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In the glass

Each month, we ask a handful of our team to pick a wine or spirit they’ve tasted recently – a bottle that surprised, delighted or merely lived up to high expectations. Here’s what they chose

2005 Charmes-Chambertin, Grand Cru, Dennis Bachelet

“Denis Bachelet’s wines are part of our family history, and we have always followed the domaine. My family has been bottling their wines for two generations so we always had access to them and could see the evolution of the estate over the years. Today, Bachelet is considered one of the best domaines in Gevrey-Chambertin, especially for their Premier Cru and exceptional village wine. They own vines in only one Grand Cru – Charmes-Chambertin, but in my opinion their Charmes is the best. The vines are over 90 years old and situated directly across from Chambertin. The wine is always beautifully calibrated and refined. I drank the 2005 with my family over Christmas; it was perfectly balanced, powerful, concentrated and the tannins beautifully silky. If you can hold off I would say it will reach its full potential in another five years or so, but it’s providing great drinking pleasure now too.”

Antoine Ninot, Buyer 

2017 Grüner Veltliner Smaragd, Ried Honivogl, Franz Hirtzberger, Wachau, Austria

“I opened this over the festive period and was blown away by it. It’s probably the best Grüner Veltliner I’ve ever had. The nose was full of white flowers, tropical fruit and apricot. The apricot really made me miss Austria! The best time to visit the Wachau is the flowering of apricot trees in spring – Austria’s sakura. On the palate, the fruit continues, matched with spicy notes, minerality and honey. It is rich, and the oak barrels no doubt give it that creamy texture. With three years of age, it was in a perfect spot, but it will be nice to taste this bottle in a few years, the wine has so much potential. In terms of structure, it actually reminds me of Corton-Charlemagne. I had it with creamed chanterelles, utterly delicious!”

Magda Riepler, Brand Designer

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2010 Brunello di Montalcino, Caparzo, Tuscany, Italy

“After all the stunning 2016 Brunello releases that have been coming out in recent months, it spurred me to explore another great vintage from the region. I was keen to see how the 2010s, now with a bit of bottle age, are developing. My first of the 2010s was Caparzo’s Brunello which still remains remarkably vibrant at 10 years of age, but the tannins are now melding beautifully on the mid-palate and are fully integrated with the fruit. The nose needed coaxing to start and, while not exuberant, the measured, perfumed nose is deep and complex and notably clean – roasted cherries, sweet fresh tobacco, pot-pourri, incense, dried lavender, it’s all there! The palate is still taut but pure, with damson fruit dominating, complemented by orange bitters and dark chocolate notes. This is really enjoying its mid-life, still not at full potential but I love the clarity, it’s not drying at all on the finish. It remains pretty compact, but will no doubt unfurl over the next five years.”

Gavin Smith, Fine Wine Editor

2004 Aloxe-Corton, Premier Cru, Les Vercots, Domaine Tollot-Beaut

“There is something very satisfying catching a wine at its peak. Pop and pour and there is instantly a fragrant nose of cherries, and savoury leather. The tannins are totally integrated on the palate, so silky and fine, and finishes with a touch of mineral freshness. It’s a classic, elegant Aloxe-Corton from an underrated vintage, holding up well and drinking beautifully now. This wine was shipped to me in Hong Kong two months ago and I’m already on my third bottle!”

Ken Hui, Senior Account Manager

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2014 The Hilt, Chardonnay, Santa Rita Hills, California

“With the New Year came another lockdown – I’ve lost track of which number it is – and after a long day of home schooling and work, I recently enjoyed this bottle of New World Chardonnay. As with most French people, I used to only consider Burgundy for Chardonnay, but I was truly happy to see how well this wine could challenge my favourite region for white wines. I was instantly seduced by its minerality, the toasty oak notes and the slight brioche flavours that wonderfully enhance the white fruit flavours. It has a lovely concentration, but not overripe, and it has a delicious, long finish. I could definitely get used to this as my regular go-to lockdown treat!”

Celian Ravel d’Estienne, Portfolio Advisor

Read more on our Editorial section

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