Krug is renowned as one of the great Champagne houses and this week we have decided to ring out February with their rich yet refreshing Non-Vintage cuvée.
NV Champagne Krug, Grande Cuvée, Brut
Founded in 1843, the Champagne house Krug is still revered as one of the superlative names to produce Champagne. A so-called Grande Marque, or famous brand of wine, Krug has a very different notion of Champagne-making to any other house. Their Non-Vintage Grande Cuvée is the result of a blend of 134 wines from 12 different vintages from 1990 to 2004.
Krug uses all three Champagne varieties in their wines, and this particular cuvée is a blend is of 44% Pinot Noir, 37% Chardonnay and 19% Pinot Meunier. The bottles are then aged for at least 6 years in the cellar (the minimum requirement being of 18 months for a non vintage Champagne) to give the great complexity and richness defining the style of Krug.
This very complex Champagne shows aromas of cooked stone fruit, hazelnuts, honey, Acacia and marzipan. The palate is rich with a great intensity but a fantastic minerality remains.
Because of the elegance and complexity of this Champagne, I would suggest to have it with dinner – it is a great match to enjoy with our Halibut dish (or equally on its own!)
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.
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.
Now that our Iconic Indulgence getaway is available all week, there’s even more time to enjoy our Icon Wine of the Week. This week’s Icon Wine is a delicious Puligny Montrachet from an exceptional vintage, 2005.
2005 Puligny Montrachet Premier Cru, Clavoillon, Domaine Leflaive, Burgundy
This week, we are paying tribute to one of the most involved and talented producers in Burgundy: Anne Claude Leflaive, and one of the most exceptional vintages, 2005, which is drinking really well now.
Domaine Leflaive was established in 1717 and is nowadays regarded as one of the finest Burgundy estates. Mainly producing wines from Puligny-Montrachet, this week’s bottle is a Puligny Premier Cru from a vineyard of 11.84 acres called Clavoillon. The wine had a barrel age of 12 months and a following six months in stainless steel.
With a creamy texture, the wine develops notes of hazelnuts and roasted almonds as well as some baked apple and stone fruit tones on the nose. The rich palate is balanced by a chalky minerality giving to the wine a great freshness. It is a great pairing for our cod course.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This week, we are exploring one of the greatest examples of the Nebbiolo grape: Spinetta from Vignetto Gallina, Italy. Producing highly tannic wines, commonly suitable for ageing, here we showcase one of the greatest vintages in modern times.
Barbaresco from the DOCG of Piedmont in North Western Italy is made from the Nebbiolo grape, ubiquitous in this region. Nebbiolo is a very delicate grape variety producing a light red wine, almost similar to Pinot Noir but with a heavier structure. It is very food friendly, and as wines traditionally best match with the cuisine of the local area, the foods of North Western Italy is ideal.
Most wines made using Nebbiolo are made for ageing. This bottle, a 1997, will have softened somewhat over 18 years, to bring out more mature and complex notes, with tar and roses coming to the fore.
1997 is always regarded as a great vintage in Italy and this is one of the greatest examples of Nebbiolo. The wine develops some ripe dark cherries, plums and cooked strawberries aromas followed by a touch of violet, cedar wood, truffle with an earthy note and showing a soft and feminine palate.
This wine pairs perfectly with duck.
The colder months often warrant something a little richer, and few bottles can beat a Sauternes from France. Luscious and with a lovely nose, this particular bottle – a 1967 Ch. Climens – is something special.
This weekend we are celebrating one of the finest dessert wines! Château Climens is a Premier Cru Classé from Bordeaux 1967
Barsac is one of the five villages to be able to carry the appellation Sauternes but can also have its own. Château Climens has been classified as a First Growth in 1855 and is made in the same way as Sauternes, with the Semillon grape. Sauternes can be made with two other gape varieties in minority too, but the grape variety here is 100 percent Semillon, said to suit the vineyard’s chalky soil.
This area of France is one of the few wine regions that naturally enables Sauternes to be made. It requires a naturally occurring fungus, Botrytis Cinerea, also known as Noble Rot, which makes the grapes partially raisined, concentrating the flavours in the grape. Much of the Sautners area has river running through it, and low lying vineyards, where a mist can develop, this damp condition encourages the fungus to grow.
Due to the fact that production can be hit and miss, the price of these sweet delights is often high, and aged Sauternes are very sought after.
This particular wine develops a lovely nose of mandarin, orange marmalade, apple compote with a hint of saffron as well as some fresh hazelnut, honey and caramel.
The palate is rich but as a great balance and the very syrupy texture of its youth has decreased to bring more freshness to it in old age. Refined!
This is absolutely delectable with our Foie Gras dish or with our delicious Caramel dessert!
This week’s exceptional wine by the glass is our very own 2011 Peter Michael Winery, Clos du Ciel Pinot Noir. Recently award-winning, this is something we make ourselves and are very proud of. Our Sommelier team tell us more.
2010 showed to be an exceptional year for Sonoma’s Pinot Noir with both our Ma Danseuse and Clos du Ciel being awarded a prestigious 100 points by Robert Parker.
Sonoma, often said as being capable of competing with Burgundy’s finest, has proved to be producing some of the greatest California Pinot Noir. The wine Clos du Ciel is a tribute to this beautiful region and to the walled vineyards called “clos”.
This is no wallflower of a Pinot Noir: the soft palate offers a great panel of ripe dark cherry, dry flowers and slightly plummy with a hint of spices and a fantastic balance.
The power of this Pinot Noir will accompany our tender lamb course beautifully.
Further afield this week to Australia, we visit Heathcote in Central Victoria to sample the 1999 Jasper Hill Shiraz Cabernet Franc blend. Made by Emily’s Paddock, this is a delightfully hearty red with a lot to give. Our Sommelier team tell us more.
Heathcote is a lesser known area of Victoria, Australia. Nevertheless, some of the wines show a fantastic quality and potential.
This weekend’s Icon Wine is one of them.
Jasper Hill was bought in 1975 by Ron and Elva Laughton and produced their 1st vintage under the Jasper Hill in 1982. They are renowned to be one of the pioneers in this region.
The wine has a great complexity with tones of Maraschino cherry, plums and prunes as well as some sweet spices with a round and velvety palate.
Fantastic with our Beef dish or as an after dinner glass of wine.
Continuing our Burgundy theme this month, and a massive match for seasonal fare including game and earthy autumn vegetables, the 2004 vintage of Clos St Denis Grand Cru made by Pascal Lachaux in Burgundy is one not to miss.
This weekend, I wanted to show one of the finest Burgundy wines I have ever tasted.
Pascal Lachaux produces exemplary wines at Domaine Robert Arnoux where he continues to take the domaine from strength to strength.
He has extended his range by buying small quantities of grapes to make wines under a négociant licence. The wines are splendid; authentic and individual and all in limited supply.
2004 might not be regarded as Burgundy’s best vintage but this wine is just fantastic and drinking amazingly well now!
The wine develops aromas of ripe Bigarreau cherry, cranberry and freshly crushed strawberry. This beautiful wine also offers notes of sweet spices like chocolate and licorice, hint of black pepper and a touch of caramel.
The palate is ripe, perfumed and delicate with a great concentration, a silky texture and a long and soft finish.
I would suggest this unique wine with our delicious Duck course.