Veni, vidi, bibi!

I came, I saw and I drank!

Hola! dear reader. There seems to be a lot to celebrate during these last days, weeks & months. Something we may have lost touch with a bit over the past few years. But with The Queen´s Jubilee (great pork pie), The Derby (what a winner), no more maskery (rather overrated if you ask me), the birth of Frank Oliver (first grandson) and the arrival of a unique bottle of 1962 Penfold Bin 60A just in time for my birthday dinner. Now, if this isn´t nice, I don´t know what is. (Kurt V.)

After nearly forty years of doing de wine biz here, I am now wondering whether I should up the anti a bit and go the whole hog. I have spent most of my professional life (British Wine Trade) tasting, buying, selling, packing & delivering (or these days they call it transferring) wines. I have no idea what it means to the rest of you dear folk, but this little silver-spooned optimist of the highest capitalist-sunrise can only wish you well with whatever it is you do or have been doing with your lives both working and for pure pleasure. The love/hate relationship one has with the ´wine trade´ certainly keeps one´s feet rooted in terra firma. I am sure, like in any other type of business when the going gets tough, the tough get going. There is no other choice.

During this year´s Epsom Derby the race commentator never mentioned one of the most important sweeping bends on any race track in the world. Yes, as Swinley Bottom is to Ascot, Tattenham Corner is to Epsom. When the fellow said, ´now they are coming to the bend´ my heart sank and I could only think of how awfully simplified the world has become. No mention of Tattenham Corner at all, just the dam bend! Like supermarket Chardonnay or Argentine Malbec, all a bit overrated and as I keep hearing that everything is now more complicated, or becoming more complicated? Between you and me I don´t think so. Supermarket wine is supermarket wine and always will be, no suprises there. If making things easier and simplified is becoming more complicated then I suggest, as anyone would, just try and stop and go for a long walk without your cellphone, try do nothing for a change. It´s really difficult to do, if not impossible. The thing that hath been, it is which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. (Ecc.1-9) Why not stop and smell the roses! or in my case, stop and smell some really good wine, time is indeed short.

For over 30 years now I have been cellaring wines with London City Bond. Back in the day it was known, only, as Unit 9. My goodness that was a lifetime ago now, or so it seems to me. LCB are still terrific, and yes of course we have had our ups and downs but all the wines are still checked, landed, photographed and coded (rotation numbers) to a very high level of service. Of course we pay a fee for this service and even though we just received a long long letter from the boss at LCB explaining the need to hike up the costs of their service, I will of course endeavour to swallow this bitter financial pill and crack on with what we and I all love doing. Tracking down great wines from around the world for our pleasure, knowledge and pure vinousness of this great subject.

Here are some of the wines that shaped my May 2022 and all enjoyed, served blind, with chums at a luncheon in 67PM.

2015 Bourgogne Aligote J-F Coche-Dury
Rich apple blossom and hints of coconut with orange peel. Long, saline and totally delicious!

2018 Bouzeron Aligote Domaine de Villaine
Fresh, fine and waxy linear. Dry toffee green apple and restrained Aligotyness, and very young.

2002 Hermitage (Rouge) J-L Chave
Bright ruby, and subtle aromas of blackberry, liquorice and flowers. Juicey violet palate with long blue fruit finish. A great bottle from an iffy vintage.

1985 Ch Margaux, Margaux
This was a remarkable bottle. Hints of truffle, spicy vanillin and ripe blackcurrant fruit. Almost Burgundian in style but with the ever present luxuriousness of a great Margaux and in this case a Ch.Margaux.

1962 Unico Vega Sicilia, Ribera del Duero
Old school Claret colour with a gorgeous almost sweet intense cedary bouquet. Soft & light plummyness, long and a great! I could till taste this wine the following day. Iconic! no bullroar.

1971 Sassicaia Tenuta San Guido, Bolgheri
Lovely colour, Sassy nose but just a bit too peaky on the palate at this stage. We let the peakiness blow off.

I would seriously recommend you try any of the above. Even the old Sassicaia but in a slightly younger vintage, maybe their 1981, and I can guarantee you are in for a treat.

As you enter, or are now in, the Summer time in the northern Hemisphere, and the Thermal underwear comes out in the Southern bit. May I can take this opportunity to wish you well and thank you for business over the last 6 months of 2022, and let´s not believe everything one reads in the newspaper and try and enjoy the next 6 months of 2022. Keep buying large formats and see you on the corner!

“A rainy day is the perfect time for a walk in the woods” (R.Carson)