Tag Archives: wine and dine

Wine of the Week: Non-Vintage Krug

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.Champagne

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!)

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.


‘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: Chateau Montelena

Made legendary by the historic Judgement of Paris, to which we are so indebted, Chateau Montelena is a rich, juicy, profound red, a showstopping Cabernet ideal for the Christmas table. Fittingly, it is our Christmas Weekend icon wine.


Chateau Montelena was founded in 1882 by Alfred Tubbs. The renaissance of the winery, under the leadership of James Barrett, began in 1972 with the replanting of the Estate vineyard and the establishment of the Chateau Montelena philosophy: make the best, period.

Today the tradition continues. Jim Barrett’s son, Bo, winemaker at Chateau Montelena beginning in 1982, is now its Master Winemaker. After more than three decades of experience with the same vineyards and varieties, the Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and Napa Valley Chardonnay are recognized as world-class. This is a smooth and elegant wine with a long finish.

The 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (an 8,600-case cuvée made from yields of 1.98 tons of fruit per acre) is considered by Bo Barrett to be a “great” year. The wine boasts a saturated inky/purple colour as well as extraordinary density of fruit and cassis, and huge tannin, body, and extract. It is a substantial, palate-staining, long, muscular Cabernet.

There is the trademark Montelena earthy, berry fruit, smoky and rich with many subtleties. On the palate it has a big juicy front, a very full texture and many layers of flavours in a rich cross section of fruit and terroir.

Great with our chefs Cornish Lamb shoulder or grilled red beef.

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: Château Climens

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!

Icon Wine of the Week: 1999 Jasper Hill from Australia

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.


Icon Wine of the Week:2004 Clos St Denis, Burgundy

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.

Mont Mary Pinot Noir: Icon Wine of the Week

Mont Mary Vineyard from the Yarra Valley in Australia produces a deliciously fruity red. Here our team wax lyrical about this most delicious wine.

Mont Mary
Mount Mary is a family owned, single vineyard estate located in the heart of the Yarra Valley, situated 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. The older Pinot blocks are a mix of many clones in the order of 30+ and the newer blocks have been planted to American rootstocks. Relatively short fermentations are employed, typically 8-10 days, with no cold soaks or post fermentation maceration. This is followed by 16 months of barrel maturation with minimal filtration prior to bottling.

Wild strawberries, cranberries and cherries dominate the aroma profile. There are subtle hints of mushrooms and earth that will build slowly and become less overpowered by primary fruit with time in the bottle.

On the palate there are flavours of strawberries, rhubarb and quince. There is a firm but fine tannic structure providing some grip, and a strong platform for graceful ageing.

Peter Michael Wine: An Auspicious Meeting

Every bottle of Peter Michael Wine bears the six word credo: ‘Mountain Vineyards, Classical Winemaking, Limited Production’. Learn what happened the last time Robert Parker, acclaimed wine critic, met owner Sir Peter Michael in London.

Peter Michael Wine

It is no secret that wine critic Robert Parker has been a fan of Peter Michael Winery bottles from quite some time.

While Mr. Parker has visited winery regularly to taste new releases, Sir Peter had actually never met him as their visits simply never coincided. This changed when the critic brought his ‘World Tour’ to London last February. As part of the event, Sir Peter had the pleasure of attending the ‘Gala Hedonist’s Dinner’ at the Michelin Two-Star restaurant ‘The Ledbury’ in Notting Hill. There, he and ‘Bob’ finally got to shake hands and share a pleasant chat.

The soiree included a sumptuous menu prepared by The Ledbury’s chef Brett Graham and paired with rare wines, all of which had received perfect scores from Mr. Parker. Sir Peter was particularly proud that two of the nine wines served were his own. 2012 Cuvee Indigene was served alongside Scottish langoustine wrapped in shitake, with mandarin orange and ginger. 2010 Ma Danseuse was paired with aged pigeon with rhubarb, beetroot and olives. Delicious.