There was a time when the words “Penfolds champagnes” would have sent the Champenois into a frenzy far frothier than any of their fizz. No wine region on the planet has been more vigilant than Champagne in protecting its name (and reputation). Ken Gargett explains how the big Aussie wine producer pulled off the trick of making genuine French champagne and if it’s more than hype and bubbles.
About Ken Gargett
Born and bred in Brisbane, Australia, I enjoyed a non-trendy, perfectly happy childhood in a family convinced alcohol meant instant condemnation to Hades before studying law at Queensland University. On a fishing trip, someone opened a good bottle of port and so commenced a serious obsession.
Entries by Ken Gargett
Lagavulin is from the Scottish island of Islay. Malt lovers immediately fall into one of two camps: one does not enjoy the peaty, smoky, seaweed notes that whisky from this island usually offers. The second group loves those characteristics. No prize for guessing where Ken Gargett falls. But what about Ron Swanson?
A question often asked is whether a wine three or four times the price of another can be three or four times as good. In reality, people pay high prices for special wines for all manner of reason, so that is very rarely the case. And for Ken Gargett, in the case of the Henschke Hill of Grace 2014 & Henschke Mount Edelstone 2015 definitely not.
For the last 250 years, Hine has been headquartered at Hine House on the banks on the Charente River in Jarnac. Hine holds a special honor given to no other cognac producer: in 1962, it was granted a royal warrant from Queen Elizabeth II to act as supplier to the royal household. And how does the brand’s Antique XO measure up?
Most of us, when traveling, might sneak a guilty pleasure into the luggage for the trip. A good cigar or two, a fine wine, or a bottle of malt perhaps. If you have a lazy £100,000 (or in Australia, an estimated $230,000), the highly regarded whisky producer Glenfarclas has done your packing for you by releasing the Glenfarclas Family Cask Trunk.
The fabulous Philipponnat Clos des Goisses is considered to be the first vineyard-specific champagne ever made, dating back to 1935 when the vineyard was purchased by Pierre Philipponnat. The house has recently started releasing a prestige wine from its prestige wine in suitable vintages – such as the 2008. Here’s what Ken Gargett thinks.
The 2016 is one of the most declared port vintages of all time. And deservedly so: Ken Gargett thinks that 2016 is a vintage that should warm the hearts of all fans of port wine and bring in many more new fans.
As Ken Gargett explains, to adequately describe a Cohiba Siglo VI Gran Reserva cigar is almost like trying to catch the velvety smoke it produces in your hand. And it is dense, velvety smoke. The texture is as soft as cotton bud clouds. Plush and cushiony. Many describe it as the greatest cigar they have ever tasted, but, ouch, the price!
Wine lovers all enjoy the chance to drink a unicorn wine, and bottles from Australia’s Cloudburst are nothing if not that. Ken Gargett tells the story of an unusual winery with an unusual attitude and certainly unusual, though excellent and rare, wines.
The last of the 2018 Limited Editions has just crossed Ken Gargett’s path: the Romeo y Julieta Tacos Edición Limitada 2018. And while in recent years there have been overwhelmingly positive reviews for most of the Limited Editions, the Tacos has had a very mixed response. But, most importantly, what does Ken think?