Magazine article The Spectator

Spectator Wine

Magazine article The Spectator

Spectator Wine

Article excerpt

First things first: the chap at the top of this column undoubtedly resembles me. But I don't recognise the expression from my mirror. Why, being a wine writer makes anyone a happy, cheery, contented soul, not an old sourpuss!

And these wines should have a cheering effect, in spades. A few months ago we offered some long-aged clarets from The Wine Company of Colchester. They had acquired them from a merchant in Switzerland, and they proved a considerable success. Now we're extending the offer to more of these intriguing wines.

These are not the very finest from Bordeaux. The Far Eastern market has made the very top names unaffordable for all but a handful of people in this country (a case of the 2009 Chateau Lafite has just sold in Hong Kong for £43,000, or £600 a glass). But these are all extremely good wines, matured, rounded and - to my surprise and pleasure - remarkably different from each other.

There is a style here for everyone, and you can see which suits you best by obtaining the sample case.

With wines of this age, some nearly 30 years old, care is required, and with your order The Wine Company will send instructions on how to store them, how to ease out sometimes fragile corks, and how to serve.

And every bottle comes with a firm guarantee: if it has gone off, The Wine Company will replace it, no questions asked. After the last offer, surprisingly few people seemed to find anything wrong.

Stocks are necessarily limited, so if you are interested you might want to get your order in quickly. The wines also have to be shipped into the UK, and deliveries will begin at the end of this month.

First the white. This Domaine de la Solitude, from Pessac-Leognan 1996 (1), is a smasher. It may be 14 years old, but it's still crisp and fresh, with an added depth suggesting vanilla and hazelnuts. Not many white wines at this price - £17. …

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