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Arguably the rarest of all fine Champagnes, Salon is the legacy of one man: Eugène-Aimé Salon, a Champagne fanatic who devoted his life to creating the quintessential champagne we now know as Salon. Focusing on Chardonnay – in his view the sole grape capable of yielding Champagnes of requisite focus and mineral finesse – Eugène-Aimé Salon scoured the Champagne region for suitable sites, planting his vineyard – the now famous Jardin de Salon – on the deep chalk soils of Le Mesnil, still one of Champagne’s only grand cru villages. One wine, one vineyard, one grape: the apparent simplicity of this formula belies the challenges inherent in creating a wine of Salon’s complexity. It is testament to Eugène-Aimé’s perfectionist vision, that the conditions and traditions he prescribed continue to be upheld in the production of this legendary Champagne, made on average only three times per decade. Salon 2004 is the most recent vintage released.
Photo: Salon 1997 capsule
Château La Tour de l’Évêque is an historic estate deep in Provence, and was once the summer residence of the Archbishops of nearby Toulon, hence the name (‘The Tower of the Bishop’, in French) In fact there are many legends and royal connections linked to the château.
The estate is sustainably run, organically certified, and follows many of the principles of biodynamic viticulture - essentially harnessing and mitigating nature to establish balance in the vineyard.
The wines of Domaine Labruyère are reminiscent of wines produced decades ago, wines whose quality and style seem perhaps unimaginable today, wines which are classic and traditional, rich, structured, approachable in youth but with good ageing potential. Find out more about the latest release, download 2014 Vintage Enprimeur brochure now.View more info & list of wines
Unobtrusive, mid the Pomerol plateau, the wine cellar at Petrus reveals little about the treasures within. All-important here is the vineyard – the result of incongruous geological accident which, allied to Merlot vines, produces the most rarefied, sumptuous and powerful of wines.
In 1976 Corney & Barrow was invited to represent Petrus exclusively in the United Kingdom. Indisputably one of the most sought-after wines in the world and with an average production of only 30,000 bottles, demand dramatically outstrips supply so sales the world over are on allocation.
Photo: Façade of Château PetrusView more info & list of wines
Through Château Rocheyron Peter Sisseck, known to many of you through his iconic Dominio de Pingus from Ribera del Duero in Spain, is returning to his spiritual home.
Peter originally studied in Bordeaux, but built his considerable reputation and made his home in Spain. In Rocheyron he has a unique opportunity, forging a partnership which allows him to develop a longstanding love for Bordeaux.
Château Rocheyron is situated in the hamlet of Saint-Christophe-des-Bardes, just 3.6km from the centre of Saint-Émilion, on the edge of the celebrated limestone plateau.
Photo: Château Rocheyron.View more info & list of wines
Domaine de la Romanée-Conti is the very finest red wine estate in Burgundy, recognised as such internationally and, most significantly, throughout the region. The current partnership of Aubert de Villaine and Henry-Frédéric Roch has pursued perfection relentlessly, whilst always respecting tradition.
Aubert de Villaine and Henry-Frédéric Roch both believe that great wines are made in the vineyard and that, in the cellar respect and humility are key. There is an art to be learned in focusing on what not to do rather than what to do and their belief is that the quality provided by the vineyard may be equalled or diminished in the cellar, not enhanced. The vineyards are small, with old vines producing tiny yields. The wines are prodigiously good and pursued with passion, demand way outstripping the quantities available. All of the holdings are grands crus, although, in exceptional years, a premier cru is also released.
Call us now for availability of DRC wines, on 0207 265 2430.
Photo: The gates at Domaine de la Romanée-ContiView more info & list of wines
Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé is an outstanding ambassador for one of the finest Burgundy communes, Chambolle-Musigny. Georges de Vogüé is the epitome of Chambolle-Musigny, renowned for wines which offer richness and intensity in a hauntingly pure, dramatically aromatic translation of Pinot Noir.
Chambolle-Musigny lies in the Côte de Nuits between Morey-Saint-Denis and Gevrey-Chambertin to the north and Vougeot and Vosne-Romanée to the south. Chambolle-Musigny is a commune capable of producing wines which really charm. They tend to be less densely-structured than those of its immediate neighbours yet, as a result the wines are more inclined to allow Pinot Noir to sing in its purest form. 'Elegance', 'finesse', 'nobility', 'perfumed' are all descriptions which flow from the pens of devotees, punctuated with others which infer understated, subliminal attributes, 'seductive', 'beguiling' and 'enticing' – hallmark Vogüé.
Photo: Musigny Grand Cru vineyardView more info & list of wines
Domaine Leflaive represents a standard bearer for the late Anne-Claude Leflaive’s passionately held views on biodynamic cultivation. This philosophy has at its heart the individual treatment of the vines by plant-based compounds according to a strict timetable governed by the lunar cycle, at the same time as a total ban on systemic chemical treatments and insecticides. Rooted in the early 1990s and fully operational by 1997, biodynamic farming has transformed the Domaine’s viticulture, yield, quality and reputation so that it now rests at the very highest level in Burgundy and indeed of all the great white wine estates of the world.
View more info & list of wines
The Langhe area of Italy's Piedmont region is one of the most staggeringly beautiful wine regions in the world. This is home to the celebrated vineyards of Giacomo Conterno. Third generation Roberto Conterno, now at the helm, is firmly rooted in this land, fundamentally steeped in its tradition.
With a palpable love and profound respect for his inherited terroir, Roberto Conterno has been the heart and soul of Giacomo Conterno since his father Giovanni’s untimely death in 2003. It cannot ever be easy to take over from an iconic figure and Roberto descends from a line of them. Giacomo Conterno, Roberto’s grandfather was a pioneer in the region from humble beginnings, selling from a small bar. By 1974, with the business already firmly established, Roberto’s father Giovanni undertook the fortuitous and massively courageous investment in the six-hectare monopole of Cascina Francia.
Photo: The late Giovanni Conterno and his son RobertoView more info & list of wines
The Clos is striking, dominating the village of Morey-Saint-Denis, its entrance proudly emblazoned Clos de Tart, confident and assertive. Beyond lies an immaculate courtyard and impeccably restored 16th century winery buildings. In fact the origins of Clos de Tart can be traced as far back as 1141. In 1141, a parcel of land called Climat-des-Forges was sold to Cistercian nuns who renamed it Clos de Tart. Since then there have only been three owners, as the vineyard remained in the hands of the church until the Revolution, when it passed to the Marey-Monge family. They held it until the 1930s when the Mâcon-based Mommessin family acquired Clos de Tart in 1931. It was granted grand cru status in 1939 under their tenure, but Clos de Tart did not get the family’s undivided attention until 1996, when they sold their négociant business to concentrate on this domaine, the jewel in their portfolio.
Photo: Clos de TartView more info & list of wines
In the heart of the Volnay commune we find the beautifully-sited, historic vineyards of Domaine Marquis d’Angerville, part of holdings once owned by the Dukes of Burgundy. The d’Angerville wines are exemplary, pure Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, sensitively handled and faithful to individual terroirs.
The grandfather of the present owner, Guillaume d’Angerville, dedicated himself to replanting the Domaine d’Angerville vineyards with specially-selected Pinot Noir vines. He determined to produce honest, high quality wines and questioned authenticity within Burgundy. With responsibility for some of the best of Volnay, meticulous care was fundamental to the Domaine’s philosophy and they wanted control. Courageously, the Domaine began bottling and commercialising the wines themselves, independent of the négociant houses. The wines have, of course, borne testimony to the prescience of this pioneering.
Photo: Guillaume d'AngervilleView more info & list of wines
Château Magdelaine Premier Grand Cru Classé is remarkable. Close to Châteaux Belair and Canon, there are eleven hectares in total, planted on the limestone plateau and the southern slopes, overlooking the Dordogne. This highly-renowned terroir produces one of the greatest wines of the appellation.
Château Magdelaine is planted with 90% Merlot, the highest proportion of Merlot across all of the Saint-Emilion first growths. Merlot is generally at home on clay, and on the limestone plateau the roots dig deeply for nutrients, adding complexity and structure in the resulting wines. The varied soils contribute further layers of luscious, sumptuous fruit, spice and minerals over time. Château Magdelaine is very rarely gregarious in youth; serious and structured it rewards the patient. A second wine is now made from the lower slopes, protecting the integrity of the grand vin.
Photo: Château MagdelaineView more info & list of wines
Château Trotanoy is, indisputably, one of Bordeaux’ finest estates. It is situated on the western edge of the central and highest of the Pomerol slopes, only a few hundred yards to the west of Pétrus. Trotanoy has often been referred to as the half brother of Pétrus particularly in its renewed form.
In recent years, Trotanoy has sidled alongside Pétrus, very much the young pretender, offering impressive depth and intensity. Extensive replanting was deemed necessary at Trotanoy in the seventies and eighties, with young vines leading to a lightening in style which confounded critics.
Photo: Château TrotanoyView more info & list of wines
Look at almost any image of the unmistakable hill of Corton and you will, essentially, be looking at the Bonneau du Martray estate. With 9.5 hectares in one block, this is the largest single vineyard holding and is exactly the same piece of land which was gifted by the Emperor Charlemagne in 775AD.
The recipient at that time was the Abbey of Saulieu. Today, Domaine Bonneau du Martray is owned by the Le Bault de la Morinière family, only the third set of owners in twelve centuries. Clearly they bear quite a responsibility to past, present and, most importantly, future generations. This burden and honour is born with meticulous grace and tenacity by Jean-Charles Le Bault de la Morinière. Jean-Charles took over the management of the Domaine in 1994 and was determined to make an impact, preserving, protecting and improving natural terroir and, in so doing, raise the profile of Bonneau du Martray.
Photo: Jean-Charles Le Bault de la MorinièreView more info & list of wines
Danish-born, Bordeaux-trained Peter Sisseck was dispatched to Spain in 1990, to the then obscure area, Ribera del Duero. He was there to work on a short-term project which, subsequently, enjoyed much praise – Hacienda Monasterio. A victim of his own success, Peter found himself in total charge.
Hacienda Monasterio established, Peter Sisseck started to get very twitchy. Instinct, born of his Bordeaux experience, called him to seek another challenge. Although relatively unknown, as a region, Ribera del Duero has a long viticultural history and Peter believed that it had the potential to produce Spain’s finest wines. He sought out parcels of ancient vines, on perfectly exposed terroir, which he instinctively knew would produce something exciting, if in small quantities. The stage was set for the arrival of Pingus – a trailblazer which had the world at its feet from the outset.
Photo: Peter SisseckView more info & list of wines
François Mitjavile is a man unto himself. He does not even conform in his non-conformity. Anarchists are usually hugely vociferous but not for François the public railing against his particular windmills. He just quietly gets on with things, his way, year on year producing staggeringly good wines. A mere six hectares in size, the extraordinary rise to fame of Tertre Roteboeuf Grand Cru, from relative obscurity, has been dramatic. Tertre Roteboeuf is not even a grand cru classé, yet is one of Saint-Emilion’s cult wines. This turnaround has been spearheaded by a unique individual, François Mitjavile, aided and abetted by his wife Miloute, his son Louis and daughter Nina. An incredibly passionate communicator, François’ impassioned descriptions of Tertre Roteboeuf, and his way of working, are richly peppered with philosophical musings and illustrations of parallels within music and art.
Photo: Tertre Roteboeuf estateView more info & list of wines
We are delighted to represent the wines of Domaine Trapet exclusively, in the United Kingdom, for our private customers. This is a collection of which we are truly proud, offering wonderful purity, precision and focus. The wines have gone from strength to strength under the tenure of Jean-Louis Trapet. Since taking over the reigns, Jean-Louis has effected many changes. Initially these involved restricting yields, introducing lower-yielding rootstocks, high density planting and green harvesting, when required. The rewards were so obvious that a wholesale change in the way they had been working seemed to be the logical next step. Biodynamic disciplines were soon adopted. Jean-Louis and his wife Andrée are both acutely aware of their responsibility to past, present and future generations, where their vineyard holdings are concerned. They are equally tireless in their pursuit of quality.
Photo: Jean-Louis & Andrée TrapetView more info & list of wines
Established in 1996, the Tardieu-Laurent wines turned heads from the outset. Michel Tardieu, now working independently, is completely free to pursue his philosophy without any impediment. Obsessive in his pursuit of the perfect translation of vintage and place, Michel refers to himself as a terroirist.
Provençal by birth, Michel settled in the Lubéron, in the southern Rhône, with his charming wife Michelle. In partnership with Burgundian pastry chef turned wine producer Dominic Laurent, he set up the négociant house, Tardieu-Laurent. Michel buys wine, selected according to the quality of the vineyard and looks after the maturation, blending and commercialisation of the wines. Michel Tardieu is now flying solo, establishing his own hallmark, whilst reflecting the essence of the vintage and specific vineyard sites.
Photo: Michel TardieuView more info & list of wines
To the north-west of the Pomerol plateau bordering Lalande de Pomerol, lies Château La Grave à Pomerol, owned by Christian Moueix himself. Here a sandy, gravel soil makes for accessible wines which tend towards elegance and finesse rather the power, albeit admirable, seen elsewhere on the plateau.
The Moueix exercise rigorous crop thinning and severe selection to ensure a silky opulence, whilst retaining the fragrant charm and delicate minerality which is a La Grave à Pomerol hallmark. The vineyard, beautifully exposed, is on a fine plateau which catches any sunlight available. This estate used to be called La Grave Trigant de Boisset, but was changed by Christan Moueix in 1986. From 2000, Christian elected to make a second wine from separately vinified, younger vines – thereby ensuring the integrity of La Graves, the older brother. Domaine Trigant de Boisset is the accessible newcomer.
Photo: Château La Grave à PomerolView more info & list of wines
The Antinori name resonates throughout the wine world but Marchese Lodovico Antinori is pitched at a unique frequency. Legendary, maverick, genius, headstrong – all apply but his imagination, vision and drive have created unequalled world class wines in the past. This Tenuta de Biserno, his ultimate project, is testimony to his unique talents. Tenuta di Biserno is a 90-hectare estate, situated in coastal, western Tuscany, hidden amongst the hills of Bibbona in the Upper Maremma, cooled by sea breezes – perfect conditions. Lodovico Antinori embarked on this exciting project having sold his famous Bolgheri estate Tenuta dell’Ornellaia. The region, Bibbona, actually borders DOC Bolgheri but the terroir is different. Although both areas are better suited to Bordeaux varietals than the ubiquitous Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc does exceptionally at Biserno as well as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and good proportions of Petit Verdot, which really thrives in these conditions. The wines are outstanding
Photo: Lodovico AntinoriView more info & list of wines
Château de La Tour, established in 1890, is the largest proprietor of Clos de Vougeot. With six hectares of vines, this covers 12% of the appellation, well sited and housing old and ancient vines, 50 years old on average, with the oldest having been planted in 1910. There are five parcels of vines.
Clos de Vougeot is the largest grand cru in the Côte de Nuits, with over 100 parcels and around eighty owners. There is enormous diversity in terms of terroir – slopes, aspects, altitudes, drainage and underlying geology. Add to that the age of vines, methods of cultivation and winemaking and there is clearly a vast range of styles and qualities produced, all with the Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru label. Château de La Tour owns parcels high up the slope, towards the renaissance manor, in the middle and a little on the lower slope – a true representation of the Clos and a complex palette of ingredients.
Photo: Château de La Tour
Château de Lamarque is a delightful Haut-Médoc property which is situated on the left bank of the Gironde, to the north of Margaux, very close to the river. The owners of de Lamarque, Pierre-Gilles and Marie-Hélène Gromand d’Evry are determined to make the best Haut-Médoc wine possible here and have done their utmost to achieve this goal.
The Château's vineyards lie in three distinctive plots each on a gravel mound. One parcel lies within Lamarque village, just behind the church. A second is opposite Château Malescasse, further south, and then there is a sizeable parcel to the west of the road north. This part of Château de Lamarque borders Moulis and counts Châteaux Poujeaux, Maucaillou and Chasse-Spleen amongs its neighbours.
Photo: Château de Lamarque
Enrico Santini, born and bred in the stunning coastal area of Maremma, near Bolgheri, was driven by an ambition to own his own land, an estate which he would be able to run single-handedly. Bolgheri has been instrumental in the Rinascimento which Tuscany has enjoyed over the past 50 years or so. Bolgheri has attracted incomers from all over, inspired by the success of some very big names. Enrico however, is very much his own man. His passion and commitment to his native soil is legendary. He works tirelessly, from before dawn to well beyond dusk, ensuring that his wines accurately translate the estate’s unique combination of land, soil, aspect and microclimate. Enrico and his wife Donatella now own 9 ha, planted at between 70m and 80m above sea-level, lovingly and meticulously tended. Certified organic within Italy, the vineyard is, in fact, farmed biodynamically - fabulous wines.
Photo: Enrico Santini
Roc de Cambes is a jewel. This is François Mitjavile of St-Emilion's Tertre Rôteboeuf Côtes de Bourg property and there is certainly something reminiscent of Tertre Rôteboeuf here, albeit on a larger scale; a natural amphitheatre with a perfect aspect overlooking the Gironde.
Roc de Cambes comprises fourteen hectares of old vines, 45 years on average Vines are planted on the most highly reputed slope of the Côtes (les Croutes), where the heat of the sun on the slope is regulated by the effects of the estuary, permitting regular growth and wonderfully ripe, concentrated fruit. Essentially François Mitjavile’s approach in the Côtes de Bourg mirrors that at Tertre Roteboeuf, in a region with great, but often unrealised, potential. Roc de Cambes always had great promise but François has made it flourish.
Photo: François MitjavileView more info & list of wines
The privately-owned German wine estate, Schloss Schönborn, has some 650 years of history and experience under its belt, during which time the Schönborn family has amassed some spectacular sites. The philosophy which underpins the Schloss Schönborn estate, in all it does, is the pursuit of quality.
The Schönborn family were founder members of the Verband Deutscher Prädikats- und Qualitätsweingüter (VDP), the Association of German Quality Wine Estates. The issue of quality is important. It is a sad but undeniable fact that many people deny themselves some of the world’s finest wines – erroneously believing that all German wine is sweet and invariably nasty. Good German wine is phenomenal and fine Riesling exquisite. One of the world’s most noble varieties, it is stunning in youth and ages well. The Schloss Schönborn team are very diligent in both pursuing excellence and communicating it.
Photo: Schloss Schönborn estateView more info & list of wines
Sandra Tavares da Silva and husband Jorge Serodio Borges already had pretty impressive CVs when, in 2001, they embarked on Wine & Soul, their own project in Portugal's Pinhão Valley. A combination of prodigious talent and enthusiasm has resulted in iconic wines which already have an ardent following. Sandra is winemaker at both Vale Dona Maria with Cristiano Van Zellar and her family home, Quinta de Chocapalha in Estremadura. Jorge, formerly winemaker at Niepoort, works on a number of new projects in the Douro as well as Quinta do Passadouro. It was clearly only a matter of time, and finding the right site, before they would set up on their own. They initially bought a wonderful, old port lodge and rebuilt the lagares (stone troughs). In the beginning they purchased fruit from selected sites in the Pinhão Valley until in 2003 they bought a spectacular vineyard, planted with ancient, 76-year-old vines, across thirty varieties.
Photo: Sandra Tavares da Silva and Jorge Serodio BorgesView more info & list of wines
We are enormously proud to be the sole UK agents of the highly renowned portfolio from Achaval-Ferrer, producers in Mendoza, Argentina. In 1998, a group of Italian and Argentinian friends joined forces to realise a then extremely ambitious dream – the creation of world class Argentinian wine.
From the outset, the aim of Achaval-Ferrer was not only to produce exceptional quality but also to remain faithful to the wines’ origins. This is fundamental to the company’s philosophy which echoes the ideals of all of our major principals in that the vineyard is seen as fundamental, the very essence of the finished wine. The importance of this is too often belittled by emphasis on winemaking skills alone – not here, although Roberto Cipresso as winemaker is a phenomenal asset.
Photo: Achaval-Ferrer winery in MendozaView more info & list of wines
The Domaine des Varoilles name comes, originally, from a premier cru monopole first planted in the 12th century. The vineyard holdings have expanded over the years, and now cover ten hectares and eight appellations. There has been enormous investment here, re-invigorating naturally stunning old vine sites.
Painstaking attention to detail in both the vineyard and cellar is reaping great rewards and the Domaine is now producing extremely fine wines which will make purists smile. Finesse and elegance are the watchwords here rather than power. There are no rough edges, even in youth. Gilbert Hammel is now in overall charge; a meticulous man, it has been under his tenure that Domaine des Varoilles has soared in quality. Intense colours and profound aromatics are complemented by freshness and a lightness of touch, belying underlying, restrained muscle. The Domaine has a rich portfolio of fine sites.
Photo: Domaine des Varoilles vineyard and estate
In addition to running the family’s holdings in the Clos de Vougeot, Château de La Tour Grand Cru, François Labet looks after a selection of red and white wines from the Labets’ other vineyards around Beaune, niche plots which have been built up since 1890, treated in the same way as the grand cru.
François Labet is hugely conscious of the responsibility he bears to both his ancestors and to future generations and is energised by it. Extremely meticulous, in his attention to detail, all the vineyard sites are farmed organically. The goal is simple, on paper. His perennial aim is to produce healthy, quality grapes whilst, at the same time, assuring long term sustainability of terroir. François has very fixed views of what is best for his wines and has confounded some critics, in the past, by his single-minded determination, often flying in the face of accepted practice.
Photo: François LabetView more info & list of wines
This, the second wine of Château La Grave à Pomerol, is produced from younger vines. Until the 1992 vintage, the estate was called La Grave Trigant de Boisset. In 2000, Christian Moueix separated the fruit from the most recent plantings and Domaine Trigant de Boisset was born, a C&B exclusivity. The vineyards which provide Domaine Trigant de Boisset lie to the Northwest of the Pomerol plateau, bordering Lalande de Pomerol, The main property Château La Grave à Pomerol is owned by Christian Moueix, president of Etablissements J-P Moueix, the highly renowned property owner and négociant house and is home to the company’s managing director, Laurent Navarre. The vineyard has a sandy, gravel soil which makes for elegance and finesse rather than the obvious power and structure which emerges from many other Pomerol estates. The younger vines produce a very attractive, accessible style.
Photo: Château La Grave à PomerolView more info & list of wines
L’Hospitalet de Gazin is the second wine of Pétrus’ neighbour, Château Gazin. Gazin is a large estate, at twenty-four hectares, housing varied parcels and different terroirs – not all on the plateau. L’Hospitalet de Gazin is selected from cuvées which provide an accessible, approachable and elegant style.
The soils at Château Gazin are clay and gravel, well-drained due to a slight incline. The vineyard is planted with 90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc at a density of 5,500 vines per hectare and with an average of thirty-five years. Gazin has been owned by successive generations of the de Baillencourt dit Courcol family and now, under the stewardship of Nicolas and Christophe de Baillencourt, it has really re-found its feet, after some difficult years. Their approach in both vineyard and cellar combines traditional practice with modern techniques which equally benefits L’Hospitalet.
Photo: Château GazinView more info & list of wines
Passopisciaro is sited 1,000 metres above sea level on the northern slopes of Mount Etna, Sicily, a volcano from which a steady plume of smoke is a constant reminder that it is very much live. High altitude, exposure and temperature variation, between day and night, all play an important role in a unique terroir which produces wines of enormous character.
Andrea Franchetti forged his name when he created Tenuta di Trinoro, in the Val d’Orcia in Tuscany – from scratch. Having established himself in what he himself describes as a 'God-forsaken place' – for which read desolate and beautiful – he then embarked on a new project. Andrea elected to clear and restore some long-abandoned terraces of ancient vines. The fact that these were situated on a live volcano simply provided extra excitement. The challenges were considerable: derelict cellars, a blackened landscape and the restoration and replanting of a vineyard set on inhospitable lava dust.
Photo: Andrea FranchettiView more info & list of wines
Les Songes de Magdelaine, formerly known as Château Saint Brice, is the second wine of Château Magdelaine, Premier Grand Cru Classé St-Emilion. Its origins date from 1991 when, following dreadful frosts, no grand vin was made at the Château, and Saint Brice was introduced as a second label. Fortunately, Les Songes is now a perennial release. Born of adversity, Château Saint Brice created much excitement. Christian Moueix then elected to produce a second wine regularly, allowing Magdelaine to maintain the very highest quality, whilst offering an easy, early-drinking Grand Cru St-Emilion at a very fair price. For legal reasons, the name had to be changed and Château Saint Brice became Les Songes de Magdelaine. Grapes for the second wine tend to come from the lower slope, where the soil is a less interesting sandy-clay, and from young vines. Les Songes de Magdelaine is approachable and charming, a most attractive wine in its own right.
Photo: Horse ploughing at Château MagdelaineView more info & list of wines
Château Barrail du Blanc Grand Cru is a Corney & Barrow UK exclusivity. This is a tiny property, just three hectares in size, located in Saint Sulpice de Faleyrons, planted on rather light, well-drained soils. Such terroir makes for easy-drinking, generous wines which drink well even when very young.
The family which has owned Barrail du Blanc for over 150 years, formerly sold off their grapes. However, in 1995 they decided to produce their own wine. Considerable investment was necessary and new, thermo-regulated tanks were installed, as well as a maturation cellar – all to ensure optimal quality. The soil here dictates that this can never be a massively powerful wine – but so much the better for that, wine consumers need such approachable, easy drinking wines. Charming and accessible, Barrail du Blanc produces a fine Saint-Emilion Grand Cru which makes people smile, without breaking the bank.
Photo: Barrail du Blanc vineyardView more info & list of wines
We are delighted to have the exclusivity for Louis Mitjavile’s new venture in the Côtes de Castillon, Château Cadet. Louis, hugely talented, cut his teeth working for his father François Mitjavile, the iconic trailblazer at Tertre Rôteboeuf in Saint-Emilion and Roc de Cambes in the Côtes de Bourg.
Louis Mitjavile has, most recently, forged a remarkable reputation in his own right as a consultant for many successful properties, including our own Château Carignan Prima. It was clearly only a matter of time – and access to the right site – before Louis and his wife Caroline would set up on their own. Their patience was rewarded when Château Cadet came up for sale. This is a fabulous property in the Côtes de Castillon, an appellation which is rising in status and popularity. Small wonder – bordering Saint-Emilion, it enjoys the same clay/limestone soil as its highly revered neighbour.
Photo: Château CadetView more info & list of wines
Offering great value, Château Peyrat wears its heart on its sleeve. This is an accessible, tobacco-scented, earthy Graves red, with up-front, plummy fruit, wild herbs and clear mineral elements. Simple and fresh, this is traditional "lunchtime claret", Merlot dominated and unadorned with oak.
The Graves is where red Bordeaux originated. It produced wine when the greatest properties in the Médoc today were still swamps – as yet undrained. Despite a solid viticultural history, the Graves seems to have lost its place, since the wine world's shorthand descriptions – Right Bank, Left Bank – over simplify what is happening on the ground. Also, when Pessac-Léognan elected to set itself apart from the Graves, it rather forgot to tell the world or no-one was listening. Graves is still in common parlance but as a synonym for Pessac-Léognan. True Graves, like Château Peyrat, can be overlooked.
A new name on the wine scene, Domaine de l'Aurage was created with the 2007 vintage, a new property owned and run by Louis Mitjavile. Louis, hugely talented, cut his teeth working for his father François Mitjavile, the iconic trailblazer at Tertre Roteboeuf in St-Emilion and Roc de Cambes in the Côtes de Bourg.
Recently Louis Mitjavile has forged a remarkable reputation in his own right as a consultant for many successful properties, including our own Château Carignan Prima. It was clearly only a matter of time – and access to the right site – before Louis and his wife Caroline would set up on their own. Their patience was rewarded when this property came up for sale. This is a fabulous estate in the Côtes de Castillon, an appellation which is rising in status and popularity. Small wonder – bordering St-Emilion, it enjoys the same clay/limestone soil as its highly revered neighbour.
Photo: Domaine de l'AurageView more info & list of wines
Jean-Louis Trapet and his wife Andrée are extremely humble about their transitory role in the context of their inherited land. They are passionate about maintaining and restoring the natural health of their terroir and here, in Andrée’s family farm in Alsace, they have opted to farm biodynamically. The Trapets also exercise biodynamic disciplines in Gevrey-Chambertin. They spend their weekends jostling between the two regions. At the heart of the biodynamic philosophy is the individual treatment of vines, by plant-based compounds, according to a strict timetable, governed by the lunar cycle. Pesticides and chemicals have long been confined to the past and now, at the beck and call of the planets and climate, the Trapets have ceded control of their own lives. Working one property biodynamically is a challenge, let alone two, some distance apart. The wines, however, are stupendous.
Photo: Andrée Trapet
The historic vineyards of Quinta de Chocapalha, dating back to the 16th century, are beautifully sited on the sunny hillsides of Portugal’s Estremadura region, north-east of Lisbon. Owners Paulo and Alice Tavares da Silva bought Chocapalha in the eighties, totally convinced about its true potential. They immediately embarked on an investment programme, starting in the vineyards. By 2000, the most recent plantings were reaching maturity and quality had already greatly improved. At this time most of the production was sold on to larger cooperatives. Whilst Paulo and Alice were making progress at home, their ex-model daughter, Sandra, was fast establishing her reputation as an extremely talented winemaker, working alongside Cristiano Van Zellar at Vale Dona Maria in the Douro. With Cristiano’s encouragement, the family elected to refurbish their chais and start producing their own wines.
Photo: Paulo, Sandra and Alice Tavares da SilvaView more info & list of wines
Château Bel-Air is in a prime site within the tiny appellation of Graves de Vayres, in the Entre-Deux-Mers. A real claret lovers’ claret, this offers a very traditional style of winemaking; elegant, with an emphasis on balance – a great standard bearer for approachable Bordeaux.
Château Bel-Air, Graves de Vayres has equal rights to adopt Bordeaux Supérieur as its appellation but this is a unique place and we applaud their differentiating themselves. Philippe Serey-Eiffel, great-great-grandson of Gustave Eiffel, the engineer who masterminded the Eiffel Tower, decided to market his wine himself and break with the tradition of selling through a négociant (merchant). Philippe, also an engineer, set about the task with meticulous attention to detail, as befits his chosen profession.
Photo: Château Bel-Air Graves de VayresView more info & list of wines
Champagne Delamotte is not only one of the oldest champagne houses, but also, arguably, one of the most refined in style and pedigree. Established in 1760 in the prestigious village of Le Mesnil, Champagne Delamotte is Chardonnay’s most dedicated advocate. Indeed, most of Delamotte’s vineyards are planted with Chardonnay, all of which enjoy the exalted grand cru status common to the very best Champagnes. Alongside the elegant Delamotte Brut NV (a blend with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier but Chardonnay-dominant nonetheless) and delicate, strawberry-scented rosé, the Blanc de Blancs cuvées (non-vintage and vintage) are the stars of the show, both tantalisingly rich yet delicate. This is hardly surprising, considering Delamotte’s status as sister house of the legendary Salon Champagne, perhaps the world’s finest and rarest Blanc de Blancs Champagne, produced only in exceptional vintages.
Photo: Sign in the Delamotte vineyardView more info & list of wines
Château Latour à Pomerol, a quietly legendary property, is not a single vineyard but rather is comprised of many parcels with different soils at the heart of Pomerol, which allows great complexity. The result is a wine to which the cognoscenti remain faithful year after year. Latour à Pomerol has an interesting history. Madame Loubat, who also originally owned Château Pétrus, first acquired the mainstay of the property in 1917. She then gradually added to the holdings to bring the vineyard up to its present eight hectares. Upon her death in 1961, Latour à Pomerol passed to Madame Lacoste, her niece, who ran it for forty years before gifting it, in 2002, to the Foyer de Charité de Châteauneuf de Galaure (a French Catholic charity). However, upon inheriting the estate, Madame Lacoste appointed Etablissements J-P Moueix as fermier, and to this day the Moueix team are responsible for the vineyard, winemaking and commercial aspects of Château Latour à Pomerol.
Photo: Château Latour à PomerolView more info & list of wines
Bouzeron is the first village of the Côte Chalonnaise, an enclave which was identified by the monks of Cluny, in the Middle Ages, as having a particularly favourable terroir. Aubert de Villaine, co-owner of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, and his wife Pamela established A & P de Villaine here.
Pierre de Benoist is now based at Domaine A & P de Villaine, as manager. Pierre, Aubert’s nephew, is no stranger to vineyards as his father, Philippe de Benoist, owns Domaine de Nozay, in Sancerre. Pierre joins Aubert and Pamela in their commitment to their land and to the organic viticulture which they exercised, way before the current fashion trend. The Domaine has had organic certification since 1986. This is a special site and in order to respect the natural balance, no herbicides or pesticides are ever used. The vines are planted on nutrient poor limestone which naturally limits yields.
Photo: Entrance to Domaine A & P de VillaineView more info & list of wines
At the very southern tip of Burgundy’s Côte de Beaune, Domaine Cyrot-Buthiau is a small family domaine, based in Pommard. This tiny domaine, comprising a handful of hectares, has been in the family for the last 100 years, and is owned and run today by fourth generation brothers Olivier and Marc-Emmanuel Cyrot, now in their thirties. While Marc looks after the business side, Olivier is the winemaker and achieving critical acclaim for his delicately fragrant Volnays and supple, elegant Pommards from meticulously-tended, terraced vineyards planted high above the village, some dating back seventy years. With the emphasis on terroir, Cyrot-Buthiau’s wines are traditionally styled and classic, yet never lean or green. It is Olivier’s aim to tease out the pleasure of Pinot Noir; the elusive haunting perfume and elegance that characterise the world’s finest examples.
Photo: Olivier CyrotView more info & list of wines
Domaine François Carillon , although recently founded, can trace its ancestry back to the 16th Century, with François himself the sixteenth generation of farmers. The Domaine is borne of Domaine Louis Carillon , Louis being François’ father, now retired. François began working with his father and brother Jacques in 1988. Fascinated from the outset by the vines and their environment, the vineyard became François’ main focus and remains paramount today. François and his brother took over the family Domaine on their father’s retirement, in 2010 they elected amicably to split the estate holdings and thus Domaine François Carillon was established.
Photo: François Carillon (right), Adam Brett-Smith (centre), Percy Weatherall (left)
We are greatly indebted to Clive Coates MW for an introduction to Gilles Jourdan, a lovely man, shy and self-effacing, with whom we would never had any contact had it not been for Clive. The village of Corgoloin is pretty far off the main drag, after all, and the cellar is absolutely tiny. Gilles is obviously and deservedly fiercely proud of his vines and wines. There are just 5 hectares here, part owned part en fermage including a monopole, La Robignotte, a lieu-dit which is absolutely top-notch, for what is essentially a basic villages wine. In past tastings, Gilles has been extremely generous, allowing us to try older vintages in order that we might witness the incredible potential of his vineyard parcels. The structure, complexity and finesse, we have experienced, totally outrank the wines’ status. This is clearly exceptional terroir, allied to well-handled, sensitive winemaking. Gilles Jourdan is a one man band, run with enthusiasm and passion.
Photo: Gilles JourdanView more info & list of wines
Domaine Darnat’s stylish Puligny and Meursault, made from fifty-year-old vines, exhibit the classic mix of richness and elegance that typify the best white Burgundies. Darnat’s small, modern winery in Meursault belies the history and tradition of an estate that dates back 180 years. Fifth generation Henri Darnat is winemaker and today runs all aspects of his modest but thriving business. Passionate about quality and naturally inquisitive, Henri converted his vineyards to organic methods over five years ago and continues to seek (often highly innovative) ways to improve his wines. Some might call him mildly eccentric, yet he is convinced that his ‘living, breathing’ wines – ‘comme mes enfants’ (‘like my children’) – benefit from sensorial input, so his barrel rooms often resound with Bach preludes (‘to give the wines structure and purity’) or Maria Callas arias (‘for richness and soul’).
Photo: Henri DarnatView more info & list of wines
Vincent Dampt is one of Chablis’ rising stars. The youngest generation of an impressive Chablis lineage, Vincent is the son of Daniel Dampt and grandson of Jean Defaix, both admired Chablis producers. Respectful of family tradition, Vincent is nonetheless determined to build his own reputation. Mild-mannered on the surface, Vincent is fiercely passionate about wine and the Chablis terroir, yet open to new ideas and methods in his pursuit of quality. Ever focused, Vincent enrolled himself in winemaking school aged just 14, then worked in France, notably with Olivier Leflaive in Burgundy, before heading to New Zealand’s Marlborough region, an experience he calls mind expanding. Vincent now owns two hectares of prime Chablis and Chablis 1er Cru vineyards, some with 55-year-old vines. Styled to give pleasure, Vincent Dampt’s steely, mineral wines are classic Chablis with a touch of opulence.
Photo: Vincent DamptView more info & list of wines
Domaine Leflaive produces magnificent wines, the hallmark of which is loyalty to and typicity of individual terroir. The wines have personality and extraordinary purity – perfect ambassadors for biodynamic viticulture. At the heart of the biodynamic philosophy is the individual treatment of vines by plant-based compounds, according to a strict timetable, governed by the lunar cycle. Pesticides and chemicals have long been confined to the past. Biodynamic experiments, at Domaine Leflaive, started in the early nineties, and the practices were fully endorsed from 1997. The prime motivation initially was concern about the sustainability of the land but the rewards have extended far beyond the vineyards, which have thrived, to very obvious improvements in quality in the finished wines – a welcome and unexpected bonus.
Photo: Domaine LeflaiveView more info & list of wines
The dawn of the new millennium saw the beginning of an inspired venture when the de Villaine family from Burgundy and the Hyde family of Carneros, California, decided to work together on a family-run project in Carneros, Napa Valley . Thus, with a combined viticultural history spanning some 400 years, Hyde de Villaine came to fruition.
The joint venture between Aubert de Villaine and Larry Hyde was launched in the UK in 2010. The Hyde de Villaine wines, two Chardonnays , a Syrah and a Merlot / Cabernet Sauvignon blend are extraordinary; the result of a unique partnership of skills and cultures, which have resulted some extraordinary wines. These Californian wines combine a degree of the finesse, elegance and refinement, which most of us would associate with European wines, with a balance of richness and vitality afforded by the relatively cool, windy climate of the Carneros region.
Photo: Larry Hyde and Aubert de VillaineView more info & list of wines
Mont du Toit is quietly building its reputation as one of South Africa’s most critically-acclaimed boutique wine estates, whose wines are exclusive to Corney & Barrow in the UK. Nestled at the foot of the mighty Hawequa mountains, Mont du Toit Kelder (cellar in English) was acquired in 1996 by lawyer Stephan du Toit . While the 28-hectare Mont du Toit wine estate is naturally suited to high quality grape growing – with its sloping vineyards, Mediterranean-style climate and complex soils – the du Toits’ unremitting pursuit of quality is the real driving force behind the estate’s success. Their belief in nature as the source of wine quality is reflected in Mont du Toit ’s eco-friendly practices, upheld in the winery under the ‘inspirational guidance’ of German oenologist Bernd Philippi and his team of South African winemakers.
Photo: Bernd PhilippiView more info & list of wines
Olivier Leflaive is one of French Burgundy’s most respected wine producers, offering wines of exceptional quality, consistency and style from village appellations and cru vineyards across the legendary Côte d’Or. While Olivier Leflaive is technically a négociant house, its approach sets it apart from the majority, in that all wines are made from scratch at Olivier Leflaive’s winery in Puligny-Montrachet, rather than bought in as must or pre-made wines like many of its competitors, which allows control over all aspects of the winemaking process. Olivier Leflaive’s lynchpin Franck Grux not only manages relationships with the numerous small grape-growers but makes the wines too. Pure and limpid, Olivier Leflaive’s wines remain true to their origins, yet exhibit something of Franck Grux’s personal style – at once restrained and flamboyant – that is appreciated the world over.
Photo: Olivier LeflaiveView more info & list of wines
The Lane is one of the most exciting wine estates in Australia today. This boutique winery is the brainchild of well-known Aussie winemaker John Edwards, whose long-term dream was to make distinctive wines with all the exuberance of Australian-grown fruit yet classic ‘old world’ structure. It was in the early 1990s that John finally pinpointed the site, high in the Adelaide Hills. The style and quality of The Lane’s exceptional wines is the result of a combination of factors; cool temperatures (for Australia at least!), ancient gravel/limestone and clay soils, meticulous vineyard work, and sensitive winemaking melding ‘old world’ approaches with hi-tech winery wizardry. The Lane is one of the most recent additions to Corney & Barrow’s portfolio of exclusive producers, and we are proud to offer such stunning, focused wines from an estate we believe to be one of Australia’s future icons.
Photo: The Lane vineyardsView more info & list of wines
The beautiful family-run Wiston Estate is nestled in the heart of England’s rolling South Downs in West Sussex. Wiston Estate’s 16-acre vineyard lies on an exceptional, south-facing chalk escarpment similar to the slopes found in the Champagne region. It is planted to the classic trio of champagne grape varieties Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Employing time-honoured methods, Wiston produces a sparkling wine of exceptional finesse and quality.View more info & list of wines