The Super 7
The super 7. The most memorable wines in my wine life so far.
Blandys vintage 1907 Bual Madeira. Enjoyed with 3 generations of family in a holiday cottage, Gunwalloe Cove, Cornwall.
My wife and I drove down to meet my parents and grandparents on holiday for a week in Cornwall. I had this bottle lurking at home after finding it in Bottoms Up Wine Warehouse in Weybridge. It was a snip and my eyes lit up as soon as I saw it. Upon opening it, the cork disintegrated down into the bottle so I sieved it through an old tea towel! From start to finish it was astonishing. The colour was engine oil chestnut brown, sweet caramel and spirit on the nose, amazing freshness with overripe nutty sultana fruits. Length 5 mins plus. Everyone went quiet when we first tried it, always a good sign!
Chateau Margaux 1986, First Growth Bordeaux Enjoyed at the Glass Bottom Boat restaurant in Bristol .
My best man and best friend Warren and I decided we would go out to celebrate the night before my wedding. After a trip to a snooker hall ( don't ask! ) we settled into the restaurant who had already agreed we could bring our own bottle at a corkage charge of £10. As the waiter began to open it a small gathering grew around the bottle. As we enjoyed the wine with our meal, every sip was slightly different and more compelling. I remember it disappeared so quickly, which is also a memory as it’s the most expensive bottle I've ever bought! Such a brilliant mahogany colour and a fantastic perfumed nose, glorious polished feel in the mouth, smoke, rich fruits, astonishing seamless palate and finish. It was worth every penny.
Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos 1993 Enjoyed at home with my wife.
In my job, I get quite a few people ask me advice about wine. One lady came in and said she had some wine in the back of her garage and could I pop round and value it. It was nearby so I agreed. When I got there, the garage had been demolished and the wines were sat in the open, and it was raining! Of the 30 odd bottles, 4 were of interest to me, the rest past it. I bought the
4 and this one was the best. I drank it that night and it taught me that old white wines can be amazing. Platinum gold in colour with a racy freshness, it had electric clarity and elegance across the palate. It did
not show it's 22 year age at all!
Champagne Lanson 1989 Vintage Enjoyed at our best friends house in Weston super Mare.
I stumbled across these seminal vintage champagnes released by Lanson in wooden triple gift boxes to celebrate the bonkers 1988,1989,1990 vintage years. The boxes themselves looked the part, but the champagnes inside were out of this world. I bought all I could find and drank them on several occasions. ( I even found some Magnum sets too!) My fav was the 1989. The bubble was so fine and small in the glass, like tiny jewels. A toasted brioche aroma, glorious richness and finesse of acidity and just so easy to drink. This bottle reminds me of decadent days from the past.
Chateau Leoville Las Cases 1985, St Julien Second Growth, Bordeaux. Enjoyed on Christmas Day with my wife and her parents.
I had spent 8 years or so sourcing magic high end wines to show off to the in-laws on Christmas Day, when I struck gold with this Bordeaux. I knew it was going to be good, but the near misses from previous years were still in my mind. ( we had enjoyed a Vosne - Romanee the previous year as I was eager to enjoy it, but it was too young...doh! )The Leoville las Cases was a star. Cork in perfect condition, a nose of vanilla pod, cassis and warm red fruits. An earthy touch opened to the most sublime mouthfeel and oak integrated palate. It felt like heaven, immediately. My lasting memory was my father in-law almost wringing the neck of the bottle to get the last drops out. What a Christmas! Chateau Reynella 1997 Basket Press Shiraz, McLaren Vale Australia Enjoyed with my wife to be, when we first started courting.
Invited round for a meal, I said I would bring a bottle of wine. I had known this beautiful person for a matter of weeks, the beginning of our relationship. It was early days for me in the wine world and I knew nothing. I took this bottle as it was the best Sainsburys had. The first glass went down ok, and then a lightning bolt hit. The second glass had had time to aerate and the temperature of the wine had changed a bit. ( I realise this now! ) IT TASTED AMAZING. I called out, " quick, come and taste this wine again" We enjoyed the wine, chatting and discussing it's elements and flavours throughout the meal. This wine pulled me into the wine world, and for that I am grateful.
Chateau Batailley 1977, Pauillac, Fifth Growth Bordeaux Enjoyed on my 40th Birthday with friends and my parents.
This is my favourite Bordeaux estate. I love the label, the name, it's historic past and the wines ability to age for decades. I am currently trying to drink every year of this wine that has been made between 1966 and 2000.
So when invited by my long term General Manager and confidant to a 40th Birthday meal at hers, I needed some 40 year old Batailley! It did not disappoint, even though we enjoyed it way past the expected point of maturity. That's the thing about Batailley, it ages so well. The colour was still brick red with a touch of orange skin on the rim. Liquorice and leather on the nose, silky totally tannin free palate. It was fresh, vibrant, multi layered and alive. It was so good we opened and drank all 3 bottles I had brought.