1. What is new on your list and why were these wines chosen?
Most new wines on our list are favourites that we have been tasting lately they are often wines which will be listed on our first page “wines of the moment” they reflect a varieties of grapes and taste from different countries and represent good value.
Wines which are removed from our list are wines which we cannot buy anymore because of vintage changes and didn’t get our appreciation and liking.
In the case of very fine wines running out of a specific vintage might be very difficult to rebuy with a considerable increase in price range therefore we might look for this wine in a different often younger version.
2. What have guests been buying more of recently?
We have seen a trend for buying white burgundies such as Chassagne and Puligny 1 er Cru from top growers and also Chablis grand cru. Top Bordeaux grand cru wines have also been very popular. Immediately after the lockdown lifted guests were definitely catching up with the lost time but now everyone has calmed back to usual standards and are enjoying a wide range.
3. What wines will you recommending to accompany Hambleton’s seasonal menus?
With ingredients such as partridge pheasant teal and woodcock in season I will be recommending mature red burgundies from Dujac but also some new world pinot noir from Au Bon Climat Santa Maria Valley winery but also New Zealand and South Africa.
With venison and hare I will recommend bigger reds such as Chateauneuf du Pape we just bought some new vintages of Vieux Telegraph and Clos des Papes also wines from the Languedoc region are favourites of mine such as Cahors Chateau du Cedre but also Faugeres Leon Barral and L’Hospitale La Clape from Gerard Bertrand.
In addition I have choices of wine by the glass using the Coravin system allowing me to serve top wines such as Priorat Clos Martinet and Hermitage Jean Louis Chave.
4. What is your most unusual wine on your current list?
It has to be our 2018 Chignin Vieilles Vignes André & Michel Quenard which sells on our wine of the moment page at £37.00 per bottles it is from the Savoie region in France it has aromas of quince, pear and fresh leaf scents it is a pale fine grained wine with supple, limpid flavours and a gratifying freshening finish. It’s a delicious wine to drink with either seafood starters such as crab meat or even scallops but will also compliment poultry of fish dishes in creamy mushroom sauces.
5. What is your best value wine in your opinion?
Our 2017 Minervois Domaine Combe Blanche Calaniac Terroir it is a wine which is shouting of its place so beautifully it is very authentic ripe and fruity and at £33.00 per bottles shows great value for money.
6. What is the most underrated wine in your opinion?
The 2014 Grand Village Bordeaux White which we sell at £40.00 a bottle it is made by the revered Guinaudeau family owner of the famous Chateau Lafleur in Pomerol.
A blend of 50% Semillon and 50% Sauvignon grown on the clay limestone soils of Fronsac. Half of the wine is aged in tank and half in oak barrels, but oak flavour is far from the aim here.
The wine bursts with clear, vibrant, zesty flavours of white grapefruit, gooseberry, sicilian lemon and stone with an interesting herbal twist and a hint of butter. A wonderfully expressive and engaging white Bordeaux.
7. Which wine is the hardest to persuade guests to try but generates the most joy.
It’s got to be the 2012 Lorch Riesling Trocken from Rheingau from August Kesseler because of the mentality there is in England about German wines and Riesling this wine has great balance fruit and acidity lots of depth of flavours and a lingering dry finish which surprised most our guests it sells at £8.00 a glass and again is such great value.
8. What are your top recommendations for guests with deep pockets?
Grand Crus Bordeaux such as Haut Brion and Mouton Rothchild but also Vega Sicilia Unico and Sassicaia Chapelle Chambertin Grand Cru from Damoy Corton Charlemagne from Rollin Meursault from Conte Lafon Hermitage from Jean Louis Chave Penfold Grange and Henschke Hill of Grace and Chateau d’Yquem of course.
9. What wine offers are available to guests?
10. If you were a wine, which would you be?
Dom Perignon because I have been there and I adored every single vintages I tasted including their fabulous oenotheque range.
11. Which is the winery you would most like to visit when you next have the chance to travel abroad?
The Swartland is a beautiful and wild place. The landscape is a series of rolling hills with a few significant outcrops of rock that form the Paardeberg, Kasteelberg and Piketberg mountains. It is not an easy place to establish vines, and is a region that has as much of an influence on the vineyards and people who farm there as the people have on the land itself.