This is a vintage to pay attention to at the most fastidious addresses, and particularly in the northern Medoc, which is the focus of our offer. The key positive here is that phenolic ripeness was achieved, but over a long season with no “big summer” boost, so there is real complexity and elegance, along with freshness and detail. It is a connoisseur’s vintage. By and large, pricing seems fair – not bargain pricing like we saw when the 2008s were released, but not silly prices like we have been seeing more recently, thank goodness.
Note – we tasted the wines, and received a lot of offers. This is our selection. We chose wines that meet one of two criteria – either they are simply the very best of 2014 (like Lafite), or they are near the top in quality and offer great value for money for the quality (like Grand Puy Lacoste). In other words, we stand behind this selection, and have turned down a lot of other wines we don’t think make sense for 2014 en primeur.
Small offer of one of our favourite wines – Rioja
& Linden's report on a recent tasting of CVNE Rioja back to 1928
I’ve been lucky to try a lot of old Rioja, but that impression always seems to surprise. My entirely unscientific working theory is that it’s a by-product of old school viticulture and winemaking – particularly the latter. The fresh wine going into neutral casks is robust to begin with. Small aromatic and fruit details are traded away by long ageing, and what is gained is grand Rioja’s slightly vanillin old wood aromas and flavours, notes of honey and smoke, and a slightly oxidative tone. I have wondered whether all those years in wood trade away something at the start of the wine’s life, but somehow ‘inoculate’ the wine against the vagaries of long cellaring – in other words, they reach their peak sooner, but stay on a plateau seemingly forever, only to decline very, very slowly after several decades.
Birth year wines - picks for an "0" birthday, and some notes on a recent 1972 dinner
If there is a commercial message to be plucked from this, it is this – we love and understand the fun in finding good birth year wines! (and, for that matter, wines to celebrate any special year).
Here are my picks from our list for those celebrating an ‘0’ this year…
1985 Ramonet Montrachet (BH98)
This is just outstanding, and proved itself at our recent “Best of the Best” white wine lunch. It simply doesn’t get much better than this.
4 bottles available, HK$28,000 per bottle.
Budget pick – 1985 Crozes-Hermitage ‘Domaine Thalabert’, Jaboulet, HK750 per bottle.
1975 Joh. Jos. Pruem Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese Goldkapsel
From a classical, well-structured vintage emphasising minerality and freshness.
2 bottles abailable, HK$4,800 per bottle.
Budget pick – 1975 Chateau La Conseillante, 6 bottles with damaged labels, HK1,800 each. I say ‘budget’ because I’ve tasted from this lot of this wine, and it is delicious.
1965 Lindeman’s Bin 3110 Hunter River Burgundy
One of Australia’s legendary great shiraz wines – this exact wine probably did more to put NSW on the map. Possibly the greatest wine made in the world in this otherwise awful year. Vega Sicilia Unico also worth looking for.
1 bottle available, HK$9,800
1955 Chateau Gilette ‘Crème de Tete’ Sauternes
Gilette is somewhat idiosyncratic, spending many years in concrete before bottling. The ‘crème de tete’ designation means this is the best of the wine made that year – more concentration and botrytis than the ‘Doux’ bottling of the same year. I like ’55 as a Sauternes year.
3 bottles available, HK$3,800 per bottle
1945 Taylor Vintage Port
One of my favourite ports of all time, and this bottle from Hugh Johnson’s cellar looks in fine condition.
1 bottle available, HK$12,000
We currently have a good selection of various ‘45s – call or email to discuss.
Pinot is still pumping through our veins at The Fine Wine Experience, in the wake of our Bacchanalian weekend with the Meadows family. In this final instalment, my tasting notes on the wines tasted at the two masterclasses (Chambolle 1er Crus / Gevrey Grands Crus), and jottings ‘in the margin’ on some of the in depth insights Allen provided.
We broke open a number of cases of wines and as a consequence of the seminars, and so we have a really good number of ‘odd’ bottles in stock for you to mix ’n’ match.
The Burghound’s scores below, and my own views on all of these wines attached, for a second opinion.
The Best of the Best White Burgundy Offer
+ Linden's review on the event
+ Linden's review on the event
2005 Domaine Harmand-Geoffroy Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru (BH94)
I used to have some of this exact wine and in half bottles too. It’s a big burly, juicy ripe black-fruited classic Mazis. This is really good stuff.
Half Bottles – HK$700 per half bottle – 12 available
2012 Weingut Karthauserhof Eitelsbacher Karthauserhofberg Auslese #42 Auktion
Slips down the throat like the name rolls off the tongue! This is beautifully pure elegant fruity-style riesling made from one of the greatest vineyards. Mike and I bought this wine in the annual VDP auction in Trier, this cuvee being a single fuder selection of the very finest auslese made at the estate in that classic vintage. It is elegant enough to enjoy now with dim sum or as zippy refined sipping wine for a warm, slightly humid Spring afternoon (specifically!). The quality is outstanding for the price.
Half Bottles – HK$380 per half bottle – 3 cases of 12 available
1996 Chateau Rauzan-Segla (WA88)
To be honest, this isn’t that amazing. It’s one of the few chateaux in the Medoc where I really prefer the ’95 over the ’96. But it is pretty, elegant, and is now right in its drinking window. It’s not easy to tick all those boxes and also not break the bank. Food friendly.
Half Bottles – HK$360 per half bottle – 3 x original wooden cases of 24 halves each.
The long-awaited 2014 Hospices de Beaune offer is finally here! For those who got married, had a newborn child, or started your company in 2014, this is the wine to get. Last year our 2013 Hospices Corton sold out within a couple days, so act fast!
2014 (Thibault Liger-Belair) Hospices de Beaune Corton Grand Cru, Cuvée Dr. Peste
– available by the 1/4 barrel share (6 cases) for HK$75,600 per share ($1,050 per bottle)
Join us in your very own share of a barrel of fine Burgundy. You can put your name, the name of your 2014-born child, the name of a couple who got engaged or married in 2014, or who celebrated a significant anniversary, or you can put the name of your company for corporate gifts on the officially printed labels. We will arrange this for you as part of the service.
This is a really delightful vintage, emphasising ripeness, fleshiness, and roundness. Those who want to dip in relatively early will find something to enjoy, but in our experience with the Corton Grand Cru Dr Peste, it is a great one for the cellar, with 20 or 30 years cellaring easily possible, with an attractive fine aged red Burgundy at the end of it.
With only 4 shares available per barrel obviously this is a very limited offer, and is offered on a first-come first-served basis. Our 2013 of this sold out very quickly, so email us NOW!