Jonathan Ray

Glorious Clarets in Large Formats, Ideal for Christmas

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You will have read, I’m sure, our Low Life correspondent’s account of the recent Spectator claret and clay pigeon shoot cruise along the Thames, which we ran in association with our mates at Private Cellar.

Jeremy Clarke described it beautifully and, in short, we had an absolute hoot. Forty or so readers joined us as we tootled down the river in stately style aboard The Will, a century-old Thames sailing barge. We moored up just past the Thames Barrier, radioed Wapping police station for permission to fire and proceeded to blast clay pigeons out of the sky – some more successfully than others. Amongst other weaponry, we used a pump action shotgun, a musketoon, a blunderbuss and “that bloody great gun that makes you crap yourself when it goes off” (according to someone not a million miles away from Jeremy Clarke).

We then repaired below for French 75 cocktails and G&Ts before lunching like kings on parma ham and buffalo mozzarella salad, pan-seared chicken with wild mushroom ragu and wild rice followed by a fine selection of cheese. Best of all, we drank like fish on three superb clarets (two vintages of each), namely: Ch. Tayet (Bordeaux Supérieur); Ch. Tour Baladoz (Grand Cru St. Emilion) and Ch. Haut Breton Larigaudière (Margaux).

We took coffee on deck as we passed such fine sights as the Old Royal Naval College at Greenwich and Canary Wharf before downing tots of 21 Year Old Appleton Estate Rum as Tower Bridge opened specially for us, merrily buggering up London’s Friday rush hour traffic entirely on our behalf.

But back to those wines. So well received were they at lunch and such was the demand among our shipmates for them to be made available for purchase that we promptly sold out on the day. But we have somehow managed to persuade Laura Taylor of Private Cellar to raid the Bordeaux cellars, and ship the absolute last of said wines in very limited quantities for our wider readership, in bottles, magnums, double magnums and jeroboams.

The wines went down an absolute storm on board (Speccie readers are nothing if not thirsty and got through well over a bottle per head) and I can heartily endorse them as being perfect for cracking open this Christmas or for laying down for Christmases to come. Stock is strictly limited though and once they’re gone, they’re gone!

Château Tayet, Bordeaux Supérieur

2010 vintage     Jeroboams (five litres) at £186 each – only four available

2010 vintage     Double Magnums (three litres) @ £126 each – only six available

2014 vintage       Bottles at £155.40 per case

2015 vintage     Magnums at £216 per case

Château Tour Baladoz, Grand Cru St Emilion

2010 vintage     Double Magnums (three litres) @ £174 each – only six available

2013 vintage       Bottles at £247.80 per case

Château Haut Breton Larigaudière, Margaux

2009 vintage    Double Magnums at £168 each – only two available

Prices include VAT and free delivery within mainland England and Wales. Deliveries outside this area will be charged at cost – please phone Laura Taylor on 01353 977 997 for a quote.

Written byJonathan Ray

Jonathan Ray is the Spectator's wine editor.

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