Tag Archives: fine wine

Icon Wine of the Week: 1999 Chateau Montelena

This time of year signals promise for the warmer months to come and positivity for what the rest of the year has in store. Our sommelier team have chosen a fitting Icon Wine of this week – an upbeat California red – not just any California red, but made by Chateau Montelena, winner of the seminal event Judgement of Paris in 1976.

Chateau Montelena

Our Icon wines are a real treat for our guests to try a glass of something that they would not usually buya full bottle of. We offer these bottles – for that week only – at cost price for a glass, meaning that you can explore and expand your vinous horizons.  This week, you will have the great opportunity to taste one of Napa Valley’s finest wineries.

Château Montelena was established in 1882 and gained a massive success after the winning of the Judgement of Paris with its 1973 Chardonnay. Since then it has become on of California’s iconic wineries.

This particular Cabernet Sauvignon has a beautiful depth of flavour and a great balance, as well as a wonderfully smooth and pure palate. At 17 years old, it has a wonderful mature nose.

The wine shows some lovely aromas of cooked dark fruit such as blackcurrant, blueberry and blackberry as well as notes of chocolate, coffee beans and cigar box.

The palate has firm but well integrated tannins with a very good complexity and a great concentration. Fantastic with food, it is also great to nurse on its own.

Icon Wine Of The Week: 2005 Taittinger

There can be no other wine that signifies romance like Champagne. For this week, the week of love, our sommelier team have chosen 2005 Taittinger as our Icon Wine, a beautiful expression of rich, toasty, vanilla-led Champagne.

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‘Tis the weekend of Love and to celebrate St Valentine I have selected one of Champagne’s finest cuvées.

Since its first release in 1952, only 30 vintages have been produced. For me, 2005 is among the best!

Comtes de Champagne is a blend of Chardonnay from five different Grands Crus from the Côte De Blancs.

It is not released before it has aged for 10 years in the Taittinger cellars and 2005 is the newest release. This Champagne develops some toasty and hazelnut notes due to a slight barrel ageing, as well as some lovely ripe stone fruit tones, aromas of citrus fruits and vanilla.

The palate shows a great balance with a lively minerality and a long finish.

A fantastic Champagne to have as an aperitif or to enjoy with our Scallops dish!

Californian Wine At The Vineyard

Our West Berkshire abode is home to 30,000 bottles from all around the world, many of which are Californian in origin. Romain Bourger, our Head Sommelier, tells us more about our Californian wines and what it means to work in one of the world’s finest collections of Californian wines.

Working at The Vineyard, I am very lucky to work with one of the world’s finest Californian wine selections. As we make wine in California, we have great longstanding relations with fellow producers in California. It is through our wine merchant, The Vineyard Cellars, that we import many rare wines that are rarely seen outside of the US. Around 95% of wine produced in California stays within the United States, so this is privilege for us oenophiles indeed.

California produces the gamut of wine types and styles, from sparkling and light whites to heavy reds as well as dessert wines, and we have the opportunity to offer almost everything in these categories. Our wide range contains Californian sparkling wine, top Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir as classics, as well as other international varietals such as Riesling, Pinot Gris, Albariño, Gewürztraminer, Cabernet Franc, Syrah/Rhône blends and so forth.

Hit by the ‘Two Buck Chuck’ and ‘Anything But Chardonnay’ labels in earlier decades, California has some stellar producers, and wines for laying down. From artisanal producers to big brand names, with quality to match, our selection comprises the entire range.  Big names including the famous Peter Michael Winery, Abreu, Colgin, Diamond Creek, Chateau Montelena, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars and more form a large part of our Californian collection.

Artisanal and boutique wineries such as Buccella, Donelan, Wind Gap, Bonny Doon Vineyards (especially know for its Rhône blends), Lokoya, Vérité and Cardinale form part of our list too – we want to be a true ambassador to the wines from the Golden State.

Being a Frenchman working in this “temple to Californian wine”, I have managed to learn a lot about this remarkable wine region and have tasted many that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

Icon Wine of the Week: Les Pavots, California

High above the Californian Knights Valley planted between 1989 and 1999, Les Pavots is the flagship wine of the Peter Michael Estate with a rocky volcanic origin: a terroir-driven wine that would stand the test of time. It is The Vineyard’s icon wine this weekend. Our sommelier team tells us more.

PMW winery landscape

Les Pavots signifies Peter Michael’s flagship blend of red Bordeaux varietals from its Knights Valley Estate. Sir Peter Michael established his winery in Sonoma’s wild Knights Valley back in 1982. His goal was to produce a wine in a New World country but with Old World methods such as mountain vineyard and terroir-reflected wines.

First produced in 1989, the Les Pavots blend varies from vintage to vintage, and typically it is two thirds Cabernet Sauvignon with roughly equal parts Cabernet Franc and Merlot and a touch of Petit Verdot. Les Pavots captures an elegant refined expression of the terroir embracing the full spectrum of Cabernet family varietal expression with its trademark touch of herbes de provence. The name translates to “The Poppies” and is named after the California poppies that grow wild on the estate and are the inspiration for the winery’s logo.

This Cabernet Sauvignon Blend shows a great concentration of ripe blackcurrant, blackberry and blueberry as well as a touch of sweet spices from the oak ageing. 2009 was a classic vintage and the wine shows a lovely minerality and an exceptional balance.

This wine would go with lamb exceptionally well.

Icon Wine of the Week: Mount Mary Vineyard, Australia

As the fourth largest wine producer in the world, and 40% of the production being consumed within the country, Australia has no native grapes, all having being brought over initially from Spain and France. For this weekend’s icon wine of the week, available by the glass in our restaurant, our wine team have chosen a Pinot Noir.

Jasper Hill

Mount Mary is a family owned, single vineyard estate located in the heart of the Yarra Valley. The region is in the south-eastern corner of Australia, east of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. This gentle north facing slope was first planted to vines in 1972 with 18 varieties on 40 acres. The Pinot Noir vines were sourced from western Victoria in 1971.

Yarra Valley is regarded as the “Burgundy” part of Australia – it gives great results both with the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grape varietals.

This particular wine develops aromas of wild strawberries, cranberries and cherries as well as a hint of black truffle and forest floor.

The 16 months of oak ageing gives the wine some subtle spicy notes such as black pepper, as well as hints of liquorice and smoke.

The palate is long with a lovely rocky minerality and some velvety tannins and we would strongly recommend this beautiful wine with our pork belly course.

 

Icon Wine of the Week: Chablis from Francois Ravenau

A region steeped in history where the Romans are likely to have planted and cultivated wine grapes in the area, Chablis is renowned for its lightly-oaked white wines touched by its kimmeridgean soil type. This week our head sommelier Romain Bourger chooses one of his favourite vintages and producers.

Chablis

Francois Raveneau established his estate in 1948 and started to be seen as one of the finest Chablis producers during the 1970’s. The great care used to produce the wines includes entirely manual harvest, which makes it one of the only 5 estates in Chablis to do so!

The estate is composed of 9.29 hectares and about 90% of the vineyards are located on either Chablis Grand Cru or Chablis Premier Cru appellation.

The 2009 vintage shows a great chalky minerality followed by a complex touch of toasty and creamy notes due to the oak ageing and some lovely ripe white fruit and citrus notes.

One of the greatest white wines I have ever tasted was one of Domaine Francois Raveneau’s 1994 Chablis Premier Cru. An exquisite paring with our scallops dish!

Please reserve your glass with reception before 7pm on Friday 15th and Saturday 16th January 2016.

New Year’s Competition!

Happy New Year!

We are passionate about good wine. And to celebrate the start to 2016, the 40th anniversary of a very important wine event for us, as well as our award for ‘No. 1 wine of the Year 2015’ from Wine Spectator, we’ve a fantastic new competition to win tickets to our Californian wine tasting in May
Peter Michael

2016 is the 40th anniversary of the Judgement of Paris, a blind wine tasting comparing Californian and French wines. Groundbreakingly, Californian wine came out on top. It is no coincidence that three of our wine ventures, Peter Michael Winery, Vineyard Cellars and The Vineyard were launched following this event. And today, as well as various 100-point Parker wines, Wine Spectator’s Number one wine of the year 2015 is our very own Peter Michael Winery Au Paradis 2012. ‘As a textbook example of the way passionate investment, technical skill and an outstanding vineyard can create compelling wines, the Peter Michael Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Au Paradis 2012 is Wine Spectator‘s 2015 Wine of the Year.’ says James Laube of Wine Spectator.  Click here for more.

Our Californian wine merchant has teamed up with our Californian winery to host a commemorative Californian wine tasting, both in central London (10th May) and at The Vineyard Hotel  (14th May). You can win a pair of tickets to either one that you prefer.

With the great and the good of Californian wine world attending, this will be a stellar event. And for those who love steak, good wine, sunshine and excellent atmosphere then this is for you.

To enter the competition, and win tickets, all you have to do is tell us in which region of California Peter Michael Winery is situated. Email competitions@the-vineyard.co.uk with your answer by 31st January 2016.

Good luck from The Vineyard team!

Terms and conditions:

a) The prize is for a pair of tickets to either our London wine tasting on 10th May 2016 or at The Vineyard wine tasting on 14th May 2016 ; these tickets are non transferable and non refundable.
b) All entrants must be over 18 and based in the UK. Employees and associates of employees are unable to enter.
c) By entering this competition you agree to be included in newsletter updates from The Vineyard.
d) The competition cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer(s).
e) The Vineyard reserves the right to modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, the competition with or without prior notice due to reasons outside its control.

Icon Wine of the Week: 2005 Gevrey Chambertin

Gevrey-Chambertin is a town in the Côte de Nuits producing some of Burgundy’s most renowned red wines. This weekend, our wine team introduce a 2005 from this town, available by the glass.

Gevrey Chambertin

With 400 hectares of vineyard area this is the largest wine-producing region in the Côte d’Or. Gevrey Chambertin wines are sturdier, bigger and heavier than those of their neighbours Vosne-Romanée.

The 2005 Gevrey-Chambertin Mes Cinq Terroirs perpetuates the practice of combining the fruit from Au Velle, En Motrot, Combe du Dessus, En Deree and En Champs (all downhill from Champeaux on the north side of Gevrey) into a single and – at least in this instance- highly synergistic village wine, representing nearly half of the estates total acreage. Fruit from these sites are co-fermented in two lots segregated by age of vine, and then blended.

This fine wine is fresh, very ripe and moderately earthy nose that features ripe black fruits with carnal, fungal, and mineral nuances combine for a clear, bright, satin-textured, and substantially-concentrated impression, free of any superficial sweetness and successfully resisting the influence the all new barrels.

Long, rolling low tones of black fruits and forest floor complete a picture very 2005 in its combination of bright fresh fruit acids with dark, even slightly sombre hues of flavour. There is ample mid-palate fat that does a fine job of buffering the relatively fine underlying structure and this should be approachable young but have the capacity to age.

Icon Wine of the Week: 2004 Meursault

This month heralds our Wine Festival, and our Icon Wines this month are all diverse and superlative in their class. Cue 2004 Meursault: an undervalued gem.

Meursault

 

We are now paying tribute to one of the most talented producers in Burgundy: Anne Claude Leflaive. Domaine Leflaive was established in 1717 and is nowadays regarded as one of the finest estates in Burgundy.

This wine is a 2004 Premier Cru from a four-acre vineyard. 2004 is quite underrated but is actually a fantastic vintage for white wines, maybe even better than 2005!

With 12 months in barrel and a further six months in stainless steel, the wine has a creamy texture and develops notes of hazelnuts and roasted almonds as well as some baked apple and stone fruit notes. The rich palate is balanced by a chalky minerality giving a great freshness to the wine.

It is a great pairing to cod.

Diamond Creek: Icon Wine of the Week

Californian wine is at our heart. We make it, we import it, we sell it and we drink it. Here, Assistant Head Sommelier Michael Meyers, who grew up in the Californian wine heartland, tells us more about the vineyard where he learned how to make wine.Californian

I would like to introduce a winery that is very special in my heart having grown up working and learning how to make Cabernet Sauvignon there.

Having acquired the 79 acres in 1967, owners Al & Boots Brounstein started planting Diamond Creek in 1968 with his purchase of 79 acres in Diamond Creek Canyon.

Identifying three vineyard blocks by the differences in soil structure and exposition, and naming them for their geological forms (Red Rock Terrace-seven acres with reddish-brown soil facing north, Gravelly Meadow-five relatively flat acres with a gravelly, sandy soil, and Volcanic Hill-eight acres of white volcanic ash on the hillside facing south).

Before he was even able to purchase the land, he smuggled vine cuttings in from two Premier Cru properties in Bordeaux, personally flying them up from Tijuana, Mexico to a nursery in St. Helena.

Al’s concept to create multiple single vineyard wines from Diamond Creek was unique in its day. Diamond Creek was also the first winery to produce wine from only 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon. Sadly, Al Brounstein died in 2006.

This wine is aged in 50 percent new, French oak barrels for up to 22 months depending on the character of the vintage and the skill of winemaker Phil Steinschriber.

The wine shows very dark ruby color; with notes of cassis, tart black cherry, baked berry on the nose, along with a striking minerality, and on the palate a rich deep cassis fruit, well concealed and integrated new oak, cedar, cassis, and a tart, baked-cherry palate, with a long structured medium-plus finish.