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What we’ve been drinking (27 February – 6 March 2009)

At Decanter we all love our wine, and every week members of the Decanter team - from editorial assistants to publishing director Sarah Kemp - tell us what they've been enjoying at home and when they go out...

What we’ve been drinking index

Christelle Guibert

Tastings Director

   Trimbach, Gewurztraminer, Cuvée des Seigneurs de Ribeaupierre, 2001

Fine aromatic nose with aromas of spice and flowers. The palate is very expressive and rich with ample weight and texture; the balanced acidity really carries the sweetness, the alcohol and the richness of the fruit.

Really enjoyed it with my Thai green curry.

Tina Gellie

Acting Assistant Editor, Decanter magazine

   Piper-Heidsieck, Cuvee Millésime Brut, Champagne, France 2000

A bit of a cheat, really, to recommend one of the wines on show in Tom Stevenson’s Champagne masterclass last weekend at the Decanter French Fine Wine Encounter, but there you go. Not only did it stand out as a truly fine wine on the day, among a stellar line up of other Champagnes, but a half-open bottle still held its own – and its bubbles – the next evening. Creamy mousse, a lemon sherbet fizz up the nose and lovely digestive biscuit autolytic notes on a round but firm tart apple palate. It’s got a long life ahead but nine years in, paired with Vietnamese chicken salad on a Sunday night, it proves why Champagne shouldn’t just be enjoyed on the special occasions.

Lucy Shaw

Editorial Assistant

   Viña Alicia, Brote Negro, Malbec 2005, Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza

Though blossom may be beginning to form on the trees, spring has not

quite sprung and we still need to cosy up to a big bold red to keep

warm. What better way then than with the Brote Negro, or ‘black

shoot’, with its bold nose of blackcurrants, violets, licorice and

hint of mint chocolate. Dark, dense and deeply fruit driven, the

palate’s velvet jacket is laced with delicious vanilla creaminess,

subtle spices and smokey notes. Intense, persistent and wonderfully

well balanced, this wine packs a punch and yet remains remarkably


Adam Lechmere

Editor, decanter.com

   Chateau Camplazens Grenache 2007, Coteaux de Languedoc

Husband and wife team Peter and Susan Close regularly take medals at the Decanter World Wine Awards for their superb stable of southern French reds. The Grenache is everything I want from these baking hills, spicy sweet juicy tannins and garrigue flavours, lots of juicy cherryish fruit, and an almost meaty strength underlying it all. You couldn’t be anywhere else than the south of France, and you should only be eating wild boar with it. Delicious, and ridiculously cheap at around £7 a bottle.

Guy Woodward

Editor, Decanter magazine

   Yalumba’s 2006 Barossa Bush Vine Grenache

After a modest, in-line-with-the-current-climate evening spent sampling local pub wines – Delicato’s Californian Viognier-Chardonnay was serviceable at its unambitious price point, though I didn’t need a 250ml glass of it, filled to the brim (distracted, I had neglected to effect my usual request of a small serving in a large glass) – we headed back inside unfulfilled… until we cracked open Yalumba’s 2006 Barossa Bush Vine Grenache, which soon lifted our spirits. Light, bright, but with a density of pure berry fruit that carried through long into an ultimately enriching night.

Mark O’Halleron

Tastings executive

   Turkey Flat, Sparkling Shiraz, Barossa Valley 2005

Sparkling Shiraz fans are somewhat thin on the ground, especially at Decanter. I couldn’t describe myself as a flag bearer for the style, but surely you can’t be a lover of wine and not be intrigued – if only until after the first sip. Turkey Flat produce top-drawer wines, and their fizzy red is a superior offering as well. You can identify the quality of the wine beneath the bubbles, blessed as it is with lush, curranty fruit, a liquorice core, minerality, violets, sweet, peppery dashes, and a bit of tannic grip.

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