit and a fragrant hint. Available on tap for $7.50. Bring your own container, drink there or takeaway!

check the place out!

Bordeaux visits sorted

Famous estates I'll be visiting in Bordeaux next week!

Chateau Latour
Chateau Pontet Canet
Chateau Lynch Bages
And the one I'm really excited about!!
Chateau Pichon Comtesse de Lalande.

These are all Pauillac Vineyards which is the first stop of our cycle tour.
More to visit in St Emilion later.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Lebanese wine

A wine from Lebanon! how unexpected is that.
I remember a morrocan wine that I had once in Brussels!?!. il never forget the terrible stuff.
This is something altogether different, its a legend of a winery that has been around since the 30s and if you get the lucky opportunity to try some I think its well worth a try!

Chateau Musar Mosaic 2006
Bekar Valley, Lebanon

A white wine from Chateau Musar
Strong straw yellow in colour. Slightly aromatic and concentrated with rich fruit and an oaked nutty character. Full bodied and mature with a smooth buttery palate.
brilliant stuff!

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Wig and Pen

Enjoyed a lovely bottle of Italian at the Wig and Pen with some friends.
Excellent evening.

2006 Roccastella
Montepulciano d'abuzzo
Lovely robust oaked farmyard aromas with a dry red fruit palate and soft tannins with balanced acidity.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009


Chateau Cantermerle 2004
AOC Haut Medoc, Bordeaux

Steelwine are going to Bordeaux in the middle of June so in preparation I have been drinking some Bordeaux.


Being a home brewer, I never need an excuse for opening a bottle of ale.
These bottle conditioned real ales are well worth checking out.

Sussex Bitter
Bottle Conditioned Ale
3.8% 500ml
A cloudy amber yellow in colour with full head and a good amount of fizz. This excellent bitter as developed real aged character during its bottle conditioning.
There is a great creamy full body to it and the right amount of bitter hops to give the ale a refreshing drinkability!
A CAMRA endorsed real ale from Marks and Spencers.

Yorkshire Bitter
Bottle Conditioned Ale
4.6% 500ml.
A dark cloudy copper colour, lightly sparkling.
This darker ale has a roasted rich caramel flavour with balanced hop bitterness.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Summery Whites

Two fresh summery whites!

Ramirez de Velazco
2007 Torrontes
Famatina Valley, Argentina
Pale yellow green in colour with an aromatic nose of sharp apple and pineapple tropical fruit. Fruity palate with a touch of sweetness but balanced nicely with a refreshing mandarin bite!
4.99 Somerfield

2007 Louis Latour Bourgogne Aligote
Beaune, Cote D'or
Deep golden yellow in colour. This is a lovely everyday chardonnay from Burgundy.
Restrained apricot and lemon fruit with a touch of creamy body which gives this a nice texture.
88/100 7.99 Penistone Wine Cellars