Dinner with Champagne’s biggest personality

The Grand Cru Champagne village of Ay produces some of the greatest Pinot Noir in Champagne, with the grapes from the best vineyards going into Dom Perignon, Krug, Selosse and… Roger Brun?

The Brun family have been quietly (seriously, very quietly- they abhor the opinions of critics!) making amazing Pinot Noir based Champagne for generations in Ay, and Phillipe Brun farms some of these great vineyards for Krug and his own wine.

Brun’s great, great grandfather was a talented cooper, so oak is used liberally to add sensational vanilla and caramel elements to the wine, and Phillipe, as an ex rugby player, makes Champagne as big, bold and welcoming as his own personality.

Phillipe Brun

Phillipe in all his finery at the Henry IV Fete in Ay.

We would like to invite you for a Champagne fuelled dinner at 28°-50° on the evening of Wednesday the 22nd of November, hosted by Phillipe, showcasing his excellent wine, ending on a festive surprise with the cheese course!

Their top Cuvees, when critics have got their hands on them, have been met with serious praise, with Richard Juhlin lauding their ‘bold, large and Bollinger like’ qualities and Hugh Johnson including La Pelle in his pocket wine guide as one of only 12 single vineyard Champagnes to try, next to Krug Clos d’Ambonnay and Mesnil!

The Wines

2006 Reserve Familliale Oenotheque
Tiny quantities fermented in small oak barrels and lees aged for 11 years. Phillipe recommends drinking this at the end of an evening with some Foie Gras and a cigar!
2011 Cuvee des Sires

Grapes are sourced solely from the best vineyards in Ay and fermented in old oak
2012 La Pelle Grand Cru

100% Grand Cru Extra Brut Pinot Noir matured in small oak barrels
NV Vieille Reserve

A brand new cuvee of all Grand Cru Pinot Noir aged 8 years- stunning
NV Grand Cru Reserve

50% reserve wines and three years on it lees for huge richness
NV Cuvee Romance Premier Cru Rose

Complex Rose made only in the best years through the saignee method

Event Details

Wednesday 22nd November
6.30pm – Aperitif
7-9.30pm – Dinner
28°-50° Maddox Street
17-19 Maddox Street, W1S 2QH

Prices are £135 for a single ticket, £120 each for multiple tickets, with £20 off any purchase of wines on the night. Space will be strictly limited to a maximum of 18 guests and we hope very much to see you there.

To request your tickets, please email us on sales@closcru.com or call +44 (0)20 3735 5555

 

Review from a previous Champagne Dinner Guest:

The Clos and Cru team are excellent! Very knowledgeable, personable and friendly. I have managed to source a number of hard to find champagnes. All have been in great condition!
I also recently attended a Champagne tasting evening! It was great fun, I enjoyed drinking 7 Champagnes and 1 red wine from the Champagne region which were all paired with great food.

Highly recommend!

 

Advertisements

Join the Mondavi family for dinner

We are absolutely honoured to welcome both Tim and Carlo Mondavi to the Devonshire Club on the 15th of November for a once in a lifetime dinner and tasting of Mondavi, Continuum and Raen wine.

The Mondavi family are a dynasty. They have created some of the world’s most iconic wines, both on their own soil and through incredible collaborations like Opus One and Sena.

Robert Mondavi was one of the wine world’s most acclaimed individuals, arguably the father of Napa valley and California Cabernet, he pioneered varietal labelling, winning Decanter’s man of the year in 1989.

Tim has taken up his father’s mantle with Continuum Estate, which in only 9 vintages has already become one of California’s greatest wines, achieving cult status with near perfect scores.

His sons Carlo and Dante are also set to follow in the footsteps of their sires at Raen Winery, producing exciting and refined Pinot Noirs on the Sonoma Coast.

Tim Mondavi High Res

Tim Mondavi

We would like to invite you to join Tim and Carlo Mondavi at the Devonshire Club on the 15th of November at 6:30pm to have dinner with two of the wine world’s most iconic figures and taste three generations of wine from this incredible family.

 

The Wines


1987 Robert Mondavi Winery Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
(97 pts RP, his highest ever score and a ‘potential legend in the making’)
2006 Continuum Proprietary Red (96 pts RP, their second ever vintage)
2009 Continuum Proprietary Red (94 pts RP, a cooler more refined vintage)
2011 Continuum Proprietary Red (92 pts RP, Tim’s favourite vintage)
2012 Continuum Proprietary Red from magnum
(96 pts RP, a chance to try the wine from large format)
2015 Raen Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir – Royal St. Robert Cuvée
(94pts AG, named in honour of Robert Mondavi)
2015 Raen Fort Ross Seaview Pinot Noir – Homefield Vineyard
(95pts AG, a vineyard just two miles from the coast)
2015 Raen Freestone Occidental Pinot Noir – Bodega Vineyard
(95pts AG, a vineyard surrounded by redwoods and wild flowers)
NV Champagne A.R. Lenoble Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs
(94 pts Falstaff, welcome aperitif)

Total value of wine over £2,000
Paired with four courses of food specifically designed to match the wine.

Event details

Wednesday 15th of November
6:30pm Aperitif
7-9:30pm Dinner
The Devonshire Club
5 Devonshire Square, London EC2M 4YD

Prices are £295 for a single ticket, £270 each for multiple tickets. Space will be strictly limited to a maximum of 18 guests. We hope very much to see you there.

To request your tickets, please email us on sales@closcru.com or call +44 (0)20 3735 5555

98 point Syrah, £25 per bottle

By Jack Chapman

If told you that I’d just got hold of a 98 point scoring, Gold medal winning, five stars rated Syrah which was lauded as one of the top 25 red wines in the world by Decanter and cost £25 per bottle, you’d call me a liar.

Well, I’m not.

I find it hard to contain my excitement when I discover a wine I really, really love, and Vidal’s 2014 Legacy Series Syrah is one of them.

Vidal vineyard

Gimblett Gravels

When we sat down for a tasting with their down to earth winemaker, Hugh, the other week, the first thing that crossed my mind was ‘great, another fruit driven, immediately pleasurable but otherwise depth-less, structure-less and gut-less Syrah’.

How wrong was I.

This feels like New Zealand has come of age. Purity of fruit, structure driven and with incredible concentration. I really cannot overstate the pedigree here, and would draw many comparisons to great Hermitage, if I didn’t feel they were so exhausted and reductive

Vidal Winery

Original photo of Vidal Winery and truck

 

The only one caveat is you’ll have to wait until November for it to arrive, but we simply had to get this on pre-order, just to secure a few of the miniscule 500 case production.

 

Vidal Legacy Syrah

2014 Vidal Legacy ries Syrah, Hawkes Bay Gimblett Gravels
£155 per 6 bottles in bond
(£33.60 per bottle including all taxes)
*12 cases available

98/100 | Sam Kim, WIne Orbit
GOLD MEDAL | UK Internationl Wine Challenge 2017
97/100 | Bob Campbell, MW
19.5/20 | Raymond Chan
FIVE STARS | Winestate Magazine
FIVE STARS | Cuisine Magazine 2017
Top 25 red wines in the world | Decanter

 

Offered subject to remaining unsold, available November.
Please  email us on sales@closcru.com

An invite to Grand Cru Champagne Dinner

When back vintages of the Champagne you exclusively import are compared to Krug Blanc de Blanc and Salon les Mesnil, you cannot help being exceptionally proud.

It’s even more exciting when bottles of the stunning 1982 Bonnaire and 1996 Paul Clouet are both making their way to London, along with winemaker Jean-Emmanuel Bonnaire on the 25th of October for a dinner and tasting!

With Champagne’s finest palate, Richard Juhlin making the aforementioned comparisons and attesting to his ‘private cellar being full of bottles from Bonnaire’ and Allen Meadows saying he ‘would buy six or twelve bottles and drink then over the next five years’ when talking about Paul Clouet, you can probably see why we’re bubbling over with enthusiasm…

Bonnaire

Jean-Emmanuel Bonnaire – The owner of Bonnaire and Paul Clouet

Terrible pun aside, we would like to invite you try all this tremendous Champagne, along with four courses of delicious fare at 28°-50° on the evening of Wednesday the 25th of October.

The Wines

1982 Bonnaire Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru (95 points, Richard Juhlin)
1996 Paul Clouet Grand Cru (93 points, Richard Juhlin)
2008 Paul Clouet Grand Cru (not yet rated)
2009 Bonnaire Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru (not yet rated)
2013 Paul Clouet Bouzy Rouge (not yet rated)
NV Bonnaire Rose (90 points, Antonio Galloni)
NV Paul Clouet Grand Cru (92 points, Allen Meadows)
NV Bonnaire Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru (92 points, Allen Meadows)

Event Details

Wednesday 25th October
6.30pm – Aperitif
7.00pm – Dinner
28°-50° Maddox Street
17-19 Maddox Street, W1S 2QH

Prices are £135 for a single ticket, £120 each for multiple tickets, with £20 off any purchase of wines on the night. Space will be strictly limited to a maximum of 18 guests and we hope very much to see you there.

To request your tickets, please email us on sales@closcru.com or call +44 (0)20 3735 5555

Review from a previous Champagne Dinner Guest: 

The Clos & Cru Grand Cru Champagne Dinner was an absolutely fantastic evening. We tasted 7 beautiful champagnes with a delicious 3 course dinner designed to compliment the various champagnes. During the dinner, each champagne was introduced and the passion and dedication of the Clos & Cru team came across very clearly. I learnt a lot about the champagne making process and the information provided certainly wet my appetite for what was to come! All members of the team were engaging, bubbly and knowledgable and did a brilliant job of making the evening relaxed and enjoyable. The highlight for me was drinking the 1996 Grand Cru from the family’s collection – utterly delicious and like no other champagne I have tasted. 10/10!

 

Dinner invitation – the great estates of Bordeaux

If there are two things we love at Clos & Cru, they’re good Bordeaux paired with good food.

But, instead of just grabbing some first growths and charging a fortune, we’ve set out to bring you something a little different from Bordeaux. Something that represents a phrase rarely connected with today’s great claret – good value.

unnamed

With this dinner, we’ve teamed up with the wonderful people at 28° – 50° Maddox Street to take you on a guided tour of Bordeaux second wines. Produced by some of the best known Chateaux in the world, they benefit from the same expertise and pedigree as the grand vin, but at a fraction of the price.

We will be tasting wines from some of the best wine-making teams in Bordeaux, arguably the world, with offerings from Chateau Palmer (which in some vintages surpasses its first growth neighbour Chateau Margaux), Smith-Haut-Lafitte (creator of 100-point wines) and Chateau Pichon Lalande (neighbours of Chateau Latour).

We hope you can join us for the following:

The Wines
1995 Clos du Marquis (Chateau Leoville Las Cases)
2004 Alter Ego de Palmer (Chateau Palmer)
2013 Le Petit Haut Lafitte – Blanc (Chateau Smith-Haut-Lafitte)
2014 Le Petit Haut Lafitte – Rouge (Chateau Smith-Haut-Lafitte)
2011 Croix Canon (Chateau Canon)
2010 Fleur de Clinet (Chateau Clinet)
2012 Segla (Chateau Rauzan Segla)
2011 Reserve de la Comtesse (Chateau Pichon Lalande)
NV Champagne Paul Clouet Grand Cru Magnum
The total value of the wines above is over £300

The Menu
Four courses designed to complement the wines

Event Details
Thursday 28th September
6.30pm – Champagne Aperitif
7-10pm – Dinner
Venue: 28°- 50° Maddox Street
Address: 17-19 Maddox Street, Mayfair, London W1S 2QH

Prices are £145 for a single ticket, £135 each for multiple tickets. Your ticket includes welcome champagne, a four-course menu designed to complement the wines, and £15 off any order of wines on the night.

Space will be limited to a maximum of 18 clients so please do let us know if you would like to attend.  Seats are reserved upon payment.

The only two Grand Marques based on the fabled 2008 vintage?

By Jack Chapman

Did you know that Charles Heidsieck NV and Krug NV are the only two Grand Marques currently on the market which are based on the fabled 2008 vintage?

Did you also know that we’re the only UK merchant in the ‘cercle Charles’, their ring of 15 preferred partners, so we have managed to secure a very limited parcel of 12 cases of both the Rose and white NV from this vintage?

Charles Heidsieck Rose

NV Charles Heidsieck Rose

These are truly astounding Champagnes, with the rose having scored 95 points from Decanter whilst being voted the best pink Champagne in a blind tasting of 99 competitors, (this included Veuve’s La Grande Dame 2006 Rose £191 btl) and the Brut NV constituting over 150 different base wines spanning 20 years dating back to 1988, laden with more gold medals than an Olympic cyclist.

Pretty good for their incredibly modest price tags.

Charles Heidsieck Brut

NV Charles Heidsieck Brut

Charles keeps on hand as much reserve wine as Veuve Clicquot in spite of being one sixteenth their size, as well as vinifying all of their vineyard plots separately to create some 350 base wines to blend into their Champagne. Couple this astounding variety with the maturity of these reserve wines and you can start to see why we absolutely adore them.

There is such a small quantity of these available that I have personally already purchased a case of each, which I will be drinking sparingly, with the right people, on special occasions.

brut-reserve     

          NV Charles Heidsieck Brut
          £140 per 6 bottles in bond
          (£31.33 per bottle duty & VAT paid)
          12 cases available
          94 points Richard Juhlin

rose-reserve

 

           NV Charles Heidsieck Rose
           £210 per 6 bottles in bond
           (£45.33 per bottle duty & VAT paid)
           12 cases available
           95 points Richard Juhlin

“After more than 30 years’ intensive experience and a great deal of mature reflection, I have ripped up my old list of Champagne’s greatest producers and started a fresh with Charles Heidsieck firmly at the top… the most consistent, highest quality non-vintage on the market today”
– Tom Stevenson 

Please let me know if you wish to know more about Charles Heidsieck or email us on sales@closcru.com

Charles Heidsieck Tasting with Brand Ambassador Willem Pincon

Is working for a company with one of the largest Champagne lists in the UK a glamorous job?

If last Friday was anything to go by, then yes! Breaking at 2 pm, we were whisked off to a meeting room wherein we were treated to a mini ‘Champagne Academy’ presented by our very own Margaret Elderfield. With our heads full of facts, pads full of notes and stomachs full of mystery fizz (a few of us were even tricked into enjoying prosecco!) we got onto the main event: A portfolio tasting with Charles Heidsieck’s charming brand ambassador Willem Pincon.

Charles Heidsieck Champagne

Charles Heidsieck

Willem strode confidently into our office, a wheelie case of ultra-cool Champagne was preceded with a stack of branded notepads. We knew that it was going to be a very informative afternoon.

Charles_Heidsieck

Image of Charles Heidsieck used in Champagne ads in the US during the 1850s.

Before even getting comfortable he had gone through nearly 100 years of Charles Heidsieck’s history. Despite our evident desperation to begin tasting, the history of Charles Heidsieck proved truly remarkable. The whole family is famous in the region, with a number of houses to their name, but it was Charles Heidsieck’s father, Charles-Henri Heidsieck, who famously rode into Moscow in 1811 astride a white stallion to celebrate (and sell his wine to) whichever side successfully won the battle.

Like his entrepreneurial father, Charles Camille Heidsieck quickly realised that the market in Europe was too saturated and competing with the big houses would be impossible. So, Charles struck out for the new world, bringing his champagne to the United States where he gained notoriety as “Champagne Charlie” and opened a thriving export market.

He was, however, not just headline news for his Champagne success. In 1861, on his way into the Southern states seeking remuneration from wayward merchants, he was captured by confederate General Butler, and charged with spying on their forces. Imprisoned for 7 months at Fort Jackson, Charles allegedly fought off crocodiles in his flooded prison cell with nothing but wit, guile and the odd spare brick! His incarceration caused a diplomatic rift between France and America, now known as the ‘Heidsieck incident’. It was only resolved 7 months later after several French diplomats and Napoleon III himself made contact with President Lincoln. After this stint, Charles returned to France, emaciated, demoralised and ultimately bankrupt.

NV Rose Reserve

NV Charles Heidsieck Rose Reserve

Fortunately, the story did not end there, and whilst we were immersed in the history of the house (and picturing how he managed to fight off a crocodile with a brick), we were given our first sip of Charles Heidsieck non-vintage Rose Reserve. As Willem described it, this Rose is incredibly complex, perhaps more so than anything we’ve ever tasted. The house secret here, which was to become evident across their range, was in blending. Whilst everyone else in Champagne may use an impressive 30 to 40 different base and reserve wines to create their non-vintage rose, the house of Charles is using on average an absolutely staggering 120 wines from 16 different villages, spanning 8 different vintages and lees-aged for 7 years. The knowledge of blending and patience of this winemaking bring out the wonderful complexity of a Champagne that, although mature and rich, manages to retain an almost impossibly delicate freshness. In the current (and very limited parcel) NV Rose Reserve, 80% of grapes come from the fabled 2008 vintage with 20% of mature reserve wine added. This wine is a true testament to the prodigious skill of their chef de caves and topped a Decanter blind tasting of 99 peers, beating other bottles four times as expensive.

                    NV Charles Heidsieck Rose Reserve
                    £210 per 6 bottles in bond (£45.33 per bottle duty & VAT paid)
                    95 points Richard Juhlin
                    https://goo.gl/hjwAhi

The second bottle Willem opened for us was the Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve. This topped even the rose for wine-making pedigree, with 150 different wines spread across 20 vintages dating as far back as 1988. It goes to show, again, the patience of their winemaking and dedication to quality. At Charles Heidsieck, they never limit themselves to young reserve wine. Some 350 different plots are all vinified into individual wines, a herculean feat, which allows them to mature at their own pace depending on how the winemaker perceives the wine and its place in the blend. All of these base wines are kept for a minimum of 7 years, with some spanning 20, and the house retains as much volume of reserve wines as Veuve Clicquot, despite being one sixteenth of their size. I can only imagine how the accountants are reeling from all that tied up capital.  

The results, as you can imagine, are sublime. Ripe stone fruit, fresh apple, and mineral flavours dance effortlessly across the palate, followed by a rich fresh dough, finally brought to a close by a burst of vanilla as it slides down your throat.

                  NV Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve
                  £140 per 6 bottles in bond (£31.33 per bottle duty & VAT paid)
                 
94 points Richard Juhlin
                  https://goo.gl/hjwAhi

Without breaking stride, Willem opened another bottle of Rose, this time the 2006 vintage, whilst detailing the two techniques with which they are made in Champagne (If you are a regular reader, you may have already read about them in “Think Pink”).

We were also lucky enough to have the opportunity to taste Charles Heidsieck Vintages 2000 and 2005 side by side, a fascinating experience which drew many parallels between the harvests, with the 2005 appearing as an almost younger clone of its predecessor. Both offered what can only be described as overwhelmingly intense notes of almond, fresh bread, and ripe yellow apple, which lead onto a honey-like finish, no doubt as a result of the 9 years each spent ageing on their lees.

Charles Heidsieck I feel, more so than any other house, set out to age their wines to the ideal condition before they blend them. Willem did admit that any of the non-vintages would still benefit from a couple of years cellaring, but with the sheer amount of pleasure on offer right now, I admire anyone with the willpower to resist.

As a relative neophyte when it comes to fine wine, I started to get a bit overwhelmed at this point- for the rest of the afternoon all I can recall is reclining with a wonderful glass of golden liquid, and listening to Willem’s dulcet French tones recant the story of a Champagne house so captivating it made it to the silver screen… A TV movie he was quick to dub, in his rich French accent, as ‘crap’!

                  2006 Charles Heidsieck Rose Millesime  
                  £365 per 6 bottles in bond (£76.33 per bottle duty & VAT paid)
                  94 points Wine Spectator
                  https://goo.gl/hjwAhi

                  2005 Charles Heidsieck Brut
                  £285 per 6 bottles in bond (£60.33 per bottle duty & VAT paid)
                  94 points Wine Spectator
                  https://goo.gl/hjwAhi

 

Group Pic

Charles Heidsieck’s charming brand ambassador Willem Pincon and team Clos & Cru

Join Us for Dinner With One of Italy’s Top Winemakers

 

isole_e_olena_palo_de__marchi“Wow. Paolo de Marchi is such an amazing mix of education, experience and passion.” – Jancis Robinson

Paolo de Marchi seems to bring a little magic to every grape and vine he touches.

At his family-owned Isole e Olena estate, Paolo has been leading the quality movement in Tuscany since the mid-1970s. He pressed for a change in the rules to allow Chianti Classico to be made with 100% red grapes. And he spared no expense investing in the best French barrels for his world famous Cepparello.

Nowadays, in addition to Sangiovese, Paolo works wonders with international varietals like Chardonnay, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. In the words of Antonio Galloni:

“I’m not a big fan of international varieties grown in Italy. But when you make wine like that, you’ll turn anyone into a believer.”

Paolo also has a venture with his son Luca in the north of Piemonte, where his family has roots. Called Proprieta Sperino, they make elegant, savoury reds from Nebbiolo that offer amazing value for money.

The Event
We’re delighted that Paolo will be joining us personally at an intimate dinner featuring a top drawer selection of his wines, some scoring 96+/100 points.

2015 Chardonnay Collezione Privata, Isole e Olena (93+ points, Monica Larner)
2014 Chianti Classico, Isole e Olena (90 points, Monica Larner)
2010 Lessona, Proprieta Sperino (94+ points, Antonio Galloni)
2013 Cepparello, Isole e Olena (96 points, Antonio Galloni)
2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Collezione Privata, Isole e Olena (96+ points, Antonio Galloni)
2006 Vin Santo del Chianti Classico, Isole e Olena (96 points, Monica Larner)

Please join us on Tuesday 6 June at the Devonshire Club, Devonshire Square, EC2M 4YD. 6.30pm champagne aperitif, followed by dinner at 7pm.

Tickets are £130 for a single place, and £120 each for multiple places. To order, email sales@closcru.com.

Price includes a welcome glass of champagne, dinner and a minimum of 6 wines. Places are strictly limited, so please book early to avoid disappointment.

 

Dinner with Olivier Humbrecht

By Margaret Elderfield

A great night had by all on floor 35 of the Shard last month, when Olivier Humbrecht (of top biodynamic estate Domaine Zind-Humbrecht) joined Clos & Cru and our guests for a dinner that featured 9 of his best wines from recent vintages going back to 2008.

Olivier Humbrecht winemaker

Olivier Humbrecht (L) with Martyn from the Clos & Cru team

Tasting them side by side, I was struck by the incredible concentration and expressiveness of these lively, complex whites.  Tip top wine of the night was the 2013 Riesling Clos Windsbuhl (95 pts, robertparker.com) which had outstanding mineral precision, purity of fruit and a lovely savoury twist on the finish.

We also got a glimpse of some newly released 2015s.  Here the 2015 Riesling Clos St Urbain Rangen de Thann Grand Cru (96 pts, robertparker.com) was the star, with citrus and tropical fruits, smokey hints and toasted-stone mineral notes. To me, it was a perfect wine to show the difference between the German and Alsace styles of riesling. The great rieslings of the Mosel have a fine and delicate lightness. From the French side of the border, with his 2015 Riesling Rangen, Olivier delivers a more weighty Alsace style, but still with that quintessential riesling liveliness.

The biggest surprise of the night?  I’m not usually a fan of Muscat, which so often appears in simple, sweet vin doux naturels that can lack balance.  But the 2013 Muscat Goldert Grand Cru was a revelation, and I can see why Jancis Robinson counts it as one of her favourite Muscat wines in the world. Fermented to dryness, it had a heady aroma of grapes, orchard fruits and herbs, plus a mouthwatering hit of saline minerality. Served in a Burgundy glass, this wine bowled everyone over.  Olivier says they serve this wine in the region with white asparagus and hollandaise.  But in our meal it paired deliciously with Asian-influenced pork.

Thanks again, Olivier!