Hambleton’s sommelier Dominique Baduel comes from the south-west corner of France, where his father dealt in the local cheeses. Together with Tim Hart, he selects the wines that take up the 400 bin list. Truly passionate about his craft, Dom needs little encouragement to take guests on a tour of his cellar, where you can see a few thousand bottles waiting for your summons.
Tim and Dominique’s aim for Hambleton’s wine experience is to find interesting choices from a wide range of growing areas. They are prejudiced in favour of small producers and against big brands and believe that their greatest successes with clients often involves introducing wine lovers to something new. The Old World sections such as Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Rhône red wines can be relied upon to include quite a few mature bottles that have been cellared at Hambleton for many years.
“Wine is my true passion. My greatest enjoyment is to spend time with Aaron finding the perfect food and wine combinations which I can then recommend to our diners. My perfect combination? Merryfield Farm duck with a 2012 Petalos Mencia – why? – so subtle, really Burgundian with hints of blood orange.”Says Dominique
Most new wines on the 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” and they may reflect a variety of grapes and represent good value. Wines which are removed from the list are wines which we cannot buy anymore because of vintage changes or because the no longer are to our liking. In the case of very fine wines, specific vintages may be very difficult to buy and may incur a considerable increase in price, therefore we might look for this wine in a different, and often younger version.
A favourite of Dom’s at present is the 2018 Chignin Vieilles Vignes André & Michel Quenard. It is from the Savoie region in France and has aromas of quince, pear and fresh leaf. It is a pale fine grained wine with supple, limpid flavours and a gratifying freshening finish. It is a delicious wine to drink with seafood starters such as crab or scallops and will also compliment poultry or fish dishes in creamy mushroom sauces. Another excellent one is the 2017 Minervois Domaine Combe Blanche Calaniac Terroir which is ripe and fruity and at £33 per bottle shows great value for money.
Some wine is hard to persuade guests to try, but the 2012 Lorch Riesling Trocken from Rheingau from August Kesseler brings joy to the dining experience as guests overcome their trepidation of German wines and Rieslings. This wine has great a balance fruit and acidity, lots of depth of flavour and a lingering dry finish which surprises many especially as it sells at £8 per glass offering incredible value.
Have a look at the Hambleton Hall Wine Offers here Wine Special Offers | Hambleton Hall
The recent introduction of the Coravin system has enabled us to offer a wide range of fine wines by the glass. This has worked well for clients who want to drink a little of the best. Dom usually offers by the glass, using this system, mature Bordeaux and Burgundy (red and white) as well as some top New World Wines and Yquem.
“Arriving at Hambleton to the charming porch full of Le Chameau wellies felt simply wonderful. They welcome you in, the Hall gives you this sort of ‘welcome back you rascal’ hug and each time I see those dramatic scenes covering the walls I have to hold back tears…After going to several wine tastings before, I can’t say I really knew what Dominique had in store for us either. Whether by popularity or purpose, Sommelier Dominique Baduel had created a much more intimate wine tasting…Dominique took us on a journey through the Montalcino region…his delivery was perfect, he was informative and playful with no hint of being patronising, he almost acted as if he was discovering these wonderful wines with us.“Georgie Fenn Oct 2018