Publishing Director, Decanter magazine
Château Latour , Pauillac, 1990
Drunk with friends over a lazy dinner of Devonshire beef and roasted garlic and rosemary potatoes. An enticing vibrant explosive bouquet, on the palate a heady combination of classic cigar box, blackcurrants and pencil shavings. Glorious concentration and beautiful fine long ripe tannins, drinking superbly well.
Chryseia, Douro, 2005
Portugal’s reds are amongst the most dependable and delicious reds (and some fabulous spicy whites) on the shelves. They rival the south of France for character and interest. Chryseia comes from the Symingtons, stalwarts of Port, and Bruno Prats, ex of Cos d’Estournel. It’s made with a handful of classic Portuguese grapes – Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and others, and is deep, blackcurranty, spicy with beguiling hints of leather and lovely dusty tannins. It goes beautifully at this time of year with game – particularly guinea fowl and partridge. Delicious. About £40 a bottle
Tastings Director, Decanter magazine
Domaine René Engel, Vosne-Romanée, 1999
Made by the talented Philippe Engel who tragically passed away in 2005 at the age of 49. The wine combines delicate scented aromas and rich berry fruit. The tannins are very silky with some complex, mature Pinot Noir characters. Very delicate, with a long finish, this is a very beautiful wine, full of finesse and style. 2004 was the last vintage made by Philippe Engel; there are still some bottles available on the market but not for very long, so grab them before they are gone.
Deputy Editor, decanter.com
Château Mille Roses, Haut-Médoc, 2006
I’m not a terrific fan of the 2006 vintage in Bordeaux. Although I have yet to taste the classed growths in earnest, only a few wines I’ve tried have really impressed (Château Chasse-Spleen, as ever, is one). This bottle was another. On the nose, there’s more than just the typical red fruit, slightly herbal, Bordeaux nose. This has added dimension of darker fruits and oak. In fact, the toast of the oak becomes more and more prominent with every sip, leading me to wonder whether or not this has the legs to go on. I think, though, there is enough fruit in there for the medium term. This is a serious, well made (veering to ‘international’ style), wine. Probably more appealing to those who like quite a heavy toast from their barrels but evidence that some in the lower echelons of Bordeaux are really getting their act together.