A week in South Africa in early December visiting a host of great wine producers was an easy invite to accept and so with bags suitably packed, off I headed for Cape Town. It was to be a series of incredible visits and a real eye opener to the vast improvements that have taken place in South African wine since my last visit in 2010.
On Monday, we welcomed members of the trade and press to our 2015 Burgundy En Primeur Tasting at 67 Pall Mall. Those who braved the appalling weather and tube strike were welcomed by a room of joyous wines. 2015 was a fantastic vintage across the board.
The saying goes that Christmas is a time to 'eat, drink and be merry', and this is certainly a mantra that we at Lea & Sandeman try to live by.
For many, Californian Wine means one thing – the big, rich, bold style – fruit-laden whoppers embodied most often by the wines from the Napa valley – but after 10 days hard study and exploration along the dramatic coastline of this beautiful state, we have learnt lots and there is great variety for those looking for more.
It that's time of year again and Champagne is back on the list of essentials. We've added our best possible prices to certain Grandes Marques champagnes as well as on one of our favourite Grower Champagnes: Barnaut Grande Réserve Brut (just £22.95 in a six pack).
The December issue of Decanter landed on our doorstep this morning, and we were delighted to see some really high praise for lots of wines in the L&S portfolio. The ‘Weekday Wines’ section is put together each month by Tastings Director Christelle Guibert. It features 25 wines for less than £20, all of them a little different or adventurous in their own way.
Whenever we are in Italy, we enjoy the great Champagne look-a-likes of Franciacorta (from Lombardy, in Northern Italy), and easily understand why these great wines have such a following in their home market, even though the Italians are great connoisseurs and consumers of Champagne as well.
With the emergence of new wine regions in the southern hemisphere came the freedom to grow what you wanted in terms of what grape variety you planted and what you called your wine. Things changed slowly as ‘Chablis’ from Australia was clobbered by the wine authorities and you can no longer grow ‘Sauternes’ in Livermore County, California.
Late September is a good time to head to Portugal for a couple of days - you get some welcome sunshine before the Christmas run in begins and, as the harvest is coming in, there’s plenty to see.
Global warming is likely to have both positive and negative effects on wine production throughout the world. Southern England is becoming the new Champagne, while many areas where wine has been produced for centuries are becoming unsuitable for vinis vinefera. Much has been written about the changing climate and its effect.
Chelsea Tasting - Rhône Valley Tickets are selling fast for our next themed tasting from 8.00pm on Wednesday 2nd November at 170 Fulham Road as we enjoy a selection of our wines from the Rhône Valley. This is the home of Viognier and Syrah (Shiraz), as well as the spicier Grenache and Mourvèdre, which make more intense and full-bodied wines.
Pre-shipment Offer A sticky start to the week with two outstanding Sweet Wines released already! Although at very different ends of the price spectrum, in terms of history, quality and reputation, these two have a surprising amount in common.