Billecart Salmon Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru NV Champagne, France Very ripe pear, talcum powder and fresh mint. Pure. Voluptuous, silky and elegant in the mouth. A touch of sweetness balances the fresh acidity. November 2012

Cave St Verny Puy de Dôme Pinot Noir 2010 IGP Auvergne, France Fresh raspberry. fruit and some roasted herb notes. Soft, supple and very, very smooth indeed. A lingering note of violets. At £10 a bottle deserves a sustained round of applause. March 2013

Chateau Brane Cantenac 2004 Margaux, France Crushed dark berries, earth and tobacco. Feminine and attractive with lots of smokiness.  Fresh acid, a real bite, almost bitter. Rounds out with a cookies and cream finish. December 2008

Chateau de Brigue Signature Blanc 2011 Provence, France Lemon cheesecake and roasted nuts. Soft, but focused citrus fruit. A rounded texture and balanced finish. September 2012

Chateau Cantemerle 2006 Haut-Medoc, France Smokey, blackcurrant, a touch leafy and transparent. Fresh acid with light cherry fruit. November 2009

Chateau Cantemerle 1982 Haut-Medoc, France Browning rim. Difficult to discern the colour. Has someone been shaking the bottle?! Tarry nose with a bit of dried bay leaf, black tea and tobacco. Light, but still fresh and sweet blackcurrant fruit. Rounded, mature and retaining depth of flavour. April 2009

Chateau Chasse-Spleen 2006 Moulis, France Delicate, perfumed, sweet blackcurrant. Earthy with some spice and a lick of mint. November 2009

Chateau Desmirail 1996 Margaux, France Soft tawny, browning colour. Baked bread with herbs and cedar, fading. Caramelized. Strong cigar smoke. December 2008

Chateau Desmirail 2000 Margaux, France A grassy, earthy note dominates the aromatics. Blueberry fruit with black cherry. Dried fruit with lively acidity. Soft and velvety with tangy orange peel to finish. December 2008

Chateau Desmirail 2006 Margaux, France Graphite, herbs, leafy greeness. Rounded plums and berry fruit. Pleasant. November 2009

Chateau Destieux Saint Emillon Grand Cru 1997 Bordeaux, France Woodsmoke. Liquorice and cinammon. Decaying autumn leaves. Blackcurrant leaf. Mellow. Still fresh. Sweet fruit. Good job. Drink now. November 2012

Chateau Durfort Vivens 1995 Margaux, France Initially phenolic, unpleasant. Funky moss. Sharp cranberry fruit. Short, tarry finish. December 2008

Chateau Durfort Vivens 2001 Margaux, France Pencil lead, blackcurrant and pine needles. Quite well-built but with soft chocolaty Merlot. A tannic grip. The finish is a release of smoky bacon, Islay whisky?! December 2008 

Chateau Durfort Vivens 2001 Margaux, France Quite classic Cabernet nose. Cedar and Cassis scented. Noticeably alcoholic and tannic. Tarry and unbalanced with a sharp, abrupt finish. December 2008

Chateau Durfort Vivens 2003 Margaux, France  Herbaceous, foresty. Blackberry and redcurrant. A touch smokey, even dirty, almost Burgundian. Well intergrated tannin with spicy oak. Coffee. Strange balance. A bit short. December 2008 

Chateau Durfort Vivens 2005 Margaux, France Blackcurrant and cedar. Intergrated tannins with ripe fruit and balanced acidity. Very honest, restrained, attractive. December 2008

Chateau Durfort Vivens 2006 Margaux, France Closed, but pure. Blackberries and hint of tar. Spring flowers. Elegant. November 2009

Chateau Figeac 2004 St-Emilion, France A blast of smoke and tar. Deep and dark cassis shimmering through. White pepper. Sweet raspberry palate, with noticeable, but not offensive tannin. Backed up by plenty of oak, but still fresh. Excellent. December 2004

Chateau La Lagune 2005 Haut-Medoc, France Cassis and cedar. Smoky sandalwood. Blackcurrants smashed up in a with a plank of oak. Wham! The palate is astonishing. Sweet, thick, blackcurrant with vanilla spice and a lick of fresh herbs for freshness. A real balancing act. The tannins, so sweet, cling to you, not wishing to let go and you don't want them to! December 2008

Chateau La Lagune 2006 Haut-Medoc, France Sweet, spicy wood. Cedar and fresh black fruits. Big, rich and round but possibly lacks sustainable stuffing. Tannic, grippy. November 2009

Chateau Langoa Barton 2006 Saint Julien France Mint and blueberry hubba-bubba. Blackcurrants and graphite. Fresh fruits of the forest, pure and muscular. I prefer this to the Leoville. November 2009

Chateau Leoville Barton 2005 Saint Julien, France  Dark, inky wine. Introvert nose but the palate is a sweet shop! Bubblegum and liquorice bootlace. A little synthetic. Smoky oak, almost charred. Overwhelming. Tannic. A brute for sure, but do I like it? December 2008

Chateau Leoville Barton 2006 Saint Julien, France Sweet oak. Cooked fruits and cold coffee. The tannin leave the finish unbalanced and raw. November 2009

Chateau Leoville Poyferre 2004 Saint Julien, France Rich, spicy vanilla oak. Black cherry. Very dark, broody and cedary. Chewy, sweet tannin. Muscular and meaty. December 2008

Chateau Lamothe Cissac 2006, Haut-Medoc, France Lots of wood and spice. Nicely rounded if a touch unbalanced. Lacks a bit of class. October 2012

Chateau Lynch Bages 2005 Pauillac, France Deep, broody, dark fruit nose. Initially a spike of green pepper on the palate but this is overwhelmed by more rich dark fruit. Intense with tannic grip. A bit like being starred at by the biggest bloke in the pub. Sinister. December 2008

Chateau Lynch Bages 2006 Pauillac, France Touches of damp bracken and fern lurk under pureed blackcurrants. Creme de Cassis. Focused. Monstrous tannins. Blueberry, concentrated. Menthol. November 2009

Chateau La Privera 2005 Medoc, France A touch metallic? Squeeze of blackcurrants with mint and dried herbs. Tabacco and a bit green. The sought of lightish austere claret that old English gents might throw down with their luncheon. January 2010

Chateau Moulin de Clotte 2000 Cotes de Castillon, France Slightly rhubarby, earthy with stewed fruit. Harsh and abrasive. Very dry. Plenty of chocolaty Merlot to finish, but may be past it. April 2009

Chateau Petit Village 2004 Pomerol, France Ripe blackcurrants. Some raspberry underpinned by woodsmoke. Silky, velvet mid-palate lifts the whole affair. Stewed fruit and spice. Christmas.  December 2008

Chateau Pichon Longueville Baron 2004 Pauillac, France Knock out sweet black fruit nose. Black cherries and baked bread. Intense, tannic, but balanced. Tough going though. More time. December 2008

Chateau Pontet Canet 2006 Pauillac, France This is a sexy little bugger. Perfumed with plum sorbet, currants and pencil shavings. Liquorice and blackcurrant palate. Still quite shut and tannic but clearly very, very naughty. November 2009

Chateau Rahoul Blanc 2005 Graves, Bordeaux, France Shut down aromatically. Slightly grassy Sauvignon Blanc. The palate is more Semillon. Rich and creamy with real viscosity. Enough acid to lift and a hint of herby, fruity Sauvignon peaks through. Sumptuous. December 2008 

Chateau Rahoul Blanc 2009 Graves, Bordeaux, France Oak. Propane. Smoke. Quite fat palate. No discernible fruit. Bizarre. An off bottle surely. November 2012

Chateau Rahoul Rouge 2005 Graves, Bordeaux, France A frankly disappointing 2005. There appears to be some quality fruit lurking underneath all the oak, but it struggles to climb out of the shadows. A little OTT. Lacks freshness. November 2012

Chateau Rigaud 2007 Faugeres, France Cooked blackberries, dark chocolate, a touch of white pepper. Dense on the palate, still quite tightly wound with rich dark fruits running through to a slightly spiritous finish. April 2012

Chateau Suduiraut 2004 Sauternes, France Knock out nose of apricot and nectarine doused in lashing of honey. An earthy/nutty note. Very sweet, intense. Custard creams. Crisp acidity. December 2008

Domaine de Bellemare Delice des Anges Rouge 2006 Vin de Pays D'Oc, France This is oddly Riberaesque. Blackberries and soil with a floral lift and yet it is a Syrah Cabernet blend from the south of France. Very easy, sweet and slightly confected. Powdery tannin. November 2012

Domaine de la Meuliere Chablis 2007 Burgundy, France Lemon and green apples. Fresh. Rocks after a rainstorm. Lemon juice, high acidity. Dry finish. Good weight. Hints of flowers. December 2012

Domaine Billaud-Simon Vaillons Chablis 1er Cru 2007 Burgundy, France I've had my snout in the glass for over an hour now and am still struggling to discern anything that I could confidently call 'fruit'. I suppose there is a sort of lemony freshness about this, but put it next to a glass of lemon juice and it doesn't compare. Possibly a little flirtation with green apple too, but I am clutching at straws a bit here. There is a subtle hint of gorse flower that is quite striking and maybe a hint of liquorice... and something maritime, umm, the sea? The palate offers up notes of, well, Chablis. Fresh, refined, plenty of vigour and refreshment and a, for want of a better word, chalky finish. What else to say? It is delicious - shuck me an oyster. March 2013

Domaine Bizot Les Violettes Blanc 2007 Burgundy, France Violets! Yes, really. Deep, creamy, custardy almost. Vanilla pod. Long. Seductive. Fascinating. October 2009

Domaine Chatelain Pouilly Fume 2008 Loire, France Turning golden yellow. Buttered asparagus and corn on the cob. A touch smoky. Medium high acidity, not much fruit. Flinty. Dry. November 2012

Domaine de Belle Mare Rivage Blanc 2011 Languedoc, France Tinned apricot, butter and linseed oil aromas. Good weight and length on a gently honeyed, peachy palate that delivers impressively with a lingering creaminess. March 2013

Domaine David Reynaud Crozes Hermitage Aux Betises 2011 Rhone, France Really quite exotic. Wild strawberry, Chinese pears in honey. Marzipan and vanilla. Wonderful texture with a slightly bitter streak running through it for freshness and added complexity. Don't serve this too cold though. December 2012

Domaine de Chevalier Rouge 2004 Pessac Leognan, France Mossy oak tree. Sharp berry fruit. Detergent? Must be the glass. Strawberries and cream. Hollow middle. Chewy, hard work. December 2008

Domaine de Chevalier Blanc 2004 Pessac Leognan, France Apricot crumble and custard. Creamy and soft with spicy oak and caramel. Gently acidic with tropical fruit, green mango peel. December 2008

Domaine Jaeger-Defaix Clos du Chapitre 1er Cru Rully Rouge 2010 Cote Chalonnaise, Burgundy, France  A rich, smoke-wreathed cherry nose adorns this splendid 1er Cru Rully. Fabulous texture, very plump, velvety, with judicious use of oak and excellent structure.  Terrific. October 2012

Domaine Jaeger Defaix Rully Rouge Clos du Chapitre 2010 Burgundy, France Very charred. Fruit is struggling to enter itself into the equation. Not quite the wine I got so excited about previously. Quite green and vegetal.  Still, well put together and solid texture, but a bit stroppy. Friday 30th November 2012

Domaine Jaeger Defaix Rully Rouge Clos du Chapitre 2010 Burgundy, France Smoky as is par for this wine. Smoky bacon and toasted bread. A herbaceous edge. Cleaner fruit though than its recent showing. Serve on a fruit day?! Sunday 2nd December 2012

Domaine Jaeger-Defaix Mont-Palias 1er Cru Rully Blanc 2009 Cote Chalonnaise Burgundy, France Still powerfully oak-influenced aromas but with plenty of fresh lemon fruit to back it up. A smooth, rounded wine with richness and purity. October 2012

Domaine Harmand-Geoffroy Gevrey Chambertin 2008 Burgundy , France Smokey and gamey with cherry fruit. Does this want to be broad shouldered or elegant? Confused. Doesn’t charm today. November 2012

Domaine Huet Le Haut-Lieu Vouvray Sec 2011 Loire, France Oh, why did I open this now? Young, citric, closed. Idiot. December 2012

Domaine Kreydenweiss Gewurztraminer 2010 Alsace, France Plenty of tinned lychee syrup on the nose. Retains freshness and drive. The sweetness doesn’t detract from what is a fine, focused style. Rose water. November 2012

Domaine Les Yeuses Syrah Les Epices 2010 Languedoc, France Made from old Syrah vines and aged in oak for 9 months.  A bit of reductive funk, spiced blackberry and chocolate. An outrageous amount going on for a wine of this price. The palate is is laced with iodine, black olive brine, sweet blackberry jam and violets. Meaty with a fresh, bitter kick. Plush and medium-bodied this is absurdly good value. January 2013

Domaine Les Yeuses Vermentino 2011 Languedoc, France Leesy aromas; toasted nuts, then grated orange rind and a quite distinctive pear drop character. Impressively weighty palate with a lifting bitter edge to it. January 2012

Domaine Lucien Muzard Santenay Champs Claude 2007, Burgundy, France Sweet, red cherry, cola bottles. Hint of game and woodsmoke. Cranberry and redcurrant palate, opaque, notes of earth with slightly creamy, fresh finish. November 2009

Domaine Luneau-Papin Muscadet de Sevre et Maine Sur Lie L d'Or 1995 Loire, France What a Muscadet! Still bouncing, lemony, revitalising. Like taking a Cornish wave in the face. Rich, textured, driven. Hints of almond. Pure, salty and lemon fresh. June 2009

Domaines Ott Chateau Romassan Rouge 2005 Bandol France 60% Mourvèdre, 15% Cinsault, 15% Grenache and 10% Syrah. Wow. Aromas of a farm. Wet hay, manure spread on the fields and horse bottom. The fruit is largely hidden but blackurrant and cherry flavours develop with time in the decanter. Not rustic, displaying a surpringly light touch, very drinkable but so very funky indeed. March 2013

Domaine Rene Bouvier Cotes de Nuit Villages 2009 Burgundy, France An Autumn woodland. Decaying leaves, mushrooms. Sweet, fresh English strawberries. Medium-bodied. Svelte and smart. Perhaps, drifts away a touch at the end, but who gives a fig? This is downright delicious Pinot by anyone's standards. December 2012

Domaine David Reynaud Crozes Hermitage Aux Betises 2011 Rhone, France Really quite exotic. Wild strawberry, Chinese pears in honey. Marzipan and vanilla. Wonderful texture with a slightly bitter streak running through it. December 2012

Domaine Soufrandiere Bret Brothers Pouilly Vinzelles Les Longeays 2007 Burgundy, France Biodynamic. Marshmallow and talcum powder. Soft pear, butter. Gorgeous texture with a citric bead of energy pulsing through it. Seemless and delightful. November 2012

Domaine Tollot-Beaut Chorey les Beaune 2008 Burgundy, France Oh Pinot! Distant woodsmoke, smashed cherries and wet bracken. Beautiful and svelte. Sweet fruit. Class. December 2012

Domaine Walter Riesling 2007 Alsace, France Plenty of sour green apple sweets. Creamy, honeyed, tropical fruit palate. Zippy acidity to balance. January 2009

Guigal Cotes du Rhone Blanc 2005 Rhone, France Slightly oxidized on the nose. A mouthful of ripe pear and some tropical fruits with a little violet. Round texture. On the way out. April 2009.

Henry de Verzelay Bourgogne Rouge 2006 Burgudy, France Fresh cherry. Green and earthy notes. Light and dry. Sage and cranberry. Quite natural. Cider. April 2009

JP & B Droin Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos 2006 Burgundy, France Oh my, what a model of a white wine. Displaying terrific concentration of fruit aligned with a lip-smackingly salty, stony kiss and a silky smooth texure all lovingly wrapped up in the warm embrace of creamy but subtle oak that lingers on and on. One could criticise perhaps for it's lack of intellectual challenge, but what a precise, flavoursome and glorious wine for what is not ridiculous money. March 2013

Jospeh Cattin Tradition "1720" 2010 Alsace, France Bruised apples and honey. Simple, uninspiring, inoffensive. A bit tired. I imagine a younger version might hold more interest and would make a decent table wine with the right grub. February 2013.

Laurent Miquel Verite Viognier 2008 Languedoc, France Struck match and apricot aromas. Creamy, creme fraiche palate. Nutty and peachy. Textured but not blowsy. December 2012

Le Mas Des Masques Les Silex Chardonnay NV Vins de Pays des Bouches de Rhone, France Very smoky, boozy, very intoxicating. Creme Brulee and bruised apple. A quite fat, slightly syrupy palate. There’s energy running through this though. Dries a touch with woodiness on the finish. Not profound, but utterly delicious. October 2012

Les Carolins 2006 Bordeaux, France Initially some bright, fresh red cherry. Green and flat. Tannic. January 2009

Les Costieres de Pomerols Tesco Finest Picpoul de Pinet 2011 Languedoc-Rousillon, France. Fresh, snappy and salty. Beyond bone dry with a steely backbone and lemon juice kick. September 2012

Roger Sabon Le Sabounet 2011 Vin de France, Rhone, France  Initially a little gamey with clove, cumin and raspberry. Easy on the palate with good concentration at this price point. Good balance too. A bit of a bargain. November 2012

Stephane Pichat Côte Rôtie 'Champons' 2009 Rhone, France Dried Lavender and violets. Black cherry and a little liquorice. A most elegant style. Totally charming and seductive. November 2012