Archive for October, 2010

A dream cellar list

Posted in Uncategorized on October 26, 2010 by AB

Today I have mostly been drooling over a list of wines we’re going to be offering for sale later in the week. It’s the sort of list that makes one contemplate bank robbery, selling one’s soul or any small children you might have to hand (whether one’s own or not). I’m secretly hoping someone’s going to give me a generous birthday present today so I can afford to jump in myself…

So what’s so special about it…? The answer is that this collection represents an incredible number of case verticals of rare wines from the great and good of Burgundy – amongst others Armand Rousseau, Georges Roumier (Le Musigny 1999 & 2002), Domaine des Lambrays (Clos des Lambrays 1998-2002), Anne Gros, Denis Mortet, Robert Arnoux and Domaine Dujac (Gevrey Aux Combottes 1998-2001, Clos de La Roche 2000-2001).

If this plethora of riches doesn’t hit the spot, there are also some fantastic treats from other regions. We’ve cases of Prum Auslese and Goldkap Auslese from 2001, Krug 1990 and multiple vintages of Lafite Rothschild.

With wines such as these the key word is of course provenance. Here too, this is as gold-plated as the reputations of the growers themselves. The seller has been fastidious in his buying – save for 3 cases all have been purchased directly from top merchants ‘en primeur’ offers- and everything has been kept in perfect conditions. This sale will be a true one-off and I don’t expect the wines to hang around for long. If you’d like a preview of the full list so you don’t miss out when the wines go on sale, please email us!


Help for Heroes Auction

Posted in Uncategorized on October 12, 2010 by AB

This coming weekend 15th-17th Oct we’ll be running an auction in association with The Fine Wine Fair 2010 in aid of Help for Heroes. The lots on offer have all been very generously donated by numerous individuals and companies within the UK wine trade to show their support for this excellent cause and include some stellar wines (see below).

If you’d like to bid on the auction, you can bid in person at the fair from 4-8pm on Friday, 12-8pm on Saturday and 12-5pm on Sunday (get your tickets here). Alternatively, if you can’t make it along you’ll be able to bid via the site. As this is a special auction we’re running bidding a little differently (see here). The main site can be accessed here.


1 – 2: Contributor: Moët Hennessy
Product: Methuselahs: Moet & Chandon Champagne Swarovski crystal decorations
Description: – wine always taste better in the bigger bottles and these are a whole show-stopping six litres (that’s eight standard bottles) and decorated by Swarovski as part of the Be Fabulous campaign.

3-8. Contributor: Harvey Nichols
Product: Magnum of Harvey Nichols NV Champagne
Description: Harvey Nick’s own brand Champagne produced by the long-established Champagne House of Lombard & Medot, using a balanced blend consisting predominantly of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. A resolutely traditional style, the resultant wine shows opulence and personality with flavoursome layers of orchard fruit, brioche and hazelnut. Full, rich, luxurious; the NV brut makes a delicious aperitif or partner to light starters and finger food. Drink now or within the next year.

9. Contributor: PLB
Product: 1 case of 6: 2007 Flagship white, Vergelegen, South Africa
Description: Pale yellow-green colour with a nose reminiscent of freshly squeezed lime juice. Elegant and refined with mineral overtones. The South African Vergelegen winery has twice been awarded the much coveted Château-Pichon-Longueville-Comtesse-de-Lalande Trophy for its red blend, as well as being voted best wine producer in the country by the national Wine magazine.

10. Contributor: PLB
Product: 1 case of 6: 2007 Purple Angel, Montes, Chile
Description: Intense and richly coloured purple with dark fruit aromas. Full-bodied with chocolate, spice and blackberry flavour.

The Montes winery started 20 years ago in Chile, and is ideally placed in the Apalta micro-valley with an ideal wine-growing climate and good soil. The producers are particularly famed for their “cult” status Purple Angel, one of their spectacular reds.

11. Contributor: PLB
Product: 1 case of 6: 2005 Unnum, Miguel Merino, Spain
Description: Intense cherry-red colour, aromas of blackberries, black pepper in balsamic background. Vibrant palate, full fruit, intense finish.

Miguel Merino’s winery is small and focuses on quality rather than quantity. The winery is based in the heart of the Rioja Alta region is uses only old vines and hand picks all grapes to ensure top-notch quality.

12. Contributor: PLB
Product: 1 case of 6: 2002 Reserva, Ochoa, Spain
Description: Typical Reserva aromas of leather and spice. Robust palate with great balance, balsamic and liquorice flavours.

The Ochoa family has been producing wines for over 600 years, starting at their current location in 1845. They ensure 100% control over every aspect of the production, from pruning to harvesting to planting, to ensure unimpeachable quality.

13-15. Contributor: Anonymous
Product: 3 cases of 6: 2005 Grand Blanc, Vin de Pays de l’Hérault, Jean-Michel Alquier
Description: This blend of Marsanne and Grenache Blanc offers a delicate balance of spice and sweetness. This wine offers a full, mineral and slightly honeyed palate. Bound to be a hit with Rhône blend lovers. Gwyneth Paltrow’s appreciation of Grenache Blanc is also a sure-fire indicator of this wine’s winning assets!

16-17. Contributor: Anonymous
Product: 2 cases of 12: 2001 Côte Rotie, Cuvée du Plessy, Gilles Barge
Description: This soft, rustic Syrah has an earthy nose with a hint of truffle. The structured tannins on the palate suggest that it could lie for a few years longer. This will be a treat when it reaches maturity in a couple of years!

18. Contributor: Anonymous
Product: 1 case of 12: 2003 Vouvray, Le Haut Lieu, demi-sec non greffé, Domaine Huët.
Description: Domaine Huët’s demi-sec wines are archetypal Vouvray. This non-greffé variety offers a lovely golden-green colour and a rich blend of exotic fruits on the nose. The palate boasts a wonderful honeyed sweetness with an acidic, refreshing core.

18A. Contributor: Anonymous
Product: 1 case of 12: 2003 Vouvray, Le Haut Lieu, demi-sec non greffé, Domaine Huët.
Description: Domaine Huët’s demi-sec wines are archetypal Vouvray. This non-greffé variety offers a lovely golden-green colour and a rich blend of exotic fruits on the nose. The palate boasts a wonderful honeyed sweetness with an acidic, refreshing core.

19. Contributor: Anonymous
Product: 1 case 12: 2006 Gevrey Chambertin ‘Etelois’ – Bertrand Maume
Description: This Cote d’Or Burgundy has a lovely fullness, and a fine balance between acidity and sweetness. This will age beautifully.

20. Contributor: Savage Selection
Product: Jeroboam of 2007 Château Tour du Pas St. Georges, St Emilion
Description: The vineyard belongs to Pascal Delbeck, former regisseur of Chateau Ausone, and until very recently owner of Chateau Belair, the Premier Cru classes St Emilion. This lovely Merlot-led wine will not only make a party piece but will also wonderfully complement red meats.

21. Contributor: Bibendum
Product: Wooden Gift Box featuring four vintages of Gran Clos Priorat
Description: Gran Clos is one of the oldest and most celebrated vineyards in Priorat. This wooden gift box contains four different, mature vintages: 1997, 1999, 2000 & 2001. A fantastic gift for any lover of fine Spanish wines.

22. Contributor: Bibendum
Product: A Magnum of Château Haut-Bailly 1996
Description: Haut-Bailly is one of the best loved of all Bordeaux chateaux and is one of the finest in the Graves. The 1996, from a fantastic, Bordeaux vintage is perfect to drink now, or can be aged for another 15 years easily.

23-26. Contributor: O W Loeb
Product: 4 magnums 2000 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot Blanc, Château de la Maltroye
Description: This is a supple and flavoursome Burgundy from the Côtes de Beaune, offering almond flavours, along with ripe apple, white flower and honey aromas and develop plenty of body and fat with ageing. A first class Chardonnay.

27. Contributor: Anonymous
Product: Three bottles of Taylor’s vintage port (1997, 2003, 2007)
Description: A wonderful trio offering a fantastic vertical tasting of one of the finest ports around.
The 1997 is incredibly pure with bursts of ripe black cherry shoots and a solid core of acidity and velvety oak providing structure. Generous hints of licorice, smoke, and saffron create a highly complex structure. eRP rating: 96
2003: This one, while young, is an instant winner. Intense dark fruit lightens on the palate into peppery minerality on the mid-palate. Incredibly balanced considering the extremely heady mixtures of sweetness and spices. Some of the best port ever made by Taylor’s. Can be drunk now or kept. eRP rating: 98+
2007: An excellent year and a correspondingly excellent port. A lot more juicy ripe fruit than its older brothers, with heady aromatics on the nose. Again, can be drunk now or kept without any problem for 50 years or so. eRP rating: 95.

28. Contributor: Anonymous
Product: Three bottles of Croft vintage port (1991, 2000, 2003)
Description: A stunning triplet of some of Croft’s best ports.
1991: RP : 93. This offers heady aromas of liquorice, chocolate, and over-ripe black fruits. It is unctuous and structured, offering layer after layer of new and exciting flavours. While delicious now, can be kept for a further 30 years.
2000: RP : 90. This one has an exhilarating hint of spice on the nose and a full bodied, exciting palate. Drink now or within 15 years.
2003: RP: 93: Robert Parker describes this as: “gorgeously creamy, profound nose displays sweet dark cherries, black plums, pepper, raisin jam, and blueberries. Thick, satin-textured, and immensely rich, this opulent yet elegant wine is engagingly warm, concentrated, and harmonious.” Sounds good to us! Drink 2025-2045.

29. Contributor: Champagne Louis Roederer
Product: Magnum Cristal 2002
Description: RP: 96. Wow. This outstanding Champagne received raving reviews from Robert Parker, and we are happy to agree! Fruit and flowers are in abundance on the nose, while maintaining incredible finesse. This magnum is set to develop nicely over the next two decades.

30. Contributor: Anonymous
Product: Tom 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
Description: Bordeaux-style and will benefit from decanting 30 mins before serving. This lovely New Zealand red relies more on complexity and fine structure rather than fruit and oak alone. The Boutique aspect of the winery means that while small scale, each wine is made with care and attention in a very hands-on manner, ensuring quality and excellence in every bottle.

31. Contributor: Hatch Mansfield
Product: Jeroboam Louis Jadot Moulin à Vent, Château des Jacques 2009
Description: RP : 91-92. An example of a really, really good Beaujolais. The Moulin à vent combines a blend of grapes from various sites, offering a raspberry and floral nose, followed by an unexpected, but extremely pleasant oily depth to the sweet berry flavours, with a every-so-slightly, extremely tasty salty finish. Can be kept for a further six years.

32. Contributor: Hatch Mansfield
Product: Jeroboam Taittinger Brut NV
Description: This is a dead-set crowd pleaser. A stunning Champagne in an equally stunning bottle. A delicate nose of fruit balanced by bready wholesomeness, with a harmonious and gently honeyed palate. This will keep for a further two – three years.

33. Contributor: Hatch Mansfield
Product: 1 Louis Jadot Celebration box: containg 1 x 75cl Clos Vougeot 1999, 2000, 2001 and 1 x 75cl Corton Charlemagne 1999, 2000, 2001

Description: Louis Jadot produces lovely dry reds in on the Côtes de Nuits in Burgundy. This trio offers a wonderful opportunity to see the impact of nature on wine; how one same vineyard can produce such different wines one year to the next.
The 1999 offers a stunning, sweet nose with hints of talc, cut flowers and candied-peel, followed by a richer, more intense palate, maintaining the sweetness with the tannins. RP: 92-95. Drink within the next couple of years.
The 2000 offers the same strength and sweetness of the 1999, but with a more delicate structure. 2000 was a notoriously difficult year and the Clos Vougeot makes the most of it. Drink in two years.
The 2001, even younger, has a distinct hint of rose petal on the nose. This should be kept for up to ten years.

The Corton Charlemagne collection, named after Charlemagne’s preference for white wines as they didn’t stain his beard, is a lovely example of some of Burgundy’s best whites.

34. Contributor: Grand Cru Consulting LTD
Product: 1 case of 12 2003 Echezeaux Jayer-Gilles
Description: A seductive Pinot Noir with a heady dark fruit and spice nose. A structured medium to full-bodied wine, it has a sultry combination of cherries and blackberries mixed with spice and firm tannins. Drink now or in the next eight years.
RP : 91- 94

35. Contributor: McGuigan Wines
Product: 1 bottle McGuigan Handmade Shiraz 2006, Langhorne Creek
Description: Aroma: initial pepper spice aroma followed by black olives and juicy dark cherries. Palate: A rich full-bodied wine with a mix of chocolate and cherry flavours – reminiscent of black forest gâteau. This splendid wine features a velvety tannin structure with a long and generous finish.
The 2006 Shiraz is sourced from Langhorne Creek in the outstanding soils and climate of the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia. The fruit was picked at full ripeness off low yielding vines to ensure great flavour and acid retention.
RP rating: 90

36. Contributor: Mark Lakin
Product: Case of 12 Grand Puy Lacoste, 5eme Cru classe, Pauillac 1995
Description: This is a stunning Pauillac with depth, elegance and excellent balance. It has lovely cassis-rich notes and a wonderful rich smoothness. It is only now reaching full maturity, ideal drinking from now to 2025. RP: 95

37-39 Contributor: Enotria
Product: 3 x Magnums of 2004 Riesling Cuvée Frédéric Emile, Trimback (Alsace)
Description: This lovely dry Riesling comes from fossil-rich soil in Ribeauvillé in Alsace. Only old vines are grown here, with an average age of 40 years old, meaning that the grapes are low in quantity, but high in quality. Finely structure and abounding with fruit, this is a deeply refreshing wine that will restore your faith in Riesling. Keep for 10 to 15 years.

40-42 Contributor: Enotria
Product: 3 x Magnums of 2005 Vino Nobile de Montepulciano, Vigna Asinone from Poliziano
Description: RP rating: 92. This is an energetic, charismatic wine that encapsulates everything you’d expect from an Italian wine. It evolves from its seductive, spicy nose to a charming floral palate, mixed skilfully with licorice, tobacco and leather, changing again on the finish, unveiling a previously hidden minerality and soft tannins. Hang on to this one for another couple of years to see it at its absolute best.

43. Contributor: Armit
Product: Box of 3: 1x Cuis 1er Cru NV Pierre Gimonnet; 1x Chablis 2005 Domaine de la Genillotte; 1x Savigny Les Beaune Aux Grands Liards 2002, Domaine Simon Bize
Description: Cuis 1er Cru Gimmonet: A delicate blanc de blancs Champagne does the blanc de blancs status proud. Dry, elegant, vivacious and with a crystal clear purity, this is a real treat.
Chablis 2005: An excellent year for Chablis, this gem from the temperate northern Burgundy offers a lovely flavour of white flowers and citrus notes. Wonderful with seafood and oysters.
Savigny Les Beaune: This red Burgundy is a lovely complement to the Chablis, demonstrating the richness and diversity of the region. True to Pinot Noir characteristics, this wine is feminine and slightly spicy, ageing well to reveal coffee and caramel hints on the nose.

44-45 Contributor: Reid Wines
Product: 2 X Imperials Château Laplagnotte Bellevue St Emilion 2001
Description: Owned by ex-part owners of Cheval Blanc.
This charming St Emilion is rich with fruit, from the plum/ruby colour to the nose of red and black fruits with a hint of undergrowth, to the silky fruit on the palate. Ideal to drink now or in the next couple of years. RP rating: 88

46. Contributor: Liberty Wines
Product: 1 case of 2007 Isole E Olena, Cepparello
Description: 100% Sangiovese, made by Paolo de March.
Robert Parker is quick to praise the 2007 Cepparello, describing it as a solid candidate for “one of the finest wines ever made at Isole e Olena”. The trademark acidity of the hillside Sangiovese is beautifully balanced by the full flavours and ripeness that marked 2007 in Tuscany. Parker continues: “It is an open, sublime Cepparello endowed with tons of clarity and definition. The ripe red fruit floats on a core of refined, silky tannins that caress the palate with exceptional elegance and finesse. Simply put, this is an utterly thrilling wine that will be a joy to follow over the coming years”. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2027. RP: 96

47. Contributor: Diageo
Product: 1 case of 12: 1995 Château Providence
Description: Providence is a new Château in Pomerol but has already marked itself out from the crowd as a big hitter with a lot of personality. This Merlot-based stunner has beautiful aromas of damp earth, subtle smoke, herb-infused black cherries and raspberries. It has strong tannins that balance the fruit perfectly. Anticipated maturity: 2013 – 2025. RP: 90

48. Contributor: Lanson International
Product: Jeroboam of Lanson Black Label NV Brut
Description: This is one of the best selling Champagnes in the UK – and with reason. A golden-lemony colour and a crisp and fresh scent, this balanced and energetic Champagne has a huge following. It also has a great capacity for ageing, revealing some truly spectacular honeyed notes.

49. Contributor: Moët Hennessy
Product: Dom Pérignon Magnum (vintage TBC)
Description: TBC

Bidding on the ‘Help for Heroes’ Auction

Posted in Auction help and tips, News, Site improvements and modifications, Uncategorized on October 12, 2010 by AB

As mentioned here we’re conducting an auction on behalf of Help for Heroes this coming weekend, 15th-17th October. Bidding on this auction will be a little different to usual – so watch out!

  • Until Monday morning, bidding is ‘blind’ – no-one will be able to see what others have bid. Instead you will be able enter a single maximum amount you’re prepared to pay for each lot via a special form (much quicker than normal bidding – we hope to roll the feature out more generally in the near future) and then submit all your bids at once. Bids placed at this point are final, and, whilst you can enter new, higher bids, you can’t reduce or remove a bid.
  • Come Monday we’ll start the auction. You’ll receive an email to tell you where you stand compared to other bids
  • If you’re the high bidder, sit tight and keep an eye on the auction throughout the day. We will of course let you know if you’re outbid. If you’re not winning when the auctions start you can bid in the normal way to increase your bid.
  • When the auction closes we’ll let you know whether you’re the winning bidder. All auctions in this sale will close at the same time though – so we advise entering a single, maximum bid early in the day and leaving it to the site software to bid on your behalf as the auctions close.

    Good luck – and remember your bids are for an excellent cause.

A couple of tasting notes

Posted in Auction help and tips, News, Site improvements and modifications, Uncategorized with tags on October 11, 2010 by AB

We’ve been quiet on the blog front (preparing for the Fine Wine Fair and organising various forthcoming sales has been taking up all our time). However I wanted to share a couple of notes on some wines which are coming up for sale shortly. Both are Australian Shiraz but are as far removed from the common perception of this wine as one could imagine. Indeed they share far more in common with Syrah from the Northern Rhone or the Languedoc.

Handhorf Hill Shiraz 2005

Dark red centre to crimson rim. Fine, delicately spicy nose with notes of plum, smoke, soy sauce and aniseed. Perfumed. Very fine and poised in the mouth – plenty of fine, delicate tannin and a good acidity underlies ripe but savoury fruit, tea, grilled meat and spice flavours. Real length. This will go on for years I think. 4*

Larkhill Shiraz 2003

Deep red to crimson rim. Very closed at first; a hint of American oak but that’s it. In the mouth this is a little more giving – some spice and red fruit. With time this opens up a little to become higher toned – almost shades of a top notch Rioja but with more pepper and dark spices. On day two the nose is very much in the sous-bois/pepper/black fruit spectrum. Cool and slightly peppery in the mouth, a real note of cooked plum on the long finish. Good wine – no crime to open it now but would be just as happy being forgotten about for a while. 3.5*