Our wine tasting evenings are designed to appeal to people who appreciate fine wine.

They are relaxed and informal in style. The tutor will give some background information and then simply introduce each wine and encourage discussion. A wine tasting sheet and, where appropriate, maps will be provided but not detailed notes.

Upcoming Events

Jun 2019

California – The Napa Valley • Thursday, 27th June in London – Holborn

A selection of fine wines from some of the Napa Valley’s top producers:-

Chardonnay – Hagafen Cellars
Viognier – McManis Family
Pinot Noir – Saintsbury Lee Vineyard
Merlot – Long Meadow Ranch Winery
Petite Syrah – Three Clicks Wines
Cabernet Franc – Viader Vineyards
Cabernet Sauvignon – Silverado Vineyards
Zinfandel – Rombauer Vineyards

Tutor: Vivienne Franks with Malcolm Franks

Jul 2019

Bordeaux – Crus Bourgeois • Monday, 1st July in London – Holborn

The ‘Cru Bourgeois’ classification was established in 1932 by Médoc châteaux that had not been included in the 1855 Bordeaux ‘Grand Cru Classé’ system. Focussed, from the outset, on quality, they delegated the job of deciding whether a château merited classification to an elected committee and, unlike their more illustrious counterpart, made periodic reviews of performance part of the system. Given the subjective nature of the committee’s decisions, controversy was inevitable and in 2003, châteaux that had been ‘de-classified’ took their grievances to court and won. The consequence was that ‘Cru Bourgeois’ was re-invented as a seal of quality, administered by a third party.

We have selected 8 fine examples from the excellent 2016 vintage for you – Châteaux Vieux Moulin, Lacour Jacquet, Peyredon La Gravette, Rollan de By, Moulin de Canhaut, Maison Blanche, Pierre de Montignac and Noillac.

Tutor Vivienne Franks with Malcolm Franks.

Chile – New Wines From Old Vines • Thursday, 11th July in London – Holborn

Over the last few years, pioneering grape growers and wine makers in Chile have been busy seeking out new vineyard locations to take advantage of the country’s special geography and climate. We are just starting to see the early results of their work and very impressive they are too. Our selection of wines for this tasting will include some from Chile’s growing number of small, boutique wineries. You will taste a crisp, full-flavoured Riesling, a wonderfully aromatic Sauvignon Blanc, two soft, silky, cool-climate Pinots, two elegant Syrahs and two classic Bordeaux blends.

Tutor – Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie.

Moulin Touchais – Liquid Gold From The Loire Valley • Monday, 15th July in London – Holborn

One of the Loire’s most prestigious estates, Moulin Touchais has been farmed by the Touchais family since 1787. The vineyards, on south facing slopes along the valley of the river Layon, are planted with Chenin Blanc. The wines, made from carefully selected, late picked grapes are very pure, opulently sweet but with good balancing acidity. Aged for a minimum of 10 years before release they develop beautifully in bottle.

You will taste 6 vintages of this rare wine, including the ’03, ’02, ’97, 96, ’86 and ’85 preceded by a fine Savennieres (the Chenin that smells sweet but tastes dry) from Baumard and a barrel aged Anjou Blanc from Chateau des Fesles..

Tutor Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie

English Sparkling Wines • Thursday, 25th July in London – Holborn

English sparkling wines have started to beat grande marque Champagnes to the medals in international competitions.. Top producers Ridgeview, Nyetimber and Camel Valley are extending their vineyards. A new, venture capital funded company has planted 150 ha of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier in Hampshire. And now, an application has been made to Brussels for the South Downs to be designated a Protected Denomination of Origin or PDO. The Champenois, who have never taken kindly to challenges to their franchise, have their land agents tramping over the South Downs looking for suitable sites to buy; Taittinger, indeed, already has vines in the ground. It’s all happening here! So, come and taste 6 fine English sparkling wines, made form the same grape varieties, grown in the same soils and in the same way as around Reims and Epernay.

Tutor Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie.