The Icon Extravaganza is back! I’m not talking Christmas carols at your local church, but the amazing line-up of wines to sample at The Sampler’s new store in South Kensington
The Icon Extravaganza is back! I’m not talking Christmas carols at your local church, but the amazing line-up of wines to sample at The Sampler’s new store in South Kensington. As in previous years, The Sampler’s Jamie Hutchinson has spent the last 12 months searching out top-condition bottles for this very special occasion, and as from today eight iconic wines are available to try (as 25ml tasting samples) from the Enomatic wine servers at the South Kensington shop. True, a 25ml tipple of 1961 Château Palmer will set you back £65.33, but where else would you even have the opportunity? Besides the stars of the show, there are 60-plus more affordable wines also available for tasting, from the not-to-be-missed 2000 Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos from Dauvissat to the amazing 2006 Verdicchio de Casteilli dei Jesi from Villa Bucci and the Boxwod from Topiary, the new discovery from Virginia. A further 10 icon wines will be opened at The Sampler’s Islington branch on Friday 17 December.
The wines featured here will be ‘on tap’ for the next 10 days at South Kensington, but since they’re unlikely to last that long, do hurry along to avoid disappointment.
Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, La Tache Grand Cru 1973
Very pale brown colour and very cloudy. Lots of mushroom notes and still has some red fruit bouquet. The palate is very much together, with a surprisingly fresh and direct acidity. Nice truffle scent on the finish.
Tasting sample: £21
Domaine Armand Rousseau, Chambertin 1976
Still ruby in colour with nuances of mahogany coming through, and still good expression on the nose – meaty and undergrowth bouquet with a hint off coffee. The palate is very much alive, fresh and pretty, with nice clean fruit and an elegant structure. Retains an amazing length.
Tasting sample: £35
Château Cos d’Estournel, Saint-Estèphe 1929
Even after 81 years, the wine has a vibrant colour. Very tertiary nose with notes of truffle and undergrowth. Light-bodied on the palate with a fine minerality and elegant structure; still very complex and surprisingly fresh.
Tasting sample: £37.33
Château Cos d’Estournel, Saint-Estèphe 1945
A very deep brick colour with some clarity. The nose is fragrant and displays rich and firm ripe fruit. The palate is very developed and still has complexity and richness of fruit. Hard to believe this wine is 65 years old.
Tasting sample: £37.33
Château Palmer, Margaux 1961
This is a beautiful wine, definitely the star of the show. The nose has so much to offer, a complex bouquet with notes of leather, tobacco and autumn leaves. The palate is harmonious and dense, with some fruit concentration still evident on the finish.
Tasting sample: £65.33
Antinori, Solaia, Vino de Tavola 1985
Still a very deep dark colour. The nose is dense and has aromas of black fruit with olives notes. The palate is rich and complex and has a good depth of fruit – balanced and complex with a long length.
Tasting sample: £14.47
Guigal, La Mouline, Côte-Rotie 1991
Nice ruby colour. Very beautiful nose, savoury and smoky with black pepper. The palate is still fresh, direct and big; well-balanced and very harmonious with an amazing length.
Tasting sample: £31.97
Penfolds Grange, South Australia 1982
Very intense and powerful on the nose with chocolatey notes and macerated cherries. The palate is very rich and dense but supported by a fine acidity and supple tannins. Fresh and long finish, too.
Tasting sample: £13.30
Written by Christelle Guibert