From Barolo 1964 to Palmer 2002: wine with friends

By Panos Kakaviatos for

25 May 2015

Long weekends, friends and wine.

A balmy summer-like evening, time for barbecue as well.

We were 8 altogether and enjoyed 10 wines spanning 50 years.

Wines in bold I liked particularly, when red and bold even more and when underlined, too, wine nirvana.

Flight One / Champagne duo

2002 Pol Roger Champagne Pure Brut – France, Champagne

Brisk, with wet stone, bright acidity, elegance, a touch of quince and signs of ripe fruit but well structured with an overall feeling of pristine dryness. Lovely! (93 pts.) Read More


Bordeaux in barrel 2014: Solidly Margaux

Faves? Some excellent price/quality ratios, particularly from Château Labégorce. An excellent Château Prieuré-Lichine. Predictably very good Palmer, and a fine Château Margaux (and a superlative white that counts among the very best whites of the vintage) 


By Panos Kakaviatos for wine-chronicles

24 May 2015

Margaux may prove to be the weakest of the major Médoc appellations. That was reflected for some critics in a blind tasting of very good estates – as compared to a blind tasting of wines from the northern Médoc. While I enjoyed tasting through Margaux wines blind at the lovely Château Rauzan Gassies during en primeur week, several tasters in my group agreed that higher highs (and longer finishes) were noticed in the blind tasting for northern Médoc wines from Pauillac, Saint Julien and Saint Estèphe. As I later heard from Frédéric Nony of Château Caronne Sainte Gemme, more rain fell in Margaux than in the north. Could that partly explain things? Read More


Culinary dream a reality with fine wine in Monte Carlo

How I ended up at Alain Ducasse Hotel de Paris Louis XV, saw many of its 250,000 bottles and entered culinary paradise

By Panos Kakaviatos for

23 May 2015

Happiness is a great meal. Heaven is an extraordinary meal.

In April 2015, I co-hosted a master class of cru bourgeois Bordeaux, for the first annual Rivini Wine Festival in Ventimiglia, with François Nony, of the fine estate Caronne Sainte Gemme and vice president of the Cru Bourgeois Alliance.


Cru bourgeois master class in Ventimiglia

Nony kindly invited me to dinner at the excellent Hanbury Ristorante in Ventimiglia. We enjoyed fresh seafood simply seasoned with olive oil, fresh lemon, sea salt and pepper. An essential food axiom: keep ingredients simple and fresh. Too much sauce could mean that the chef is trying to hide something. It was a great meal. Read More


Bordeaux 2014 in barrel: Bored of the dough?

Cru Bourgeois and Haut Médoc: More bang for you euro, yuan, ruble, pound or buck

By Panos Kakaviatos for wine-chronicles

16 May 2015

Faves? They include Cantemerle, Chasse Spleen, Fourcas Dupré and Lanessan


Twice in the last two years I have co-hosted master classes for Bordeaux’s cru bourgeois wines. Wines in this price category – rarely surpassing $30 per bottle – can constitute the best bargains for #winelovers sick and tired of ever higher prices for Bordeaux en primeur. Although 2014 futures prices have gone down – and you can for example purchase an excellent Lynch Bages or Haut Bailly for much less than certain in-bottle offerings – there remains a justified bad taste among many consumers with Bordeaux futures campaigns, with too many wines available off the shelf for the same price that they were offered from barrel thus having defeated the entire futures raison d’être. Read More

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Greek Alpha, that’s top notch wine from Angelos Iatridis

By Panos Kakaviatos for wine-chronicles

14 May 2015

After interviewing Angelos Iatridis for it took me some time to finally post notes on the wines I tasted at his gorgeous estate in northern Greece. Many thanks to him for welcoming me with such an amazing array of wines while I was in Thessalonika to judge at the International Wine & Spirits Competition. I am in the midst of penning an article on Greek white wines for Decanter but let me just say this: he is making some of the best wines from Greece that I have tasted. OK, I did not like all of them – you can read about that in the enclosed tasting notes – but generally speaking, Angelos and vine grower Makis Mavridis are kicking ass and taking wine names. It is no wonder that his winery was selected to be part of Robert Parker’s unique Matter of Taste Saatchi gallery “Icon Wines of the World” tasting in London this past February. Read More

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