Domaines Schlumberger, Pinot Gris Grand Cru Kitterlé 2006
2006 was a challenging year in Alsace but the best producers succeeded. Very expressive nose with notes of dried apricot and honey. Rich on the palate,an elegant, oily texture supported by a fine acidity and some tropical fruit characters; great depth on the finish with an excellent balance between the sweetness and the structure. Needs more time to develop.
Publishing Director, Decanter
Château Haut Brion, Pessac-Léognan 1985
This wine shined brilliantly at a friend’s annual grouse dinner. A kalediscope of flavours danced on the palate; beautifully harmonious with great purity and elegance. Intoxicating nose of autumnal fruit which continued to develop in the glass. This has finesse and power. An astonishing ’85 drinking superbly yet with huge pleasure to deliver for many more years.
Acting Assistant Editor, Decanter
Astoria, Cuvee Tenuta Val de Brun, Prosecco di Valdobbiadene, Veneto, Italy 2007
Tasting the Astoria range of sparkling, still, sweet and fortified wines, with owner Giorgio Polegato, this charming fizz was the highlight. Made from 100% Prosecco grapes, it has a lovely minerally prickle of bubbles and peach stone aromas and flavours. It’s light and fresh in the mouth but with a gentle creaminess and nutty finish that makes it an ideal aperitif.
Deputy Editor, decanter.com
Château Monbousquet, St-Emilion Grand Cru, 2000
One of my favourite wines of all time. It has the most fantastic nose of of black, brooding fruit as well as heady mocha and cocoa. On the palate, this wine has everything – the balance and length are phenomenal. It is just so good. Many people say that Perse’s Monbousquet hasn’t the pedigree to age, but I think this wine still has a good few years in it. The question now is whether or not I can resist the temptation to open my last bottle…
Bodega del Palacio de las Frontaura y Victoria, Toro
Dominio de Valdelacasa 2005
Fabulous velvety briar nose. Deep colour, autumn fruits and sweet dark forest fruits on the palate, with notes of damp forest floor. Deep, long, complex and rustic, velvet tannins. Made from Tinta de Toro, this is an utterly delectable wine – and the price, £12.99, is the most astonishing of all. Anything remotely this good from – say – the south of France would be double or triple that. I’m off to buy a case now…
Craggy Range, Block 14 Syrah, Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay 2006
Craggy Range do it again. This is a real corker with a forceful personality and plenty of soul. The forward, purply fruit is countered by sage, violets, pepper and dark inky notes on the nose. The palate shows further biting white pepper flavours and touches of flowers and generous, ripe fruit. Totally delicious.