In the glass: what our team is drinking


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

2001 Château la Mission Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux

“A couple of weeks ago, in an attempt to try and cheer up ‘Lockdown 2.0’, I decided to order a fancy takeaway from a favourite local restaurant. It was a classic French menu – pâté to start, boeuf bourguignon for the main course, all topped off with a tarte tatin. To further brighten up the evening, I wanted to open something special from my collection, and landed on a bottle of 2001 La Mission Haut-Brion (it really had to be something French to go with that menu!). It was the ideal accompaniment, perfectly in its drinking window. It was full of dark red fruit, and – while being absolutely strong enough to stand up to the strew – was also wonderfully elegant. Everything was exactly as it should be, this is a stupendous wine, wonderfully balanced, perfectly pure and just downright delicious.”

Rose Saunders, Senior Sales Manager

2015 Domaine de la Grange des Pères Blanc, Pays d’Hérault

“Perhaps my favourite quality of a truly great wine is its power to make any occasion special. That being said, many of my most memorable wine experiences are those which aren’t planned – as was exactly the case with this bottle of 2015 Grange des Pères Blanc. During a weekend break in Cornwall last month, I managed to bag a last-minute booking at Outlaw’s New Road, and on opening the wine list this line immediately caught my eye – a rare find at fine wine merchants, let alone on restaurant lists. I asked the waiter, who to my great disappointment told me the last bottle had sold earlier that day. However, Outlaw has a second restaurant down the road, and having confirmed they had one bottle left, he promptly jogged down a very steep hill, and back, to fetch it.

“The wine itself is simply unlike anything else: 90% Roussanne with a little Chardonnay and Marsanne, made by a man who trained under François Coche-Dury, G’erard Chave and Eloi Dürrbach. The 2015 is still very young, a behemoth of aroma, flavour, structure and texture. Decanted and enjoyed over five hours, it was almost overpowering to begin with – with rich tropical fruit, spice, garrigue herbs, candied lemon and intense minerality. Continually softening and evolving with time, exhibiting an extraordinary array of nuances, this is a masterclass of how to balance raw power with freshness and finesse. One of the best bottles I’ve had this year, thank you to the brilliant team at Outlaw’s New Road for going the extra mile.”

Simon Brewster, Senior Sales Manager

Sennachie, 40-year-old, Cask #83/254-3, Blended Scotch Malt Whisky

“Five undisclosed Speyside and Highland whiskies distilled in 1975, married in 1983 at the age of eight years, and thereafter aged at Springbank Distillery Campbeltown: this is the intriguing make-up of Sennachie’s 40-year-old Cask #83/254-3, a release of 195 bottles and one of the most fascinating whiskies I’ve had the pleasure of drinking. There are five single malt components to pick out, although it’s debatable whether it actually matters. They are in perfect harmony from the outset, with a delightful nose of honey, oranges, shortbread and sweet cinnamon spice. The palate is balanced with red apples, white chocolate and salted caramel. It’s complex and immensely drinkable. The only downside is the spirit’s unique nature; this combination of whiskies and events cannot be repeated, so it’s worth enjoying it while you can.”

David Walters, Head of Spirits

2000 Clos de Vougeot, Grand Cru, Domaine Leroy

“I had the privilege this autumn to taste one of the latest releases from Burgundy’s legendary Domaine Leroy, the 2000 Clos de Vougeot, in a restaurant setting – a rarity for 2020 – making the event perhaps even more special. Big, boisterous, but charming too, this perfect-condition bottle displayed epic concentration and a staggering purity of fruit, something Lalou notes of her 2000s. There was a tautness to everything, like a snake coiled and ready to pounce. Still youthful and gleaming, the perfumed nose was compelling and seemed to fill the entire room! A wine that stops you in your tracks and reminds you why Burgundy continues to run the world.”

Tony Cody, Senior Sales Manager

2010 Gaia, Grosset, Clare Valley, Australia

“It’s relatively rare for me not to drink French – but at my first post-lockdown meal at the Harwood Arms, this caught my eye on the list. I’ve long been a fan of the Grosset wines, and while Polish Hill may be the wine that gets the most press, they’ve clearly been putting effort into Gaia – a Cabernet that now stands up there with the world’s best. This, now a decade old, was still deeply coloured with an expressive nose of dark fruit (ripe blackberries, plums) with underlying tertiary notes. On the palate, the acidity lifted the overall ripe fruit profile from this warm vintage in South Australia. Concentrated and structured, with polished tannins, dried herb notes added complexity to the long finish. Caught at just the right moment, this was drinking beautifully – perhaps all the more so with the sweet taste of freedom.”

Corentin Margier, Head of Buying

Read more on our Editorial section


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