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Wine and the Rest II: Seña, Summer (?) and mansplaining

*groans at the thought of the contents based on the aforementioned title*

There are phenomenal people in the wine world, perhaps too many to count. Witty, humble, continually in search of adding value to one’s conversation, experience or industry insights. Without the expectation of anything in return, they offer advice, and mentorship. I am assuming the few readers of the slightly self indulgent Wine and the Rest series are in the trade, and so you should know, (as it’s so often talked and spoken about) how privileged we are to be working with a commodity which is so effortlessly social and evocative.

I met Peter Hall of Breaky Bottom for the first time this month, rather taken aback by how quickly our meeting came to fruition. That is, given he receives over a hundred email requests a day, so he tells me. We sat in his living room, talked stories, tasted, and threw the excess wine as far as we could, ensuring we missed his cat. It was a humbling experience to taste with Peter, a lesson in not taking one’s self so seriously whilst still, doing things “propaaaa”! (Cockney accent, please).

Summer, besides the trip to the secluded amphitheatre of Breaky Bottom was largely uneventful. Lots of fizz, and lots more fizz being lined up, from a Doyard dinner at one star Michelin Pied á Terre, where you’ll find some of our wines on the list now, to a grower Champagne series at Manchester’s Climat. Watch. This. Space. I’ve done a good number of private events this year, for the likes of Chanel, Cartier and Hackett; I thrive on the floor of a restaurant, talking to the guests, watching their eyes light up when the wine reaches their lips, and so, I want to do more events. Fizz is always an appropriate place to start.

Indeed, the fizz that signalled the beginning of the wonderful Seña & Chadwick 2021 launch happened to be Tattinger’s 2011 iteration of Comtes de Champagne Rosé, feeling like a gasp of fresh air after a minute under water, quenching the thirst in the early September sun. The relationship Cépage has with the Grand Vin wines of La Place de Bordeaux is a funny one, and one worth mentioning. We work with them often and they are in such high demand, but they are also certainly not wines we necessarily promote, nor discuss on our social channels. We supply restaurants with them, and of course, our private clients. The online shop is primary reserved for fun, interesting single bottles you will be hard pressed to find elsewhere, rather than a collection of first growths and GC burgs.

Though, I was so pleased to find out Seña was biodynamic, non-certified. I spoke with my account manager about this, as she is a member of the Chadwick family. She mentioned how restrictive it was, to which I wholeheartedly agreed. The 100pt (James Suckling) 2021 we were tasting was a cooler vintage on average, offering superb longevity. The New World suffers from vintage variation too, you know. To my absolute amazement, she was then quizzed about the principles of biodynamics to a level i’m not sure the ‘quizmaster’ even fully understood, about the minutiae of sulphur levels in the biodynamic program etc etc. I felt as she felt, as if the gentleman (no red trousers unfortunately, as that would have brilliantly added to the stereotype), was simply trying to catch her out, rather than enjoy the wines, and chat about the taste.

It went on and on, draining the table. The gent next to him joined in, too. I asked if the thoroughly interesting, high altitude Pizarras (meaning schist) Pinot Noir was whole bunch…cue a fifteen minute discussion about how the wine wasn’t whole bunch (it was…) and how I need to drink more Burgundy to better educate my palate, apparently. It was about as tiresome as the London heat. I thought back to Peter Hall, his words to the two gents on the table would have been quite damning, I’m sure. My point I suppose, is that there are people in the trade, and in walks of life generally, be it family, friends or people you wish to spend more intimate time with, which are similar to yourself on a human level. Whether consciously or not, it seems we always gravitate towards likeminded individuals, and steer clear of those who simply do not not work to our tempo.

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