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Moginie James... at home | Autumn 2011


British Bubbles


English vineyards are producing more and more quality award winning sparkling wines that rival Champagne from France. In fact, a sparkling wine crafted in Sussex has been judged the best in the world and was deemed appropriate to serve to President Obama on his recent visit. Even the French themselves are investing over here – a sure sign that we are doing something right! Says Mr Balfour-Lyons, vineyard owner and head of the Malmaison and Hotel du Vin groups "the English climate is ideal for producing the right level of acidity and mouthwatering freshness which is vital for good quality Champagne and sparkling wine."


My tip for a great little English sparkling number: Nyetimber Classic Cuvée, circa £28.99


World Heritage Wine?


The Domaine de la Romanee-Conti is the most famous of all the great Burgundy vineyards. Situated just south of Dijon, the vineyard boundaries have remained untouched for 600 years. There are six ‘grand cru’ vineyards (known as ‘climats’) and the original boundaries were probably mapped out by Cistercian Monks from the 4th century onwards. By trial and error (and a great deal of drinking!) the monks discovered that different plots of vines delivered markedly different tastes and qualities, all from the classic Pinot Noir grape. The La Tache vineyard, the most famous estate of all, can sell for upwards of £12,000 a bottle and yet its neighbour in the same appellation of Vosne Romanee might only achieve £30. The greatest wine experience of my life was drinking a bottle of the 1953 La Tache over lunch with Auberon Waugh – there was so much sediment that I fi ltered the remaining 1/4 of the wine though a tissue and gave a sip to my wine class that evening – and to this day I am reminded of the experience!


There is now a campaign to make the Romanee-Conti Vineyards a UNESCO world heritage site, on the basis that “authenticity and quality is everything”. This will certainly irritate other renowned producers from


famous regions such as Bordeaux and Champagne – we’re bracing ourselves for another major battle within the rather prim world of top French wine producers!


Investments In Vino


You may have heard about the extreme prices paid by Chinese buyers for famous red wines? Now we bring news of the most expensive white wine produced – a 200 year old bottle of the 1811 vintage of Chateau d'Yquem, the most famous desser t wine from Bordeaux, was sold for £75,000 to a hotel owner in Bali. Whilst this might be out of reach for most wine afi cionados, may I recommend instead a bottle of the 1995 for a mere £399 a bottle – an investment for your great great grandchildren perhaps!?


The Oxford Wine Company is an award winning wine merchants supplying a host of well known South Wales restaurants including Pier 64, The Thai House, The Promised Land, Woods Brassiere and Fonmon Castle. Wine buffs can also purchase directly via the website from www.


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oxfordwine.co.uk or from Deli a GoGo in Whitchurch www.deliagogo.com


Event News


Charles Reardon-Smith of the Oxford Wine Company and renowned wine author Mike Roberts will be hosting a wine tasting at T e New Conway, Pontcanna on November 8th. To book, call Neil or Derri on 02920 224373.


Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Vineyards


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