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Thoughts on wine and other topics from the Roberson team

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Patrick Robinson

Magic in Meursault - 2019 Chavy Chouet is one to watch

Magic in Meursault, 2019 Chavy Chouet is one to watch Next week will see the latest releases from a Roberson favourite, Domaine Chavy-Chouet; a range of wines that will satisfy lovers of Burgundy wines at all levels, from Bourgogne to Premier Cru. Made by Romaric Chavy, a winemaker who continues to soar under the radar, these wines represent exceptional value for money (an ever-increasing rarity in Burgundy). In recent years, the estate has also attracted the attention of several critics, including the Wine Advocate’s William Kelley and Vinous Media’s Neal Martin. They have nothing but praise for the wines, and consistently award scores in the 90s. "Romaric Chavy, who succeeded his father Hubert at the helm of this 13-hectare Domaine in early 2006, is a young but experienced vigneron producing pure, tensile wines that are typically distinguished by their racy acids and aromatic precision”. William Kelley At the age of 22 Romaric inherited his father’s holdings in Meursault, and since 2006 he has been guiding the estate in an ever upward trajectory. The term ‘rising star’ is banded round all too often, but in the hands of Rom the Domaine is shining bright. Romaric’s wines are impeccable, from entry level to the top Premier Crus. His Bourgognes, both red and white, drink well from release and are definite crowd pleasers. The Premier Crus tick all the boxes; high scoring, well priced and age worthy, they offer the perfect combination of top quality and unrivalled value. The Meursault Genevrières is a shining example of this value on offer from Romaric Chavy; his 2019 is one of the highest scoring wines from this revered vineyard. We expect his 2019 to release at around £55 per bottle (in bond), with a score of 93 from Neal Martin. This certainly looks a bit of a steal, especially when compared to Vincent Girardin’s 2019 which achieves 92-94 in barrel and a release price of around £83 per bottle. I know which one I’d buy. His holdings also include a hidden gem; a Monopole vineyard in the heard of Meursault, just a stone’s throw from the winery. The Clos De Corvées De Citeau is a walled vineyard, exclusively owned and farmed by Romaric, and formerly owned by a Cistercian Monastery. The high walls provide the perfect microclimate for this vineyard, protecting the vines from frosts (a very common threat in Burgundy). This vineyard also tends to yield earlier ripening fruit. Monopole vineyards in Burgundy tend to be reserved for the likes of Clos de Tart, Domaine de la Romanée Conti and Clos des Lambrays. With the Clos De Corvées De Citeau 2019 to release at around £35 per bottle (in bond), it is incredibly rare to find a monopole that offers such amazing value. The 2019’s are shaping up to be excellent. Vinous’ Neal Martin has awarded some of the highest ever scores for the Domaine, heaping them with well-deserved praise. “For the uninitiated, I thoroughly recommend broaching Chavy’s regional whites that are superb, not least the Bourgogne Les Saussots from vines just below Volnay Santenots. Overall, his 2019s form a strong set of wines with just a couple of missteps such as the Meursault Les Vireuils, but this aside, Chavy oversaw complex terroir-driven, quite nervy Meursaults Villages that should age extremely well.” Neal Martin Yet it’s also not all about the whites. For me, the Bourgogne Rouge ‘La Taupe’ is fabulous, it has become a firm favourite at home, and is a wine I would happily serve on any occasion. Neal Martin aptly describes the 2019 as “A perfect bistro Pinot.” It is clear the Domaine is heading in one direction, and at some point, the prices will catch up too. In the meantime, this Domaine is definitely one to watch. With Bourgognes that drink wonderfully straight out of the gate, and 1er Crus that give their blockbuster counterparts a serious run for their money, Domaine Chavy-Chouet really does it all. A brief summary of the 2019 1er Crus: Meursault Genevrières 1er Cru – 93 Points NM “A rich and generous Meursault, classy and decidedly tasty” Meursault Clos des Corvées de Citeau – 92 Points NM “richer than Chavy-Chouet’s other Meursault, revealing hints of sesame and a little toastiness toward the long, harmonious finish. Excellent” Meursault Les Charmes 1er Cru – 94 Points NM “My pick of Chavy-Chouet’s whites this year. An absolute knockout.” Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatières 1er Cru – 92 Points NM “Good weight and density, although it slams the door shut on the finish. Actually, a little Meursault-like on the nutty aftertaste.” Puligny-Montrachet Les Champs Gain 1er Cru – 91 Points NM “Taut and focused, if just needing a tad more grip on the finish. It will deserve 2–4 years in bottle.” If you would like to hear about the upcoming releases, please contact Private Client Sales Manager Patrick Robinson


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Roberson Wine

Delivery Service Update

Delivery Service Update We are currently operating a normal UK mainland next-day delivery service. Just place your order before midday and we will get your order packed up and sent out for next-day delivery. Our couriers also practise contact-free delivery. You won't be asked to sign anything and drivers can be instructed to leave your delivery in a safe place via the order checkout page. You can also continue to place orders for collection from our Fulham office. Simply choose the collection option at checkout and we will notify you when it is ready to collect. Thank you for all your continued support, and Happy New Year!


Daniela pimentel

Daniela Pimentel

A Brief History of Chateau Musar

A Brief History of Chateau Musar When young Gaston Hochar moved to Paris to study Medicine, he never expected to return to his native Lebanon, with a newfound love and grand plans to embark on a new venture…Wine. Not just any wine either, he was determined to make his wines as the French did. Gaston wanted to change the Lebanese wine culture, which focused on bulk production of low-quality wine. He was determined to show the country, and the world, what Lebanese wine was capable of. Chateau Musar, in the Bekka Valley, was born. From choosing a career that went against his families wishes, to facing extreme difficulties during the civil war, this was not an easy journey, but it was one of perseverance and bravery. In the late 1970’s Gaston had to look for new markets to sell Chateau Musar outside of Lebanon. The French Army had left the country, and they had been the number one consumer for his French inspired wines. This brought him to England, where he had the opportunity to show Chateau Musar at the Bristol Wine Fair in 1979. The wines were instant stars of the show; so wonderful that they made it to Michael Broadbent’s Decanter column where he referred to Gaston’s wines as “the find of the fair”. Chateau Musar is a wine born from passion and made with respect. It is a winery that conquered the world, and all because Gaston Hochar and his team never gave up. All the people working with him from the pickers to the drivers, all faced the dangers of war. Yet they kept persevering, and the wine world is so lucky that they did; these are wonderful wines that we are very blessed to be able to enjoy, from older vintages to new release. This is the legacy Gaston left, and it is the work the Hochar family continues today. They still produce their wines with the same love and respect. These aren’t wines produced simply for profit, they have a meaning, they have a purpose. In fact no wine is released until it’s at least 7 years of age (hence 2013 being the new release). Any younger, and the Hochar’s believe the wines won’t show their character. This is the character they want every wine drinker to experience, the true soul of Musar. Shop our collection of Chateau Musar, including older vintages from 1997 to 2013. Limited availability, don't miss out.


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Roberson Wine

Roberson Team Christmas Picks!

The lights are lit on Oxford Street, people are walking down the road with big trees on their shoulders, and the first doors of the advent calendar are open. Christmas time is officially upon us, and after all the doom and gloom this year has brought, it is definitely time for a hefty amount of festive cheer. At Roberson we are working away like elves in the workshop, making sure all your orders are ready and on their way for this magical time of year. We asked our team to weigh in and share their top bottles of the festive period. Whether you’re looking for the perfect gift, or something special to open on the big day, our expert drinkers have some top suggestions to fit the bill. Daniela Pimentel - Digital Retail Assistant Every year I find myself thinking of a special wine to have at my Christmas table, to enjoy with the family. So many great choices, how can I pick only one?! But well, I have to, and I have to make sure the one I pick will be remembered. After considering all the options, I’ve opted for Smith-Madrone, Cabernet Sauvignon 2015. I love a wine that, besides being delicious, has a story to tell. 2015 was an unusually small vintage, the winemakers and teams had to work harder to ensure every bit of good fruit was picked, and the result was a beautiful wine of effortless elegance, packed with flavour, well integrated tannins, distinctive and complex which we can enjoy now or keep for a few more years. Max Edge - Operations Manager I love the crisp fresh flavours of citrus and pear that this wine showcases balanced with a saline minerality synonymous with Domaine Schaller's Chablis. The wine is incredibly versatile with food and is often found in my fridge door. Enjoy a glass with your Christmas lunch appetisers or make the perfect pairing with winter favourites like moules marinières or fish pie. Simon Huntington - Commercial Director Turkey might ordinarily call for a buttery white like a Burgundy or Californian Chardonnay, yet with all the Christmas trimmings, I find a red tends to work better. Line up some pigs in blankets, a rich gravy and a dollop of cranberry sauce, and you'll love the juiciness and vibrant red fruit of London Cru's 2019 Pinot Noir Précoce. Précoce is a strain of Pinot Noir that ripens early, while still bringing gorgeously ripe, silky fruit - so it's perfect for our cooler climate. We may be stuck in the UK this Christmas - so let's make the best of things with our amazing local produce. Keith Kirkpatrick - Buyer Tasting hundreds of wines every year, it’s hard to remember all the highlights when putting together the mixed case for Christmas. But for me, Maxime Magnon’s 2018‘Le Bégou’ is always the first wine on the list. A wine that truly made me sit up, say wow and enjoy the rush of goosebumps the first time I tasted it. Grenache Gris and Blanc are probably not the first 2 grapes you think of when considering Christmas lunch, however, you may want textured but mineral and saline, complex and fresh, voluminous yet elegant, precise and long. La Bégou is all these things and more, every glass makes me happy, and it comes with the added benefit that you could pop open a magnum for the same price as a bottle of half decent 1er Cru Burgundy. Patrick Robinson - Fine Wine Sales For me half the excitement of the Christmas period is Boxing day lunch, the extended family round the table tucking into leftover turkey and ham. For wine it is a day where value is often needed, but that doesn’t mean compromising on quality. A fresh fruity Bourgogne Rouge ticks all the boxes - wine chock full of crunchy black fruit flavours. The 2018 La Taupe from Domaine Chavy Chouet delivers this in spades, its everything I would want from a Bourgogne Rouge. Perfect! Happy Drinking!


Keith kirkpatrick

Keith Kirkpatrick

The Secrets of Blind Wine Judging

The Secrets of Blind Wine Judging Our wine buyer Keith gives an inside look at the world of blind wine judging. Judging wine is a curious activity, especially when it is a ‘blind’ tasting. Repeatedly assessing the appearance and taste, of up to 100 different wines in a session. Then attaching a tasting note and score to each in turn. It’s a process filled with potential pit falls, and more than a few inconvenient traditions, ‘it’s how we’ve always done it’. Firstly, the ‘blind’ part. This form of tasting is supposed to force the taster to assess overall quality without being swayed by prior knowledge of the wine in question. It could be a famous chateau with a string of perfect scores in recent vintages and stratospheric market prices, or perhaps a £5.99 glugger from your local discount supermarket. Every wine professional invited to take part in a blind tasting will tell you this will never happen, they are capable of viewing every tasting measure poured objectively. If this were the case, then why are many of the world’s most famous and expensive wines routinely excluded from ‘blind’ assessment, even by experienced professionals? It is because this is an environment that throws up surprises and can trick the mind. It’s much safer for the precious liquid to be presented in person with the assessor in full knowledge of what they are about to taste. Even if not mind-blowingly great, the wines pedigree will ensure a certain level of ‘benefit of the doubt’ and will still come highly recommended. The large number of wines in the tasting can be problematic too. Palate fatigue is very real. When tasting wines in my work environment, either to check the quality of a new vintages, or to assess potential new listings from a new producers, I would limit the number of wines being tasted to no more than 8 or 10. This is to ensure that every wine gets a fair chance to shine. If faced with 30 different Cabernet Sauvignons or Chardonnays, it is very possible that the last one tasted will not get the attention it deserves, your concentration has wavered, your sense of smell and taste has been muted by the 15 or so fruit bombs that proceeded it, if the last wine is elegant and perfumed you will not pick it up. So how can these potential pitfalls be countered? One solution is having a varied panel of tasters doing the work. My most recent tasting took place in the company of a wine writer from the national press and a sommelier from a high-end fine dining restaurant. A mainstream journalist will always have the high street consumer in mind, armed with a dictionary of eye catching and appetising flavour descriptors. They seek out the characteristics that will give instant pleasure over a Sunday dinner with the family, for example, often with a keen eye for the styles that would offer great value in the weekly shop. A sommelier will use their experience of the fine dining environment to search for wines of quality that will pair well with food. How can this wine be recommended to a customer paying a significant sum for a special evening out? They often seek out wines that have some age, and therefore are a little more intellectual in their composition, a unique talking point that shows work has been done to find something special just for you. For myself, I take both approaches to the same wine. As a business we sell direct to consumers, as well as to restaurants and independent retailers. Having studied winemaking I find myself taking a rather technical and practical approach first, before letting myself get carried away with the more pleasurable elements. Is it correct? Are there faults? Does it taste like the variety on the label? Does it taste of its place of origin? Is everything I balance – acidity, fruit, weight, length, wood? If one dominates the others will it all come together at some point in the future to become complete? Only then do I start thinking of the flavour descriptors or food pairings, we all do it with different priorities and in a different order. What is telling, is that after tasting 100 different wines, for example, all of us will agree on the dozen or so really good or great wines. Similarly we will also agree on the dozen or so really sub standard efforts. Where it gets complicated is with the 70 or so in the middle, there is often significant disagreement; disappointment for me could bring a simple pleasure to another. This is when the variety of approaches, experience and priorities allows us to debate and meet somewhere in the middle. We can agree that although it may not be to personal taste|, there is very much a market for the wine, and perhaps you had not picked up on certain nuances or aspects that will make it a good recommendation. Re-taste it, approach it from a different perspective and you’ll often find yourself scoring it up or down a little. To finish, you average the scores in the hope that it gives a fair and critiqued appraisal of each wine. This is a score that not all will agree with, but should not be too far from the end users own assessment. One last, critical piece of the puzzle is price, and whether this wine with this score is a recommended buy or not. This is really the one part of blind tasting that I have a problem with. Imagine wine number 50 in the tasting ticked a lot of boxes, but there where 2 maybe 3 areas where I would like a little more. Now if that wine retails for £7.99 it is overperforming and I would highly recommend it, but if it is £45 I would be disappointed that the producer could not find the means at that price point to tick those other boxes, so I may not recommend it on the basis that you could find equal quality at a lower price, or better quality at the same. Knowing the price before blind tasting will just lead to the same fears that a taster will be swayed by the price, even though you don’t know the actual wine, if it is expensive you search for the positives, if it cheap you search for what is missing. A simple solution for me, is that you go through your process of assessing, tasting, writing your notes, and scoring. Then, before stating any recommendation, you are told the price. This final step is the most important for me, a lot of what goes before is, whether you like it or not, influenced by some degree by personal preference and opinion. In the end it is you and your business’ reputation that is on the line if you are going to recommend a wine. A note, score and recommendation that are all in harmony leaves little room for indecision with a customer, whether it is the Sunday supplement reader, online shopper or restaurant buyer. This fosters a degree of confidence and loyalty from your customers, a priceless privilege and something that is at the forefront of our minds every time we choose a wine at Roberson.


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Patrick Robinson

Mighty Mayacamas Roars

Mayacamas Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 will be released in the UK on Thursday 12th November. To request an allocation, please contact Private Client Sales Manager Patrick Robinson Mighty Mayacamas Roars When we think of Napa Cabernet there are certain names that resonate strongly with all lovers of wine, there’s Dominus, Opus One, Harlan, Maya and then another name that soars under the radar: Mayacamas Mayacamas Vineyards has been a source of legendary wine since 1889. A truly historic estate in the heart of Napa located at the top of Mount Veeder, the quality and longevity of Mayacamas’ wines is a product of the terroir on which the grapes are grown. At 1800-2400ft above sea level in the crater of a long extinct volcano, this combination of altitude, complex volcanic soils and dry farming yields concentrated berries that give wonderfully structured and complex wines. The estate was taken over in 2013 and the new custodians have ensured they continue to stay true to Mayacamas’ heritage, making precise Cabernet with spectacular ageing potential. These are not wines to tackle in their youth, they age gracefully well into their 30s. Under this new stewardship the estate has been going from strength to strength, the 2015 won No.2 in the Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2019, it also achieved 97+ from acclaimed critic Antonio Galloni. The 2016 however is certainly a step up in terms of quality, 99 points from Galloni: “The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is every bit as monumental as it was from barrel last year. Rich, deep and powerful, the 2016 is endowed with tremendous fruit concentration and all of the structure to back it up. Wild, savory and super-expressive from the very first taste, the 2016 is utterly magnificent. Wild cherry, grilled herbs, new leather, licorice and mocha infuse the 2016 with tremendous brooding power. The 2016 represents a striking, contemporary expression. All the Mayacamas signatures are there, but with just an extra kick of finesse that makes the 2016 a Cabernet of total allure”. Antonio Galloni While the score speaks for itself, this wine is clearly “utterly magnificent”, Mayacamas still has one more trick up its sleeve. The value in this wine is off the charts. This is a winery that can stand up to icons of the region and still offers value to those lucky enough to get their hands on a case. Mayacamas has firmly cemented itself as a New California Icon, a producer making truly epic Cabernet. The wines produced are of such sublime quality that they would rival even top producers from Bordeaux, further testament to this producer punching well above its weight. It is with bated breath we anticipate the release of the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon and justifiably so, this is the highest rated ever wine from the estate, a very exciting prospect indeed. The 2016 Cabernet is a wine that will cellar comfortably well in to the 2050s. We expect high levels of demand for this new release but if you are interested in a case please do contact Private Client Sales Manager Patrick Robinson for more information.


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