3 December 2019
Lenny Kravitz Limited Edition Dom Pérignon, 2008
Lenny Kravitz and Dom Pérignon were made for each other. The artist has designed a limited-edition Dom Pérignon bottle, a candelabra box and a table-bar, elevating Champagne tasting to a ritual. The artistry is remarkable, but the wine is even better. The 2008 edition is generous, structured and refined. Divine.
Taittinger Comtes de Champagne, 2007
Comtes de Champagne has long commanded a cult following. Famous ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev used to say: “When I drink Comtes de Champagne rosé, I no longer dance, I fly.” The 2007 vintage is the best yet – powerful, structured and lacy smooth.
Bruno Paillard N.P.U, 2004
A relatively new house, Champagne Bruno Paillard was founded by Monsieur Paillard in 1981. Over the past two decades, it has acquired a formidable reputation for the quality and ageability of its Champagnes. Its prestige offering N.P.U. (Nec Plus Ultra) from 2004 represents the crème de la crème of luxury Champagne.
Billecart-Salmon CuvÉe Nicolas FranÇois, 2006
A blend of the finest Chardonnay and Pinot Noir has produced a deep, intense Champagne with aromas of white flowers, mint, brioche, biscuit and ginger. Magnificent.
Philipponnat Clos de Goisses, 2010
Venerable Champagne house Philipponnat acquired the Clos de Goisses vineyard in 1935, and immediately it became its jewel. The 2010 vintage is spectacular and in short supply – only 5,000 bottles of this exquisite wine were made.
£330 for three bottles, justerinis.com
Vérité La Muse, 2014
Vérité's winemaker Pierre Seillan believes that La Muse is in the same league as Bordeaux's iconic Pétrus. I disagree. I think La Muse is superior. A marvel of Californian terroir, this Merlot-dominant wine is exquisite, offering a complex smoky nose full of black fruit, spices and incense. The palate is exceptionally refined, the finish long. Like all great wines, this will age and improve in bottle – but who could wait?
Château Latour, 1996
It needs little introduction – Château Latour is one of the most magnificent red wines in the world. The 1996 is currently at its peak, an outstandingly complex and elegant wine, that effortlessly merges force and finesse. It may not have quite the status of Lafite, but it is every bit the equal in quality. Some would say superior.
Castello dei Rampolla Vigna d'Alceo, 2011
Alceo is a seminal Super Tuscan, which was created by Giacomo Tachis at the gorgeous Rampolla estate. It is a remarkable 90 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon, 10 per cent Petit Verdot wine, with reserves of flavour beyond imagination. Critically lauded, the estate has been fully biodynamic since the 1980s and uses minimal sulphur (indeed, they also make sulphur-free wines aged in amphorae).
Another superlative vintage of Ornellaia to date, this prestigious winery was founded by Lodovico Antinori in 1981. Exploiting a lucrative inheritance from his mother's family, he planted Bordeaux varieties in 1982 on what was then an unremarkable, 70-hectare patch of countryside in Bolgheri, coastal Tuscany. Today it is one of Tuscany's finest wines.
£900 for a case of six (price in bond), armitwines.co.uk
Domaine Bachelet-Monnot: BÂtard-Montrachet 2013
While the fine wine world is predominately obsessed with the colour red, the Chardonnay vineyards of Bâtard Montrachet are virtually priceless and in massive demand. This is white wine on another level – strong, perfumed and utterly moreish.
Eisele Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Is this California's finest Sauvignon Blanc? It is certainly a close contender – Eisele's terroir is legendary, resulting in a creamy, highly aromatic expression of Sauvignon Blanc that invokes the best white wines of Bordeaux.
Domaine de Chevalier Blanc 2012
Much hype is levied at Bordeaux's red wines, but the whites can be equally as spectacular. The 2012 vintage in Bordeaux was exceptional for whites; Domaine de Chevalier makes one of the best white wines in any vintage. Force and finesse merge in perfect harmony.