Tag Archives: Wine Festival

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!)

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: 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: 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!

Spotlight on Festival Exhibitors: Two Cocks Brewery

In just under a week we welcome our sixth annual Wine Festival. It is back with a diference. We have invited esteemed friends from the drinks trade, including our brewery partner, Two Cocks Brewery. Here, we learn a little more about them.


Phil and Michael started Two Cocks Brewery in 2011 and now produce award–winning ale in small batches using water drawn from the farm’s borehole.

Using this clear, fresh and sweet tasting water and some of the farm’s own hedgerow hops in every brew gives the beers a distinctive edge.

Hot on sustainability, the spent grain is used to feed the farm’s livestock and the spent hops are used to enrich the soil.

The Two Cocks name and hand-applied feather on every bottle label gives a nod to the brewery’s poultry farm roots and underlines the brewery’s desire to produce artisan beers with a known provenance. The beers have already won 17 major awards and gained a following of several Michelin-starred chefs.

The beers all have Civil War-inspired names in honour of the fact that the brewery is based on a Roundhead encampment of the 1643 battle of Newbury.

Icon Wine of the Week: Peter Michael Winery Pinot Noir

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.

Peter Michael Winery

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.

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.

Fine rosé from the heart of Provence

Our wine list features benchmark rosés from the Old World, including celebrated Ch. D’Esclans from Provence, the ‘finest rosés on the planet’, according to Matthew Jukes. It is time to take rosé wine increasingly seriously. Here we learn a little more.

Historically, rosés were seen as fun, unsophisticated and the great addition to a girls’ night out. Fast forward a few years and premium rosé is one of the fastest growing categories. This is thanks in part to a host of Old World stalwart producers crafting some serious bottles, with the notoriety to raise them on to the big stage.

Pink, blush or rosé wine – whatever your preferred name- is now seen as a serious industry, and as Jancis Robinson attests, this is thanks in part to the efforts of Sacha Lichine and his team at Château d’Esclans who have set the bar and raised ambition among producers.

In the heart of Provence, Lichine and his compatriot Patrick Leon (previously winemaker and managing director at Mouton Rothschild) purposely tried to craft a world class winery that made the world’s best rosé – and it is widely believed that they succeeded.

Indeed, according to Matthew Jukes, Ch. D’Esclans from Côtes de Provence produce among the finest rosés on the planet. We’re inclined to agree – so much so that we’ve chosen to offer three wines from this infamous château on our wine list (which, we are very proud to say, just won European Hotel Wine List of the Year).

Made using Old Vine Grenache, as this high altitude site is known for, the vines are hand picked and blended with Vermentino. Top cuvées are aged in oak – and are capable of ageing. Generally, good rosé is not heavy or overtly sweet but fresh, dry and offers a complex aroma of herbs, fruits and a balanced acidity. These bottlings offer all this and more.

One thing has remained true throughout – these wines are ideal served chilled outside with, or without, food in the summer sun.

We travel to Peter Michael Winery in California

In 1982, Sir Peter Michael, owner of The Vineyard, travelled 6,000 miles, from London to Sonoma, on a mission that took him from extraordinary success in the high-tech world to a risky startup in the wine business. The winery in Knights Valley, Sonoma County, has gone from strength to strength, and  Nicolas Morlet, the winemaker, tells us more about how the last two vintages 2012 and 2013 have fared.
Peter Michael Winery in Summer

While mountain vineyards, classical winemaking and limited production are the longstanding themes at Peter Michael Winery, the growing seasons and harvest conditions do change. This makes the winemaking process ever more exciting.

For the 2012 vintage. winter and spring were wet and cold, slightly delaying bud break, flowering and fruit set. The bloom occurred in ideal weather. The climate throughout the summer was picture perfect: temperate with only moderate heat spikes. A long Indian summer of mild temperatures and sunny days was an important factor in the ripening process. Yields for the 2012 harvest were slightly higher than average for all varietals. The vintage gave us beautiful, clean, healthy grape clusters across all varietals, appellations and vineyards resulting in wines of depth and elegance and outstanding ageing potential.

For the 2013 vintage, the growing season began with a dry spring and mild temperatures similar to the previous vintage. In the first part of May, two days of violent winds damaged our Chardonnay vineyards. This resulted in uneven bloom and set, despite the otherwise ideal weather conditions. The vineyard crew carefully re-pruned the vines and executed multiple passes of green harvest. The already small crop was further reduced to one cluster per shoot, bringing the vines back into balance and ensuring the quality of the harvest. From veraison through picking, the vines enjoyed ideal ripening conditions. A long Indian summer allowed the fruit to reach perfect maturity and contributed to the exceptional quality of this small vintage.