An Englishman Abroad... Wine Tasting at the Crypt

On Thursday 15 September, Christian Seely, managing director of winemaking group AXA Millesimes, will host a five-course dinner for Square Meal readers at the historic Crypt (run by the award-winning team from The Bleeding Heart) in Ely Place.

The meal will provide an opportunity for an in-depth look at five wines: Château Pichon-Longueville Baron (2ème Cru Pauillac), Château Petit-Village (Pomerol), Château Suduiraut (1ère Cru Sauternes) and Disznókö (largest vineyard in Tokaj), as well as Christian Seely's latest project in the Languedoc, Château Belles Eaux.

The five-course dinner (see menu below), including all wines, canapés, coffee and petits-fours, costs £80 per head. To book tickets, contact Catherine on 020 7242 8238, or email catherine@bleeding


Amuse of poached oyster on tomato carpaccio with citron dressing
Domaine Belles Eaux Rosé 2004, Languedoc

Duo of scallops with leeks & caramelised shallots, together with foie gras & home-smoked duck terrine & grape salad
2001 Château Suduiraut, 1er Cru Sauternes
1999 Château Suduiraut, 1er Cru Sauternes

Roasted Anjou pigeon with crushed coco beans de paimpole & rosemary jus
2001 Château Petit Village, Pomerol
1996 Château Petit Village, Pomerol

Trinity of cheeses
1997 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron, 2eme Cru Pauillac
1995 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron, 2eme Cru Pauillac

Honey-roast peach with Tokaj sabayon
Disznókö Tokaj Aszú 6 puttonyos 1993
Disznókö Tokaj Aszú Eszencia 1999

Christian Seely

Englishman Christian Seely spends his life abroad looking after the various vineyards belonging to the winemaking group AXA Millesimes, of which he is managing director. Based in Bordeaux, at Château Pichon Baron, one of the jewels of his organisation, he also is a regular visitor to Portugal where he has been in charge of the great Port estate Quinta do Noval for over 10 years, and to Hungary where AXA Millesimes have been making great Tokaj since 1992.

Four of those properties – Bordeaux Château Pichon-Longueville (Pauillac), Petit Village (Pomerol) and Château Suduiraut (Sauternes) Disznókö in Tokaj, Hungary – have been featured in Square Meal’s annual ‘Around the World in 20 Wines’ supplements. And it is wines from those vineyards, together with an ‘taster’ from his latest project in the Languedoc, that Christian Seely will be flying over from France to present on Thursday 15 September.

Wine Guide

Château Belles Eaux: Château Belles Eaux, with its 16th-century buildings, takes its name from the many natural springs found on the land. Together with the neighbouring Sainte-Helene estate on the gravelly slopes of Caux, close to Pezenas, it now forms a 90-hectare estate, in the mineral rich south of the region. The vineyards, now being gradually replanted, contain Syrah, Mourvèdre and Grenache with plots of Chardonnay and Carignan, including parcels of rare old vines.

Château Suduiraut: A 1er Grand Cru Sauternes, historic Château Suduiraut lies next to Château Yquem, besides the woods and river that runs through the heart of this famous sweet wine region. This Grade A terroir is mainly planted with Semillon, and the grapes are painstakingly hand-harvested and sorted, once they have attracted the distinctive botrytis – or ‘noble rot’ - depending on different climactic conditions each year. Skilful wine-making produces wines from Suduiraut that have great depth and fruit expected of a top dessert wine, yet with a clean finish on the palate.

Château Petit Village: Situated high up on the gravel plain at Pomerol’s heart, Château Petit Village is a small 11-hectare estate in the shape of an equilateral triangle, on the outskirts of Catusseau. The original farmhouse and buildings are grouped around an interior courtyard, making, in effect, a ‘little village’. It might be small, but Petit Village produces wines in the classic style of great Pomerols - deep red, aromatic & supple, with an almost silky finish.

Château Pichon-Longueville: This estate, dating back to 17th-century, lies north of Bordeaux in the fine-gravelled southerly section of Pauillac in the Medoc - bound by the Atlantic shores on the left and the Gironde estuary on the right. The château, with its famous turreted towers, was completely restored in 1988, and a state-of-the-art winery built, following a national competition for a modern architectural design. Pichon-Longueville’s wines are powerful and rich in tannins, characterised by the ‘marriage’ of masculinity with finesse and elegance.

Disznókö: The largest single estate in the Tokaj region, and ideally situated to benefit from the warm winds sweeping from the Hungarian plain, Disznókö boasts an ultra-modern winery – built just 10 years ago – alongside the historic Yellow House, now restored as a restaurant and visitor centre. The crisply elegant yet luscious style of Disznókö’s Aszú wines are rapidly gaining a discerning following by wine lovers around the world.