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Every weekend, we showcase and open a special bottle of wine for you to sample, hand-picked by our sommelier team.
Each wine has been chosen for its prestige and critical acclaim, available by the glass at cost price offering you the opportunity to broaden your vinous horizons
1997 Barbaresco, La Spinetta, Vignetto Gallina, Piedmont, Italy
£35 per 125ml glass. Current wine list price - £225.00.
I have selected one of the greatest examples of the Nebbiolo grape. 1997 is always regarded as a great vintage in Italy. It is a very delicate grape variety almost similar to Pinot Noir but with a heavier structure. To me, Barbaresco tends to be more silky and delicate than its neighbouring appellation, Barolo. The wine develops ripe dark cherries, plums and cooked strawberries aromas followed by a touch of violet, cedar wood and truffle with an earthy note and showing a soft and feminine palate. This wine pairs perfectly with our Duck dish.
2010 Sassicaia Tenuta San Guido Incisa della Rocchetta, Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italia
£35 per 125ml glass. Current wine list price - £240.00.
Tonight, I wanted to choose the 2010 Sassicaia Tenuta San Guido Incisa della Rocchetta from Bolgheri in Tuscany, Italy.
Sassicaia is the only single estate wine in Italy with its own appellation - Bolgheri Sassicaia. It was the original "Super Tuscan" and is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc, aged for 24 months in French barriques, of which these days ony 20% are new.
Mario Incisa della Rochetta, part of a grand old Italian family whose roots extend back to the Renaissance and beyond, and cousin of the Antinoris, married Clarice della Gherardesca in 1930 and with his wife came some land in Bolgheri. The story of Sassicaia was just beginning. Mario dreamed of making a wine like the grand vins of Bordeaux and, noticing a similarity between his Bolgheri vineyards and those of the Graves, decided to plant some Cabernet Sauvignon. In the early years the wine was just for consumption on the estate and was not always well appreciated. Fortunately, a few cases were put away to age with each vintage and, once time had worked its magic, it became clear that these were wines that only truly showed their majesty with a few years in bottle.
The first vintage released for commercial sale was the 1968 and it transformed Tuscan wine and has given rise to a host of imitators and rivals. Sassicaia is now revered, not only as one of the best wines in Italy, but as one of the best wines in the world. The 2010 Sassicaia is intensely saline, savoury and energetic. Rosemary, sage, plums and black cherry notes meld into graphite, crushed rocks and a host of other more mineral-inflected nuances.
This red is very aromatic with currant, dried berry, cocoa bean, and hints of wood. It is full-bodied, with intense yet very polished tannins and a long finish. It's very refined and beautiful with a tangy finish. The Cabernet Franc comes through here at the finish. Great with lamb and beef.
2005 Gevrey Chambertin, Mes Cinq Terroirs, Comaine Denis Mortet, Burgundy, France
£35 per 125ml glass. Current wine list price - £230.00.
Tonight, I wanted to choose a Gevrey-Chambertin, a town in the Cote de Nuits producing some of Burgundy’s most renowned red wines. With 400 ha of vineyard area this is the largest wine-producing region in the Cote d’Or. Gevrey Chambertin are sturdier, bigger and heavier than those of their neighbours Vosne-Romanee. 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 Gevery) 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 with a 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 somber 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.
2001 Ch. Lagrange, 3eme Cru, St. Julien, Bordeaux
£30 per 125ml glass. Current wine list price - £190.00.
Château Lagrange was known in the Middle Ages as the Noble House of Lagrange Montei. Records of the successive owners go back as far as 1631. In 1824 the total production was 120 barrels (12 000 cases). In 1842, the ex-Home Secretary to King Louis-Philippe, Count Duchatel, left his mark on the property and the Médoc by introducing a drainage system in the vineyard. This helped improve the wine immensely. While drainage in vineyards is common today, that was very forward thinking in 1842. The Count brought the annual production up to 300 barrels. This was a golden age for Lagrange, with the famous 1855 classification awarding the property the title of Third Classified Growth.
The beginning of the 20th century was much less glorious as the economic conditions deteriorated. Despite several changes in ownership the yields were lower and of lesser quality. A decline in business meant the estate had to be broken up from 280 hectares (around 700 acres) in1840, the domain had been reduced to 157 hectares (392 acres) by December 1983, when the Japanese group Suntory bought it from the Cendoya family, owners since 1925.
Lots of floral, berry and raspberry character on the nose. Medium- to full-bodied, with well-integrated tannins and a fresh finish. Aromas of tobacco, smoke, cigar box, blackberry and cedar wood personality. The tannins are ripe, the fruit is ample and fresh, finish with a spicy, cassis and pomegranate note. Lovely wine. Round and refined. Great with our chef's lamb and beef.
1999 Chateau Montelena Estate, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley California
£40 per 125ml glass. Current wine list price - £250.00.
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-classThis is a smooth and elegant wine with a long finish. The 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (an 8,600-case cuvee 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 color 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 flavors in a rich cross section of fruit and terroir. Great with our chef's Cornish Lamb shoulder or grilled red beef.