This is part 2 of my wonderful year in wine 2017 as seen through the lens of a camera. So many wonderful people encountered, delicious wines consumed and wonderful experiences forged into long term memories.
Part 2: April to June 2017
Many a late evening spent Chez Sherwood with this fella, David Shaw. Our friendship was truly forged through fine wine… Champagne Cristal 1985 in this instance.
After a busy session judging and tasting in South Africa, it was straight back to Europe and a week in Bordeaux to assess the 2016 En-primeur vintage. Always fun tasting with this chap – Tim Atkin MW. Funny enough, he knows a little bit about Bordeaux as well as South African wine!
Contemplation in wine… with Chateau Le Pin 2016 and a true gentleman of Bordeaux, Jacques Thienpont.
Still in Bordeaux! One of my favourite winemakers of all time, Peter Sisseck, taking us through his 2016 St Emilion Rocheyron as well as Pingus 2016! Delicious! 🍷
No trip to Bordeaux is ever complete without a tasting with the original bad boy himself, Jean-Luc Thunevin.
Lovely to see Philippe Bascule again at Chateau Margaux after I narrowly missed him in Napa Valley in March at Inglenook, where he is still consulting for 6 weeks a year.
Tasting with François Mitjavile of Tertre Roteboeuf in St Emilion. A truly passionate individual making some of the most individually great wines in St Emilion.
After tasting in Bordeaux, it was great to hook up again with these gals, Amelia Singer and Andrea Mullineux, in London for the UK Leeu Passant launch. Who says the world of wine is dominated by men!??
End of another year at the popular Remedy Wine Bar. Plenty of wonderful wine moments enjoyed there with these two, owner David Clawson (left) and regular quaffer-in-chief David Shaw.
We are very fortunate that the awesome Noble Rot Restaurant and Wine Bar is going strong. Here the whole rat pack enjoying an evening of 89/90 Chave, Jaboulet, Pegau and Beacastel! L to R. Neal Martin, Dan Keeling, Rowley Leigh, Luis Gutierrez (from the Wine Advocate) and a very generous wine collector!
Funny enough, Luis Gutierrez was on holiday in London with his family and we bumped into them all at the Remedy Wine Bar the following night! Introducing Luis to Testalonga Wish I Was a Ninja Colombard Pet Nat!
Attending the inauguration of the new Institute of Masters of Wine HQ in Battersea with a few friendly MW faces.
Lots of fun to be had when Uncle Ernie visits London. Great tasting through his delicious Ernst Loosen 2016 Rieslings.
Attending the legendary Michael Broadbent MW’s 90th Birthday at Vintners’ Hall with his son Bartholomew Broadbent and a host of wine trade celebrities. A great honour.
Always fun catching up with Craig Hawkins in London for his refreshing take on winemaking! Love his latest releases.
A real wine trade power crowd gathered to celebrate the launch of The Telegraph journalist Victoria Moore’s new book, Wine Dine Dictionary. A great piece of work.
Fellow guests Will Lyons, Anne Burchett and Anthony Rose (above) and Matt Walls, Dan Keeling and Julia Harding MW (below).
Always exciting tasting the new Barolo releases with Theresa Mascarello (below). Her wines are becoming uber collectable and near impossible to buy on release.
Wonderful privilege to taste and write up a superb Creation Pinot Noir Reserve Vertical with JC and Caroline Martin at the wonderful 67 Pall Mall. Awesome Hemel-En-Aarde Ridge wines.
Lovely to finally meet Winemaker Norm Hardie at the Wines of Canada tasting at Canada House on Trafalgar Square. Some superb cool climate Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs.
May month means London Wine Trade Fair time. Always a privilege to taste with the legendary Steven Spurrier.
Catching up with my California Trip partners in crime at the trade fair, journalist Peter Ranscombe and master blogger, Mike Turner. Two very talented wine trade commentators.
Another of my favourite winemakers, Julien Schaal, has had a fantastically successful year being awarded his first Platter Guide 5 Stars. Great catching up with him at his importers London Portfolio Tasting.
My other California Trip partner in crime… Sir Colin Hampden – White. An amazingly talented photographer, wine judge and Whiskey Editor & connoisseur. Sharing memories together of our Raymond Winery visit in March.
A big highlight of the year sharing a long lazy lunch with Pinotage king Beyers Truter. Such a lovely chap and full of very entertaining wine trade stories. He has certainly been around the block!
June highlights wouldn’t be complete without mentioning my fabulous trip back to South Africa to celebrate my father Roy’s 80th birthday with a special bottle of Bogogno Cannubi Barolo Riserva 1937.
Posted by my old school pal Fortunato Mazzone at his amazing new restaurant, Forti’s Grill and Bar. Such a special evening with so many fab bottles of wine including this Drappier Grande Sendre 1988!
Managed to squeeze a standard 9 hour wine trade lunch in with the great Derek Kilpin of fine wine specialist importer Great Domaines. A lot of special bottles consigned to history!
I had the pleasure of Dirk Niepoort’s company several times through the year at numerous tastings and lunches, none more exciting than the Niepoort 2015 Vintage Port Launch Tasting! What a legend!
Pleasure to host Giuseppe Vajra from Piedmont for an fabulous tasting including vintages of one of my favourite Barolo crus, Bricco delle Viole. Burgundy meets Barolo!
Hans Vinding Diers was born on the Rustenberg Estate! Now days this cousin of Peter Sisseck is happily married with his first child making some truly amazing wines down in Patagonia, Argentina. I can’t wait to visit there one day!
Another great picture with two of my great wine pals, Car Boot lady Ruth Spivey and Remedy Wine Bar owner David Clawson. Smiles all round after a superb Burgundy lunch at Cabotte Restaurant.
Perfectly fitting to end my second instalment of my year in wine through pictures with two people who work tirelessly promoting South African wine, Jo Wehring and Andre Morgenthal. What a year it’s been for South African wine, especially in London with the phenomenal Old Vines Project Tasting launch at the South African High Commission being one of my vinous highlights of the year!