Julian Chamberlen

INTERVIEW WITH A WINE EXPERT

AN INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED WINE EXPERT

Julian is a highly experienced Chief Wine Officer host, and nothing gives him greater pleasure than sharing his extensive wine experience with our guests. He is a partner in Farthinghoe fine wine, a former Sales Director at Goedhuis, and previously at Layton’s, Bibendum and Veuve Clicquot. A passionate and committed disciple of the grape, Julian has spent 30+ years picking vines, making wine, studying to diploma-level, and travelling to countless European and Australian vineyards.

Tell us a little about your background – how did you first become interested in wine?

My Dad always loved wine but was very Bordeaux -centric. He definitely switched me onto it, and then an introduction to a wonderful, and sadly no longer with us hugely entertaining individual Richard “pissy” Parsons, a partner in Greens wine merchants, based in the city of London, took me under his wing as an apprentice, and I was lucky enough to get my hands dirty in many of the great European wine regions, and really learn at the coal face.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Each and every day is so different and such a privilege; after all, this wonderful wine we deal in has been in existence for many hundreds of years. We get to meet, eat, and drink with some extraordinary individuals, Growers, customers, brokers, colleagues. All full of energy, ideas and enthusiasm and with a shared love of the grape. Wonderful life-long friendships are forged and there is much laughter had.

Each and every day is so different and such a privilege; after all, this wonderful wine we deal in has been in existence for many hundreds of years.

What wine do you think people should appreciate but don’t?

Too many to mention, but I think many of the Rhone appellations like Vacqueyras, and Rasteau offer such great value and such delicious drinking. Italy too is groaning with fabulous wines, at seriously sensible prices. Its all about the Grower, and that is the challenge we love, is finding those undiscovered wines, and helping to bring them to market.

What is your favourite expensive wine, and your favourite affordable wine?

Wow, well the best I think I ever drank was La Tache, Domaine Romanee Conti 1978 which I was served “blind” by an Aussie mate of mine, some 15 years ago, me having flown over to Melbourne to see him, and we dined with his wife. He served all of the wines blind and this was bottle number three! it was exquisite, not much of it around but would be north of £2k a bottle now. For something more realistic which comes in closer to £40 then you cannot beat the extraordinary Akitu A1 pinot from my good friend Andrew Donaldson in Central Otago. It is just off the scale and I think it knocks spots of many of its peers in Burgundy. I love drinking Italian wine and there is a beautiful baby Brunello from the Sesti family called Monteleccio which is a firm favourite and circa £17 a bottle, but a total and utter favourite affordable wine is the super pure dry pale Provencal Rose, Domaine de Jale, les Fenouils. It is always “hangover free” !

What wine fact can you share with our readers so they can impress their friends?

Drink wine in Magnum when you can as the volume of air to liquid is optimal. They always bring a smile to all around them, and ensure a wonderful occasion.

If you were hosting a dinner party, who would you invite (from anytime, anywhere)?

Bob Marley, Toyah Wilcox, Winston Churchill, Elle Macpherson, John McEnroe, Jean Claude Killy, Liv Tyler, Beau Brummel, Michael Broadbent

What is your wine guilty pleasure?

Pudding wine – my son and I seemed to develop rather a liking for Ch Rieussec in lockdown!

I love drinking Italian wine and there is a beautiful baby Brunello from the Sesti family called Monteleccio, but a total and utter favourite affordable wine is the super pure dry pale Provencal Rose, Domaine de Jale, les Fenouils. It’s always “hangover free”!

MEET JULIAN AT OUR NEXT EVENT

Now that you know a little more about Julian, you’ll be happy to find out that he’s hosting some of our first new and exclusive CWO : DIGITAL events! You can get in on his vast wine knowledge, as well as industry-leading business discussions, by signing up to our new B2B virtual tasting experience here.