Ditton Wine Traders’ fine wine blog
28/08 Dittons Autumn tasting! Thursday 3rd October • 14/11 Dittons Surbiton Christmas Tasting • 19/11 Mouton Label News: Guy de Rougemont • 20/11 Dinner with Ducru-Beaucaillou • 04/12 Jancis Robinson – Top Holiday Wines
4 December 2013Jancis Robinson – Top Holiday Wines
by Ben Grosvenor
For those that don’t read the FT on a weekend, we thought we’d share the good news with you! And for those that do, no harm in repeating it.
During December, Jancis Robinson is writing about her top tips for Christmas drinking. It just so happens that one of our favourite fizzes made it on to her list over the weekend – ‘Le Moulin,’ Blanquette de Limoux by Domaine J Laurens.
This is a bottle of bubbles many of our customers are very familiar with, as we continue to spread the gospel of our favourite wines. We do still have bottles in stock, and ready to reach you in more than enough time to feature on your Christmas list – but we advise you to act quickly! Our next shipment from France will not arrive until the New Year…
All prices below are inclusive of duty & VAT.
Le Moulin, Blanquette de Limoux – £12.08 per bottle
Nice bit of development. Very fresh and really quite special for the money. Quite delicate on the palate. Good Value.
16/ 20, Jancis Robinson
As well as writing up the Blanquette, Jancis has had a few compliments for some of our other wines – including the wines of Domaine Janotsbos. Please see below for her notes on our wines featured in her Autumn Collection. The Chateau Verdignan 1998 is worth a look too – a truly exceptional value in mature Bordeaux!
Bourgogne Blanc 2010 – £14.40 per bottle (available in 12’s)
Grower based in Meursault. Very pale indeed. Fresh and clean.
15/ 20. Drink to 2014, JR
Bourgogne Rouge 2010 – £14.40 per bottle (available in 12’s)
Very pale ruby indeed. Light and fresh – really delightfully gentle and refreshing. Very pure and direct. Good Value
16/ 20. Drink to 2014, JR
Chassagne-Montrachet 2010 – £30 per bottle (available in 6’s)
Very pale gold. Light scent of wet stones. Clean, very lightly honeyed. Fairly evolved for a 2010 white – so it could be quite useful? Not especially intense but very nicely balanced. Not a bad price for white burgundy fans. Light to medium bodied and pleasantly chalky.
16/ 20. Drink to 2016, JR
Meursault 2010 – £28.20 per bottle (available in 6’s)
Herby nose. Quite light – not that intense. Gentle and already quite evolved.
16/ 20. Drink to 2016, JR
St-Aubin Premier Cru En Créot 2010 – £25.40 per bottle (available in 6’s)
Quite rich and buttery – almost Meursault! Decent enough for the money though a tad pinched on the finish.
15.5/ 20. Drink to 2017, JR
Other wines available in time for Christmas
Chateau Capbern Gasqueton 2009, St-Estephe – £16.40 per bottle (available in 6’s)
Blackish ruby. Solid and dense. Classic combo of the austerity of St-Estèphe and the ripeness of 2009. Good stuff! Good Value.
17/ 20. Drink to 2023, JR
Chateau Verdignan 1998, Cru Bourgeois Haut-Medoc – £11.60 per bottle (available in 6’s)
Good price for this maturity! Dark crimson with a pale rim. Attractive lift. Sleek fruit and nicely evolved. Firm and savoury but an excellent price. Very Good Value.
16/ 20. Drink to 2016, JR
If you'd like any of these lovely wines on your table this Christmas – do let us know by calling us on 020 8 339 9112, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
20 November 2013Dinner with Ducru-Beaucaillou
by Ben Grosvenor
A week ago this Wednesday eve, some of Ditton Wine Traders’ customers met with Bruno Borie of Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, at the Vintners Hall, the original home of the English wine trade.
The evening started upstairs in the drawing room with a few glasses of an excellent Blanquette de Limoux – the other Limoux, not the Cremant, made predominantly from a grape that rarely graces the flutes of the UK, Mauzac. Produced by Domaine J Laurens, this wine recently scooped a Silver at the Decanter World Wine Awards, scored half a point lower than the Dom Perignon 2003 with Jancis Robinson, and had our guests asking which Champagne house it was. For £12 a bottle, that’s not too shabby.
Ducru-Beaucaillou is one of Bordeaux’s best loved Chateaux, and Bruno, one of Bordeaux’s most loved characters. On the left bank of the Gironde estuary, the estate was classified as a second growth in the 1855 classification, but in recent years has been producing wines which vie in quality with the First Growths.
Decanting in the basement at Vintners
After a glass or two of bubbles, waiting in the dining room for us were glasses of Lalande Borie 2010 and Croix de Beaucaillou 2005, served alongside chicken & duck liver pate. The Lalande Borie was super fresh and needed a minute to open up, but when it did, it showed better than most estate’s efforts at a second wine. Red fruit, medium bodied, and a cracking acidity!
The second wine, Croix de Beaucaillou, for which the grapes could be used in the Grand Vin (M. Borie feels strongly enough about the individual characteristics of the wine to give it its own place), got people talking. Had this been served blind, there’s a good chance it may have been mistaken for the Ducru itself. So good, one of our guests asked if they could buy it all, literally. All the nuances of its noble sibling, but drinking excellently now. Both of these wines warrant a place in any Ducru lover’s cellar.
As the evening progressed, we were happier to discuss with Bruno what we liked and didn’t like – fortunately there wasn’t a lot we didn’t! With the main course of grouse, we had the 1986, 2000 and 2004 Ducru Beaucaillou. Not too many an opinion was divided here – the 2000 stood out and reminded us why Parker sometimes refers to this estate as the “Lafite Rothschild of St-Julien.”
“It’s about the Cailloux,” – the stones that make up the soils of Ducru, “that add to the ‘minerality’ of the wines” added M. Borie. So important are these stones, that he sought out the daughter of one of the original Stones, in Jade Jagger, to design the label for the Croix de Beaucaillou from 2009 onwards.
The 1986, which had taken a bit of a bashing prior to our dinner, from those that had tried it in the past, was not showing 27 years of age. It might lack the complexity and balance of the later wines but it has held up remarkably well and still shows lots of dark fruit with no sign of this fading any time soon. Very good balance, and some great tannins – this is a big bold Ducru.
The 2004, perhaps under-rated in my opinion, showed great promise. Difficult to fully get to grips with now, this is a wine to stick away for a few more years. Redder fruits, ‘minerality,’and a lovely herby/ flowery complexity – this is only lacking in balance which should come in time, and will really reward those that can wait.
Seated for dinner
“For the English…” stated Bruno, for the 2000… This is what it’s all about. This is what makes you choose Ducru Beaucaillou as one of your desert island wines. All sorts of fruit here, red, black and blue, plus a few others that I can’t place. Almost text book perfection, but quirky enough to make it better than that. Chocolate & coffee, a hint of sweet smoke, this has it all, and will only get better with another 2-3 years as the tannins settle. If you ever fall out of love with Bordeaux, this should help to repair the damage.
Another successful evening at the Vintners concluded: Bruno’s first presentation of his wines in the UK; a deeper understanding of how the property works, especially since Bruno took over in 2003; and a reminder that Ducru-Beaucaillou is up there with the best Chateaux in Bordeaux.
Thanks to all of our guests for joining us for this special evening; Raphael & Sophia, Giles at the Independent Vintner, and of course, Bruno Borie of Ducru Beaucaillou.
All of the wines from the evening are available to purchase – please email us email@example.com or call on 020 8 339 9112
19 November 2013Mouton Label News: Guy de Rougemont
by Ben Grosvenor
With a recent history of being able to start a market rally with their wine label releases, especially after the Chateau announced Chinaman Xu Lei would design their 2008 label, today’s news of Mouton Rothschild’s ‘art-work’ for the 2011 vintage has fallen somewhat short in terms of excitement generated.
French painter & sculptor, Guy de Rougemont, joins the list of artists to design the label for the Chateau, a tradition started in 1945.
The last Frenchman to produce a label for the château was Bernar Venet, who designed the 2007 label. Last year’s artist, Jeff Koons, has been more heavily involved with the design around bottles and labels in recent months, producing the ‘balloons’ design for Dom Perignon earlier this year.
A member of the Academy des Beaux Arts, Guy de Rougemont’s work encompasses “the clarity of vines in sunshine to the darkness of the cellars – all the stages of the birth of a great wine,” according to the Chateau.
His previous works & achievements have included the courtyard at the front of the Musée d’Orsay, as well as much admired modern furniture designs.
‘Guy de Rougemont is an old friend of mine,’ Chateau owner Baroness de Rothschild told decanter.com. ‘We first met when I was 18 years old, and I have followed his career ever since.’
One of the stars of the 2011 vintage, and a wine Parker has described as “significantly more powerful, rich and textured than… Lafite Rothschild,” the Mouton Rothschild 2011 is currently trading at £3,800 per 12 bottles under bond.
For more information on Mouton Rothschild, please see our feature on Mouton here.
14 November 2013Dittons Surbiton Christmas Tasting
by Ben Grosvenor
Wine Tasting in Surbiton
Your local wine merchant, Ditton Wine Traders, would like to invite you to their Christmas Wine tasting in Surbiton!
Friday 29th November, 6.30 – 8.30pm
Elizabethan Room, Glenmore House, The Crescent, Surbiton KT6 4BN
Come and taste over 20 cracking wines with us! Everything from Bordeaux & Burgundy classics, to Christmas sparklers and New World gems, this is a great opportunity to try some superb stuff!
Tickets cost £15 per person, and can be ordered by calling us on 020 8 339 9112, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to seeing you there!
28 August 2013Dittons Autumn tasting! Thursday 3rd October
by Ben Grosvenor
Join us for the Autumnal Ditton Wine tasting!
Thursday 3rd October – 18:45 to 20:45
This years tasting will take place at Dr Johnson's House. Dr Samuel Johnson, author of the English dictionary, poet, and generally fascinating chap, his house offers an exciting opportunity to see a part of London that is still relatively unknown – all the while, sampling some of Ditton's, and our customers, favourite wines.
A selection of our best-sellers, old world classics, and our latest Champagne & Burgundy additions will all be on show.
Date - Thursday 3rd October 2013
Time - 18:45 to 20:45
Venue - Dr Johnson's House
17 Gough Square
Cost - £28.50/ ticket
(For 4 or more tickets – £25/ ticket)
If you would like to join us in tasting some cracking wines in this unique setting, then please do get in touch. Spaces are limited, and are allocated on a first come first serve basis. Once they're gone, they're gone!
We look forward to hearing from you!
19 July 2013New Kid on the block – Domaine Janotsbos
by Ben Grosvenor
If you are looking for well priced, top notch Burgundy, this is worth your attention!
Domaine Janotsbos, as the few of you that attended our tasting recently will be aware, are a new-comer to the UK scene, and an exclusive to Ditton Wine Traders. Based in Meursault, wine-making team of two, Thierry Janots (part time wine-maker at Comtes Lafon) and Richard Bos have been producing exceptionally high quality wines since 2005, and we are delighted to be able to offer the exceptional 2010's.
Produced in extremely limited quantities, the Janotbos wines punch well above their price tag and deliver incredible value for money. In fact, we are not lying when we tell you that these wines were very close to ending up on the books of one of the world's leading wine merchants. But, then again, we consider ourselves pretty capable when it comes to making wine judgements, and we are very proud to be working with Janotbos.
If you are looking for beautifully drinking Burgundy, then you really need look no further.
The 2012 vintage in Burgundy is going to be even more minuscule than previous vintages, and prices will reflect this, making the 2010's, where you can find them, a very wise buy right now. These wines already have a large following in the US and Japan – we urge you to pick them up while they are still available.
Bourgogne Blanc 2010 - Our Pick!
£120/ case (12x75) IB
Is this a Meursault in disguise!? Beautiful concentration of fruit, and a lovely freshness. Fruit sourced from nearby Meursault. Great depth for the appellation.
Pouilly Fuisse 2010
£155/ case (12x75) IB
Rich with lovely tropical and stone fruit, sweet spice and well rounded.
Saint Aubin, 1er En Creot 2010 - Our Pick!
£115/ case (6x75) IB – very limited quantity
Never considered a fashionable spot, this is a real bargain. The Saint- Aubin is showing wonderfully well at the moment – our tasters joint wine of the night! Brilliantly expressive nose, which leads to a complete and balanced palate. Wonderfully rounded fruit, floral notes and a great lasting acidity on the finish. Incredible quality for the price here.
£129/ case (6x75) IB
Inviting nose of stone fruit, and a hint of smoke. Rich fruit on the palate, but a lovely "minerality" running through it keeps it perfectly balanced.
Meursault, 1er Les Bouchéres 2010- Our Pick!
£183/ case (6x75) IB – very limited quantity
Alongside the Saint Aubin, this was the top choice. Such class and refinement – a nigh impossibly well made wine for the price! Floral notes on the nose, and an almost weightlessness to the feel of this wine – stone fruit, some spice, and a lovely intensity that simply makes you smile!
Chassagne Montrachet 2010
£138/ case (6x75) IB
A hint of citrus to the nose, and followed with nectarine and honey on the palate. This is a lovely Chassagne that will reward a couple of years in the cellar.
Chassagne Montrachet, 1er Les Chevenottes 2010
£174/ case (6x75) IB
Lovely battle between fruit and acidity going on here, with some spice in the background. Excitingly complex, with a light but lasting finish.
Bourgogne Rouge 2010
£120/ case (12x75) IB
Stunningly fruit driven, pure Pinot delicacy on the nose, with just a hint of earthy terroir. Lovely floral tones to the nose with some spice and backed by light red fruit on the palate. This is a great introduction to the reds of the 2010 vintage.
Volnay 2010 – Our Pick!
£123/ case (6x75) IB – very limited quantity
As the Bourgogne rouge, pure flirty Pinot fruit, with a great depth and complexity. There is a hint of forest floor, lots of red fruit, and the tannins are beautifully sweet, while adding even more complexity. This is an amazing wine to drink now, or in 36 months time.
Stop Press: After a tasting of various Burgundy whites yesterday, we are even more convinced of the quality of Janotsbos. We tried several wines of "top producers," and as far as Burgundy value goes, we honestly believe these wines are impossible to beat!