Reflections on tasting from barrel: revisiting Vincent Dancer

Tasting from bottle is essentially a matter of recording one’s impressions. Bottled wines are stable and evolve comparatively slowly; though they may be more or less open, easier or more difficult to read, tasting them is, at least in principle, a simple enough task. Tasting from barrel is appreciably more difficult: seldom does one encounter … More Reflections on tasting from barrel: revisiting Vincent Dancer

A tasting with Jean-Charles Fagot

The wines of the Côte d’Or are becoming unaffordable. Village wines from the most sought-after domaines routinely retail for three-figure sums. It’s a problem felt particularly acutely by restaurants, so it’s not surprising that one man who’s bucking the trend is a restaurateur: Jean-Charles Fagot, the proprietor of one of my favourite places to eat … More A tasting with Jean-Charles Fagot

The best bottles of 2016

2016 has been a truly wonderful year, replete with great wines. Exploring the 2015 vintage in Burgundy and Germany in particular has left indelible memories—after all, who could forget tasting 2015s with the likes of Klaus-Peter Keller and Marie-André Mugneret? And I’ve been reminded time and again of the kindness and humanity that abound among … More The best bottles of 2016

Things Fall Apart

What do we mean when we say a wine has fallen apart? As someone who regularly extols the virtues of bottle age, it seems appropriate to devote some attention to what happens when cellaring doesn’t bring improvement. And it seems to me that interesting discussions about the nature of graceful evolution in the bottle are … More Things Fall Apart

Inimitable Mitjaville: the wines of Tertre Rotebœuf

A visit to François Mitjaville is inevitably memorable. At Tertre Rotebœuf, contemporary Bordeaux—in reality just over the horizon—feels a world away. That’s partly because its proprietor is so uncommon: it would be easy to imagine this ‘charming genius’ at home among the Enlightenment philosophes; an impression only intensified by his elegant eighteenth-century farmhouse and the … More Inimitable Mitjaville: the wines of Tertre Rotebœuf