When slurping isn’t natural

I looked at the bottle three times, picked it up, took a photo on my phone. Something didn’t feel quite right. “This is simply a fabulous French no-nonsense natural wine…” screamed the label. And then further down, there it was again: “This wine is 100% natural as well as gorgeous to drink”. At €4.99 in […]

Graves doesn’t have to be serious

Who doesn’t love a joyful, everyday wine – especially if it’s fairly priced Bordeaux. There’s an unfortunate view, particularly prevalent in the UK, that Bordeaux wines fall into only two categories – those sold at super-premium prices for the obscenely rich, and those that are little more than execrable filth. The truth is that there are many […]

Oh Balls! (Or how customer service saved the day)

Picture the scene – four old friends, and we’ve just passed a convivial evening in a restaurant. It’s Thursday night, 9.30pm, no-one’s ready to go home but at the same time a change of scenery is called for. Oh yes, and we’d like good wine please. The trouble is, we’re in Victoria. A quick look on […]

A Bordeaux blowout – Lagrange 2001 and Chasse Spleen 1985

Considering the title of this blog, you might have expected a bit more action centred around the Medoc. Just as well then, that a happy dinner with family last Saturday night provided the occasion to unleash some serious clarets. We kicked off with Chateau Lagrange 2001, a charming St. Julien from a forgotten vintage. What […]

Hot but not bothered – Phélan Ségur 2003

It’s always interesting to re-taste the wines from Bordeaux’s 2003 heatwave. There was much scaremongering at the time – the wines were flabby, they might fall apart before reaching maturity, they were largely atypical of the region, and so on. How enjoyable then, to taste Thierry Gardinier’s classic, yet accessible St. Estephe, which has happily […]