Château La Garde 2003

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Surely it’s a W?  Why do I seem to disagree with most leading economists, investors and politicians?  In my wine tainted mind, a double dip recession is more certain than ever.  In the UK, at least.

We have temporary low purchase tax, temporary hyper-low interest rates and temporary Bank intervention, pumping money into the economy on a scale not seen since RBS started furnishing Sir Fred Goodwin with his pension.

Did D'Artagnan drink this wine?


Lynch-Bages 2005 – Swans Nil

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

Silence please.  There is a time and a place for a little reverence.  I have just opened my first bottle of a very important wine.  Château Lynch-Bages 2005.  A wine that even en-primeur, cost me over £50 per bottle.

Lynch Mob...for some reason

The Sunday Times Wine Club advised me to wait until 2010, but I could be dead by then and I am an impatient man….oh and I have 12 bottles so I can afford to experiment early.  So Fred had a placed a fillet steak on the skillet and I released the special one from its enclosure.


Exhibition Pauillac – from veg to meat

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

At £17.50, this must one of the bargains of the whole wine world.  The catch is that you have to be a member of the Wine Society.  But don’t worry, they let anyone in these days.  You don’t need to roll up one trouser leg and hop through the door like when I joined.  No entrance exam, you don’t need to know anything about wine.  You can even have an empty bank account, as it is one of the best value (only budgies go cheap) wine retailers in the UK.

With its rich history and extensive storage, frequent offers of interesting, old, and remarkably priced wines regularly appear in my email inbox.  I have neither the storage space, nor stomach capacity, or indeed material wealth to buy them all so I am extremely selective.

Pauillac from the Gods of wine...for some reason


Les Fiefs de Lagrange 2000

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

Occasionally I like to take a break from Progressive House and listen to a couple of real “Old Skool” albums.  Tonight I sampled Counting Crows’ “August and Everything After”, Steve Winwood’s “Back in the High Life” and David Bowie’s experimental and innovative (at the time) “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars”.  Top stuff, and could show those young whippersnapping beat stealers a thing or two.

The barbecue is my fiefdom, my lairds and lieges

Not everything old is implicitly good though.  Most old wine goes off sooner or later, so drink it before it does!


Château Cantenac Brown 2003

Monday, August 24th, 2009

Back to reality, with tonight’s University Challenge yielding less than 5 points to the Wino intellect (or lack of).  And this despite a dumbing down of questions this series, to include word games, “modern” music and, of all things, 20th century architecture.

My lack of success at quiz events is partly due to lack of knowledge, and partly due to lack of due care and attention.  I think they named a driving offence after me.  But there must be some random knowledge stored up there in the old grey matter.  For example, I am sure I heard that the wines of Margaux are feminine and gently perfumed.

Juicy fruit, and some Cantenac for some reason


Ugaba Stellenbosch 2006

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

Sounding like a Vic Reeves’ Shooting Stars comedic expletive is not normally a criterion by which I evaluate whether to buy a wine, but somehow this just grabbed my attention on a recent visit to Majestic, Leeds.

South Africa is a bit of a blind spot in my wine rack and I occasionally have to remind myself that good wine comes from English speaking zones, as well and French and Spanish.

Iranu?  Uvavu!

This wine is made from Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in proportions 42:32:26 and spends 10 months in French oak.

On opening there was faint Hydrogen Sulphide but this quickly dissipated and left a passable impression of a decent claret.  At first it smelt deep, moody and just a tad yeasty with a raspberry rush.  First sip was raspberry, violet, and vanilla.  Far from being spoilt, it was bright, fresh and almost as exciting as a freshly powdered slope (snow I mean, not cocaine).

Eranu or Uvavu?  Ugaba Stellenbosch 2006 is £11.99 at Majestic and this represents good value.  ERANU!

Guenoc Cabernet Sauvignon Bella Vista Reserve 1994

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

My good mate, Easto, came over for a barbecue at the weekend and brought a bottle he had stored for too many years (or so he thought).

Having recently bought into my two fundamental theories of life:
a) that wine should be drunk at the right temperature; and
b) that your best wine should be drunk and not left in your will,
he suggested I give this a quick blast in the fridge and get on with firing up the coals.

Gurning at Guenoc


Palo Alto Reserva 2007

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

Where did all the money go then?  In my quest to account for some of the missing credit crunch trillions, once believed to have been squirreled away by bankers, I spotted that £7 billion has been invested in the search for Higgs Boson – the clitoris of particle physics.

Palo Alto and an iron...for some reason

But last September, the Large Hadron Collider hit technical snags and some magnets over-heated bringing the search to a premature climax with helium gushing out all over the place.


Calon Ségur 2002 encore une fois

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Quand j’ai écrit du Prince des vins (Marquis de Ségur) et ce vin ci, en Octobre 2007, je n’ai pas su qu’il y avait encore une bouteille dans mon moissonneuse-batteuse.  Je viens de le déguster.

cal...on le balcon for some reason


Château Martinat 2005 Côtes de Bourg

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

I’ve said in the past that if a rising tide floats all boats, then in good years like 2005, it must be worth rowing across to Analogy Island in one of the lesser bateaux of the Bordelais flotilla.

So I popped a few quid in the post to the Wine Society for a case of Côtes de Bordeaux 2005 and they sent me, amongst other bottles, some Château Martinat Côtes de Bourg.

Martin at the Chat owwww

It justified my argument.  There is some real shite sent down La Gironde in the name of fine claret but I think the enormous majority of wines are born of genuine fathers (and mothers….) who really care.

This is certainly the case with Martinat.  Whilst I do not know the winemaker (Stéphane Donze, since you ask), you only have to sip the wine to taste the parental devotion.

This kid is spicy, fruity, intelligent and rich – almost destined to grow up to be Stephen Fry’s replacement on QI.  The taste is peppery, plummy and with firmish tannins I found it a nice match for spicy pizza.

Mine was £9.95 from the Wine Society but unsurprisingly now sold out.  Shame because it is one of the best ten quid bottles I’ve tasted in a long while.