Pinot Gris from Germany...

No beating about the bush this week as we are straight into “Weekly Indulgence” territory at £35.00 a Bottle. I don’t bang the drum that often for Germany. Perhaps only ever once if truth be told. Well worth doing now. We have a paltry 24 Bottles (wooden cases of 6) of a pretty special German Pinot Gris. For anyone who likes things good, different, rare, dry, minerally this should hit the respective marks.


Ziereisen Jaspis “Grauer Burgunder Alte Reben” 2009 Germany at £ 35.00 per Bottle

“Pinot Gris – Old Vines”


A touch of creamy new oak on the nose but this rich, intense, deeply-coloured pinot gris was a veritable treat t’other night with a veal chop at nearby Sally Clarke’s. Terrific stuff.

If you don’t feel bold enough to go the whole hog and buy a case, certainly worth dropping by to grab a singleton to experience the unique flavour of this substantial yet balanced German.




En Primeur


A fair few of you are or have been steadfast and stoic En Primeur customers over the years. The last few years have seen less and less reasons to indulge in this once crucial, useful and once eminently viable game. I hope it will return but only 3 in 7 years have shown this to be a wise move. Luckily I have a habit of pushing you to the good stuff! With the strengthening pound taking a real effect on 2009 & 2010 Bordeaux I have to hand-on-heart advise my most regular Bordeaux drinkers, my most regular cellarers, to consider going retro instead. We have a couple of 2005 cellars to offer and we also have a select and well-priced band of 2009’s to recommend. If you were once a solid En Primeur buyer yet have had an empty barrow for the last 2-3 years and thus feeling a gap or two emerging, I would strongly suggest you look to some better value Grand Cru Classé Bordeaux, from these still classic Vintages and much can still be had at around £ 250-350 a case. If so, just let me know and I’ll tell you what I’d be happy to recommend you personally and on an individual basis.





Silly Season:


“12 Years A Slave” – a singular, brutal but effective film. A couple of irritating details to me – one of my biggest pet hates – flashbacks, most especially when so disjointed and ill-timed as here. The music in the first half was also way too trendy and incongruous for its own good. The cinematography was pretty sumptuous but no more so than “Hyde Park On Hudson” which I belatedly watched earlier this week. Variable performances but at times they were brilliant. I’d be surprised if Chiwetel Ejiofor doesn’t win the Best Actor Oscar. Typically this goes to the best role as opposed to necessarily the best actor (think roles like Rain Man, My Left Foot…) but as near to a shoe-in as I see. On a further critical note, as good as Chiwetel Ejiofor is in 12 Years, I thought Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth in Hudson wasn’t, she sounded more Queen Viv than Queen Elizabeth! Still retro and on the topic of big lapels and flares I did venture out to see “American Hustle” at the local flee-pit, The Coronet but it was sold-out and so a fast Taxi onto Hitler’s favourite London building, Whiteleys! There too sold-out so struck out at the bottom of the ninth. Must be something good about it so I’ll have another swing later.


On finally finishing the near 700 pages of “Warsaw 1944 – The Fateful Uprising” it reminded me once more that the Poles (pound-for-pound perhaps our best Allies) were deliberately excluded from the V.E. Day Celebrations in 1945. Strong political reasons directly from Stalin to do so but unequivocally a social injustice then and one that has never been corrected by us. 70 years on and given that it is still, just, in living memory I felt next Remembrance Day would be the perfect time to correct this egregious insult to the Poles and duly wrote to David Cameron to say so. He has the opportunity to be the first P.M. post Churchill to amend this error at least. He did at least reply yesterday but the letter was uncannily similar to the last response I had from his office on a wholly different topic and is merely referring me to the “Department for Culture, Media & Sport”. Not personally where I would classify Poland!! If not accurate, consistent at least.


Wine Glass