Black book

If Luca and JJ were living in this world, these are some of the items and services that they would use.

•Watch by Philippe Patek – Grand Complications 

•Bvlgari Diamonds Zurich

•Boodles Jewellery London

•Suits by Brioni

•Men’s Bangle:Silver Elephant’s Hair by Graff

•Hermes ties 

•Hand painted cravat scarves by Fantazi

•Shirts: made to measure by Thomas Pink

•Shoes: Swissmade Fretz Men

•Bently Speed GT / Zagato – one of only nine

•Private jet Gulfstream G650ER 7500 nautical miles

•NetJets Europe –

•Jet Wise –

•Private Helicopter: Heli Securite –

•Private yacht 143′ Wally –

•Private yacht charter and sales: YCO Yachts –

•Private yacht charter and sales: CSO Yachts –

•Private yacht charter and sales: Burgess Yachts –

•Private yacht charter and sales: Camper & Nicholsons –

•Private yacht charter and sales: Edmiston & Company –

• 75ft Private Motor Yacht for private charter: Rum Jungle –

•Wine Supplier: Four Walls Wine Co, Chichester –

•London Wine Club: 67 Pall Mall –

•For Red Wine: Chateau Cheval Blanc 2000

•For White Wine: Romanee Conti Montrachet 

•For Desert Wine: Chateau D’yquem

•Norwegian Voss Water: both still and sparkling

•Hendricks’s Gin with Tip Tree light tonic and elderflower

•The Club at The Café Royal, Regent St, London

•Concierge Services: American Express Centurion

•Photographic Art: Beautiful Crime –

Art Advisor: Macintyre Art Advisory Ltd –

Art Advisor, Art Finance & Art Management: Apollo Collector Services –

•Shotgun: His and Hers 20 bore by Boss & Co –

•Game Broker: Field Sports Services –

•Game Broker: Roxtons –

•Cuban Cigars from Mare & Monti, Geneva –

•Cuban Cigars from Casa Del Puro, Madrid –

•Heli & Off Piste Skiing: Pure Powder Limited –


•Zurich: Widder

•Geneva: Hotel President Wilson

•Davos: Waldhotel

•Zermatt: The Omnia 

•St Moritz: Kulm

•Basel: Grand Hotel LES Trois Rois

•Frankfurt: Villa Kennedy

•Vienna: Hotel Sans Souci Wien

•Venice: The Gritti Palace

•Rome: JK Place Roma

•Capri: La Minerva

Sardinia: Cala Di Volpe

•Sorrento :Bellevue Syrene

•Paris: George V

•Cannes: Grand Hyatt Martinez

•Monano: Metropol

•St Tropez: Sezz

•Madrid: Hotel Orfila

•Marbella: Marbella Club Hotel

•Lindos: Linds Blu

•London: Lanesborough

•Oxford: Le Manoir Six Quat’Saisons

•Turkey: Mardan Palace

•Istanbul: Ciragan Palace Kempinski

•Moscow: Ritz Carlton

•Marrakesh: Amanjena (20 mins away)

•Essaouira, Morocco: Villa Gonatouki

•Marrakesh: La Maison Arabe

•Bahamas: Atlantis Paradise

•Los Angeles: Hotel Bel-Air

•Las Vegas: Palms Casino

•Washington: The Jefferson

•New York: The Plaza

•Arizona: The Boulders

•Rio: Belmond Copacabana Palace

•Santiago: Matildas Hotel Boutique 

•Shanghai: Fairmont Peace

•Pudong: Mandarin

•Pyongyang, North Korea: Yanggakdo

•Singapore: Shangri La

•Tokyo: Mandarin Oriental

•Hong Kong: The Peninsula

•Hoi An, Vietnam: Cozy Hoian

•Siem Reap, Cambodia: The Privilege Floor @Lotus Blanc

•Swiio: Hotel Daan

•Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia: Kempinski Khan Palace

•Dubai: Burj Al Arab

•Marquand, UAE: Al Maha

•Abu Dhabi: Emirates Palace

•Mumbai :The Oberoi 

•Ubud, Indonesia: Viceroy Bali

•Mauritius: The Royal 



  • A brief history of time – STEPHEN Hawkins he explores such teasing questions from How did the universe begin and does time always flow forward probing the very secrets of ‘big bang’. If you want to be stimulated then read this
  • Thing Explainer – Randall Munroe who has this great concept that if you can not explain something simply then you probably don’t get it. This is definitely for you if your curiosity is limitless. 
  • The Vital Question – why is life is the way it is? – Nick Lane whose inquisitive mind explores the origins of life. This makes sense of life’s quirks. This is complex science made more understandable and in the spirit of Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species, Richard Dawkins’ The Selfish Gene and Jared Diamond’s Guns, Gems and Steel. 
  • Disclaimer- Renee Knight an eerie Suburban Noir thriller spinning a suitably dark network of secrets
  • Tender is the Night – F Scott Fitzgerald. Having enjoyed reading the Great Gatsby a couple of years ago, this seemed an obviously enjoyable St Tropez holiday read. It was, with its light touch on serious subjects within the extremes of the Roaring Thirties.

Films To really enjoy:

  • Money Monsters
  • Captain America: Civil War
  • Eye in The sky
  • Our Kind of Traitor

Bonnezeaux. Domaine des Petits Quarts. Godineau Père et Fils. 1996

Aug 2012. Pale gold – rich, ripe but with lovely balance & a fine acidity at the tail. No wood showing & no Yquem casks.

Chablis 1er. Cru Côte de Léchet.  Domaine des Malandes. 2012

A good round nose – lovely aromas – the palate is well balanced & very long. A big step up & very friendly palate wine. And got better in a chablis style.

Chardonnay Red Label. Newton.  2005.

Typical USA Napa white. Some oak evident & fully ripe on the palate. The alcohol is evident but not overpowering.

Chardonnay White Lady. Warwick Estate. 2015

A great commercial wine.  But like a beautiful woman one soon becomes bored as it has no conversation to hold interest.  Not for serious white Burgundy drinkers.

Château Balestard. Bordeaux. 1998.

Sediment. Very mature nose & colour. Lacked fruit & freshness – flat ordinary palate. Dry & common. Best thing about it is the label. Improved greatly with air.

Château de Rayne Vigneau. 1er. Cru Sauternes. 2001.

Wonderful rich colour-clings to the palate-coats mouth-sweet & rich yet balanced & juicily decadent.

Château Cantemerle. 5th. Growth Macau. 2009.

Moderate intensity and depth in this fairly straight-forward Haut-Medoc red.  Balanced, well made but unexciting and fairly short on the palate.

Château Lafleur. Pomerol.  1989.

Decanted four hours.  Darker & richer blackcurrant colour.  Plum & mushroom nose & then blossoms with sweetness & cedar.  A good wine but not twice the 1988. The concentration is slightly foursquare & it just lacks a little sweetness to balance the rather tannic tail.

Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey. 1er. Cru Sauternes. 2007.

First impression is of ripe, sweet grapes,  no complexity & little acidity to balance. Lovely concentrated glacé pineapple & richness.  Just pure decadence, but not balanced.

Gevrey-Chambertin. Domaine Taupenot-Merme. 2007.

A fully mature brown edge & plenty of oily glycerine – sample a tad warm which encourages the acidity. A great Pinot for rich food.  Again the acidity at the tail is evident.

Château Tour Maillet.  Decanter 5*. Pomerol. 2008.

What a beauty.  Needs a year or three, but it is full of fruit & character.  Rich, concentrated & very big even for this vintage.

Maximiner Grünhauser Abtsberg Spätlese. von Schubert. 2010.

Lovely floral seawater nose – very high acidity at the finish. Tingles the tongue – will need a LONG time!!

Gevrey-Chambertin 1er. Cru Clos Prieur. Domaine Drouhin-Laroze.  2004.

No raspberries here, notes of oak and modest tannins.  A dry, rather charmless finish and a common palate.  Fully mature, but no sediment.

Pouilly-Fumé. Domaine Sébastien Treuillet. 2012.

A very fine, French style sauvignon blanc nose – a joy on the palate & a beautiful long finish.  Great typicity.

Goulée. Médoc. Prat / Reydier. 2003.

Deep colour, quite mature, some maturity on the nose too, it has lost its tannic dry entry, plenty of fruit but tannins still dominant.  Winter wine with a long, dry, harsh finish.

Savigny-Lès-Beaune 1er. Cru Les Lavières. Jean-Jacques Girard. 2010.

A wonderful bright colour & a vibrant fruity nose to welcome. Excellent fresh acidity & juicy purity. Much fresher & less ripe than the 2009.

Savennières Cuvée d’Avant. Château de Chamboureau. 1997.

Fine colour of young yellow. A distinctive nose of bramley apples with a sultana hint. Very clean, light & thin on the palate. Then expands on the mid & it is a million miles long on the finish.

Serriger Schloss Saarstein Spätlese. Christian Ebert. 2009.

Very pale colour-plenty of bubbles, do I detect an hint of sulphur? Apples & very little riesling – no petrol – certainly more kab than spat on the nose. Fine pure palate-fresh aperitif style. Subtle.

Viré-Clessé Cuvée E J Thevenet. Domaine de la Bongran Jean Thevenet. 2003.

Good rich colour – ripe grapes ? Unusual rich background flavour, a fine purity & ripeness rather than minerality. 14% A small bottle but I don’t know why I like it so much. Young & fresh yet mature. Botrytis Aristocratic juice.

Delamotte Blanc de Blanc. Delamotte. 2002.

A brilliant glass of very young, creamy, fresh Blanc de Blanc. Bit like a young & beautiful girl with simple conversation. It will get even better & more complex. After 3 days open it was sensational.

Thiénot Vigne aux Gamins Blanc de Blanc. Alain Thiénot. Alain Thiénot. 1999.

Mellow golden colour with large lazy bubbles. Suggests maturity, reflected on the palate, where the apples now have a baked edge. Fantastic acidity lifts the flowers and the long long finish. Small bottle with plenty of life left.

Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé Viña Los Vascos. Domaines Barons de Rothschild. 2011.

Good colour, quite deep but heralds a serious palate,which it has. Long & invites return. Very good. Getting old now but not a problem.

Bourgogne Blanc (Meursault). Domaine Antoine Jobard. 2010.

Good quality fully branded cork. The nose has good purity & some fruit but also a light covering of oak. It is fresh & well balanced – fine acidity & typicity. Good now but will keep & mature.

Chablis 1er. Cru Montmains. Maison Faiveley. 2008.

Fully branded good cork. A light young colour, fresh simple Chablis chardonnay nose – although this has quality I would not have judged it 1er. Cru. A joy as an aperitif or with simple white fish.

Chassagne-Montrachet 1er. Cru Les Vergers. Domaine Amiot Guy et Fils. 2009.

Beautiful light yellow. Refined, delicate nose blending lemony, menthol notes and a touch of almond with elegant oak. Wonderful ethereal, full and fresh attack. Soft, elegant and persistent.

Château Branaire Ducru. 4th. Growth St. Julien. 1975.

Tasted in double blind tasting with 10 wine friends. Decanted hour before. Looked older than tasted. Some guessed Burgundy. Surprising amount of fruit but don’t think it will last too much longer. Bordeaux quality came through as time went by.

Château Lafleur. Pomerol. 1988.

A wonderful nose from the decanter after five hours. In the glass the 1988 is mature, brown edged, rich & far better than I expected. It may lack some charm & full richness but is a lovely mature wine with fine acidity & a great big intrusive nose.

Château Haut Marbuzet. St. Estèphe. 2009.

Fragrant, bouquet with blackberry, mulberry and crushed stone. Slightly understated, but very precise. Palate medium-bodied with light tannins, clean, fresh red berry fruit, missing complexity on the stubborn, harsh finish.

Crozes-Hermitage Les Amandiers. Domaine du Murinais.  2010.

Here’s colour, here’s fruit, here’s jam. What a mouthful.

Château Les Cruzelles. Lalande de Pomerol. 2005.

Flamboyant,  glorious merlot/cab franc pomerol style. Rich, ripe, fruity & full. Heavy tartrates. Still young, but I believe it is a wine to enjoy in its youth.

Graacher Himmelreich Auslese. Joh Jos Prüm. 2006.

After an hour the acidity is starting to show it’s hand. Plenty of lime, peach/apricot and white flowers. Sweetness is the abiding memory. Not a patch on the Wehlener

Echézeaux. Domaine Faiveley. 2007.

Lovely, rich, deep colour and a glorious Pinot Noir nose, but its simplicity on the palate belies its classy origin.

Meonhill Chardonnay Blanc de Blanc Reserve. Meonhill.  NV.

Paler but more seductive – another fine bead and some acidity – a fine finish asking for a return.

Givry Champ Lalot. Domaine Faiveley. 2007.

Pale light colour bordering rosé, very modest nose, oily legs. 13% but looks more. Light palate from a light vintage & a light appelation. Thin, innefectual & a tad dirty (hail?) But a great price.

Saint-Aubin 1er. Cru Frionnes. Hubert & Olivier Lamy. 2010.

Precise mineral notes frame exquisite fruit in this delicate, impeccable Burgundy. There is an understated intensity in the Frionnes that is gorgeous. RP

Savennières Clos du Papillon Moelleux Cuvée d’Avant. Pierre Soulez. 2000.

Lovely pale gold. Great youthful purity. No botrytis. Not very complex.

St. Véran Vieilles Vignes. Domaine Saumaize-Michelin. 2010.

Proper branded quality cork – fine full nose with a good ripe edge. Rich palate- well balanced, round with a full flavour. Good now but with 2/3 years ahead.

Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese. Ernst Loosen. 2006.

This is glorious summer patio wine. On the fruity side of off-dry. Well balanced with excellent yet simple riesling fruitiness. Just disappears from the glass. Who could believe this was a magnum?

Syrah. Reyneke. 2012.

Big and black. Extraordinary nose, pastry, gravel, bacon, flowers and blue fruits. Palate stuffed full of flowers and fruit. Full firm finish dominated by ripe tannin. Very good value.

Vouvray Moelleux 1er. Trie Les Girardières. Domaine des Aubuisières. Bernard Fouquet. 1996.

The cork looks almost finished but still firm. Colour a deep rich gold. Nose ripe & very mature, palate is fine fat mature & cries for blue cheese or foie gras. It is rich & a tad filling & clumsy. Small audience.

Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese. Joh Jos Prüm. 2006.

Great electric acidity, exciting on nose and palate. Swoosh of grapefruit and some pith. Very long and fine.

Château Lafleur. Pomerol. 1988.

A wonderful nose from the decanter after five hours. In the glass the 1988 is mature, brown edged, rich & far better than I expected. It may lack some charm & full richness but is a lovely mature wine with fine acidity & a great big intrusive nose.

Albariño. Bodegas Pazo de Señoráns. 2011.

Good quality cork-tall bottle-pale colour & a simple nose-a light fresh & simple palate-pleasant & good as an aperitif. A slight saltiness & good fresh acidity at the finish.

Bourgogne Chardonnay Joseph Faiveley. Domaine Faiveley. 2010.

Reconstituted cork – medium light gold colour-simple but welcoming nose – hint of light oak & a very good value flavour. Good French entry level chardonnay. A slight sharpness at the tail but good for white meat or fish.

Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Auslese. Paulinshof. 1999.

Fine cork, hard to extract, no sign of ageing. Colour a mature gold, nose sweet riesling but flabby not vibrant. Good common sweet palate, pedestrian but potable. If people drank sweet German wine, this would be easy to sell.They don’t. Doesn’t sing.

The Armagh Shiraz. Jim Barry Wines. 1999.

Deep red-purple; a powerful, complex ripe bouquet offers licorice, prune, plum, sweet cherry and spice, all of which come through on the massively built yet balanced palate. The big end of town,but an exceptionally good example.Special late harvest.

Beaune 1er. Cru Grèves Le Clos Blanc. Domaine Gagey. Louis Jadot. 2006.

This is wonderful. Needs an hour opened. There is a lot of wood but fully in balance. Sell or drink with confidence.

Château Barde-Haut. St. Emilion. 2005.

A very deep rich dark colour-promises extraction-big nose-expectations of a dry rich palate. Almost New World taste. Very Parker. Sweet & rich yet seems acidified. Great for the Nouveau Riche, but no class.

Château d’Aurilhac. St.Seurin de Médoc. 2003.

56% Cab Sauv 38% Merlot 3% PV 3% CF Black as your grandma’s hat. Needs 10 years & hopefully the fruit will beat the dry tannins. Winter wine.

Château Les Cruzelles. Lalande de Pomerol. 2010.

Super ripe & rich, almost New World style yet with class, breeding & fruit balance. Seductive & already giving huge pleasure. The tail acidity needs time to integrate. Lots of tartrates.

Gevrey-Chambertin Champs Chenys vieilles vignes. Philippe Roty. 2005.

What a wine. Perfect cork. Some sediment & careful decanting. Good rich colour & a dramatic sweetness & body. Glorious length & a five mile finish. From vines planted in 1934 that directly abut Charmes-Chambertin.

Chablis. Laurent Tribut. 2008.

More Chablis than Chardonnay-quite a mature nose-a dull palate but it very gradually spreads the mouth-the nose slightly improved with air-the palate is mature but has some background acidity

Sauvignon Blanc Stelvin. Isabel Estate. 2011.

Very fine nose with good promise for the wine but a degree of sharp acidity on the palate without food. With mayo etc. it retains its freshness & invites return. Quite a light nose – better developed than the normal asparagus & grass of NZ.  Round & good flavour without being flashy.  Fresh in the mouth with some good acidity showing at the tail.

Chambertin. Domaine Armand Rousseau. 2003.

What an effort this vintage. By some margin the best 03 Burgundy I have had, in fact maybe the best 03, period. Exquisite, spicy nose and unbelievable frechness and detailed focus. Very long. Very impressive. True mark of a extraordinary producer.

Chassagne-Montrachet 1er. Cru Les Caillerets. Domaine Ramonet. 2006.

Glorious nose. Clean fresh but so complex. Light gold colour with a perfect balance on the palate. Oak, fruit, acidity & length. A brilliant experience with a few years ahead.

Gevrey-Chambertin Les Jeunes Rois. Domaine Duroché. 2007.

Edge colour is mature-not heavy or extracted-a very fine bouquet more ripe strawberry & plum than raspberry-ripe grapes-richer & fuller than the Faiveley.Developed with air & became richer-lovely finish with fine acidity. Perfect match for rich food.

Mercurey La Framboisière Monopole. Domaine Faiveley. 2010.

Essence of Pinot Noir. Wild strawberrires & violets. Wonderfully pure. Best served as cool as a rosé but a large glass to capture the perfume. Pretty acidity on the palate makes for wonderful length & a tail freshness. Great value.

Puligny-Montrachet 1er. Cru Clos de la Garenne. Domaine du Duc de Magenta. Louis Jadot. 2006.

Great cork – light colour, doesn’t look mature. Nose closed but soon started to develop – delineated mineral palate – fine attack, still a light young palate, little ripeness & no fatness. Lacks richness & depth. A lightweight.