A Madame Lalou Bize-Leroy Dinner

A Madame Lalou Bize-Leroy Dinner

Friday 2nd November 2018
by Alex Turnbull

Two weeks ago a very special dinner took place at 61 St James’s Street celebrating the wines of Madame Lalou Bize-Leroy and others. 

It was a magical evening, made all the better by exceptional food from Simpkin and Roses. All of the Bize-Leroy wines, including the Romanee Conti’s, came from the Justerini & Brooks Cellar, where they have been sitting since shipping from the respective Domaines on release. These are my notes.

Kicking off the evening with a glass of fizz and a canapé, we tried two vintages of iconic Champagne Salon from Les Mesnil Sur Oger. Easily one of the most instantly recognisable Champagne houses, it was fascinating to try the 1999 and 1996 in quick succession. Some wines have the remarkable ability to transport you back in time, and the 1999 did just that. Orchard and citrus fruits of apples and lemons, with a lovely creamy texture and a perfumed finish, I am pleased to report that the 1999 has barely developed since the last time I tried it and shows all of the signs that it will continue to age at a snail-like pace. The 1996 which we drunk next was marginally more evolved but no less delicious, and definitely entering its drinking window now.

Whisky: A Celebration of Scotch

Whisky: A Celebration of Scotch

Thursday 15th February 2018
by Alex Turnbull

In celebration of International Scotch Day,  we held a very special whisky masterclass showcasing six rare and highly sought after drams. 

Amongst a line-up of greats the unanimous favourite was Linkwood 37 year old, an elegant and stylish whisky that debuted as a 2016 Special Release and of which stocks are dwindling fast. Located in the north of Speyside just outside of Elgin and on a beautiful lake home to a myriad of wildlife, there has always been something undeniably romantic about Linkwood. One of the few single malts to be sold as such in the Victorian era, the gentle spirit made here has always been in high demand from blenders, and alas there is never enough of it. What makes Linkwood so special is its ability to straddle dimensions; its new make spirit is light and fragrant in character and yet on the palate it has considerable weight and depth which when matured offers the drinker an ethereal experience.

A Vinous Voyage: Three Days in Chile

A Vinous Voyage: Three Days in Chile

Wednesday 11th October 2017
by Alex Turnbull

I have just returned from Chile where I spent three incredible days visiting Viña Errázuriz whose illustrious portfolio includes icon wines Don Maximiano, Seña and Viñedo Chadwick. As part of a larger group of UK wine merchants and importers we were the guests of Eduardo Chadwick Claro, the fifth generation of Errázuriz and the visionary who set out in 1983 to rebuild the family firm. 


Eduardo is one of the most inspirational people I have had the chance to meet and, although he will be humble and say he is only half way there, what he has already accomplished for the reputation of Chilean wine is remarkable. With head winemaker Francisco Baettig accompanying us, it was a pleasure to spend three days with Eduardo learning about what makes these wines so special.


As with all wine regions, geography is important. Chile is a long and narrow country defined by its geographic barriers. Stretching over 4,300km and with desert to the north, the Andes Mountains to the east, Patagonia to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west Chile has, unsurprisingly, a wide range of climates. The Humboldt Current that descends from Peru creates a permanent chilling effect and when coupled with the South Pacific anticyclone a temperate Mediterranean climate forms in the middle of the country around Santiago. Predictably this is where most of Chile’s vineyards are found.