Ken Gargett first encountered Serra de Estrela in Oporto at a lunch. He thinks, however, that it has not received its dues outside Portugal and can only assume that is because no one seems to associate cheese with that country – a gross oversight, which he rectifies here..
Most good wine regions in Australia are delightfully scenic. But few are quite as picturesque as the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Australia. Located just to the south of Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city, it is easy to visit for a day trip, but Ken Gargett thinks it’s much more fun to stay a few days.
The famous Venezuelan rum Diplomático and Ken Gargett share a birth year (1959), so it is an error of judgment on his part not to have shared more time with this excellent rum. Thankfully, he is rectifying that. And shares what he thinks with us while he’s doing that.
Equipo Navazos is making some of the most exciting wines – sherries to be specific – on the planet. Ken Gargett believes this company is incredibly exciting and that this rum is a great example of the “team’s” great nose for the sublimely unusual.
Even in the exclusive world of champagnes, there are tiers. While the birthplace of any champagne makes it special, all champagnes are not created equal. Charles Clavem, inspired by the story of a leather craftsman from a Champagne town called Les Riceys, offers bespoke bottles decorated with precious gems and noble metals. And, oh, the taste!
Critics are not supposed to have favorites, though we get asked exactly that question all the time. It ranks with asking parents which is their favorite child, and chances are you’ll get an equally noncommitted response. For champagne, Ken Gargett has many favorites – too many – but the house of Pol Roger will always hold a special place for him.
Henschke’s Hill of Grace is Australia’s greatest single-vineyard Shiraz. Ken Gargett thinks that the 2013 vintage, which was grown in a block planted in the 1850s, has concentration, structure, and generosity despite the ultra-dryness of 2013 and the shortened harvest period. Cheers!
The king is dead. Long live the king. It has been with us seemingly forever, but finally the esteemed house of Charles Heidsieck will move on from the 1995 vintage of its stunning prestige cuvée Blanc des Millenaires to the 2004 vintage. What about all those vintages in between, you ask? Well, these missing vintages are part of what makes this wine so special.
Queensland is a mecca for tourists from around the world. The Great Barrier Reef and its islands, the Gold Coast, northern rainforests, endless beaches, and outback all draw millions of visitors each year. Queensland also makes wine, and although production is small there are some tasty bottles and luxurious places to stay, including a round of glamping like you’ve never seen.
The invitation to a “secret tasting” with James Godfrey was not one Ken Gargett would ever decline. What Godfrey doesn’t know about fortifieds is not worth knowing, and those he has not tasted are probably not worth tasting. Here’s what Ken learned . . .