Earlier this month, on Thursday 7th October 2021, a staggering £300,000 was raised at the Covid- delayed much-celebrated biennial Wine Dinner established by Johnny and Laura Goedhuis 32 years ago to raise much needed funds for learning disabilities and children's charities. This brings the total amount raised by The Wine Dinner to more than £4,000,000.
This year's chosen charities were JDRF and The Goed Life. JDRF is the type 1 diabetes charity and a funder of world-class medical research to cure, prevent and treat type 1 diabetes. THE GOED LIFE helps people with learning disabilities find meaningful employment, as well as support them in their daily lives. The Goed Life was inspired by Sam Goedhuis, Laura & Johnny Goedhuis’ son, who has Down’s syndrome.
The event, held at the Savoy, would not be possible without the overwhelming generosity shown by the châteaux who take part in the event by donating exceptional wines either for the auction or the tasting. A particular mention must go Prince Robert of Luxembourg and Jacques and Fiona Thienpont for their outstanding generosity and support, and a full ist of the Chateaux and Champgne Houses supporting the tasting can be found below.
Johnny Goedhuis comments: “When Laura and I first had the idea of a wine dinner we would never have imagined that it would still be going 32 years later. This has only been possible due to the amazing support that we have had from Châteaux, Domaines and friends who year after year have filled tables and bid in the auction. This has enabled us to give away more than £4million to help some wonderful charities. Of course, this year was particularly special for us as half the proceeds went to our charity the Goed Life, inspired by our son Sam who has Down’s Syndrome. The team at the Goed Life has done a wonderful job transforming the daily lives of adults with learning disabilities, helping them find meaningful employment, and this will allow them to help so many more people. We are also very touched by the amazing Goedhuis & Private Reserves teams who give up huge amounts of time ensuring that the evening is a success.”
The pre-dinner tasting showed 32 top Bordeaux, including all five First Growths, and other outstanding wines from the Left Bank appellations, St Emilion, Pomerol.
David Roberts MW comments, “As so often happens after a great great vintage, in this case 2005, the following year can be overlooked whatever its quality. This rings so very true for the 2006s. This year’s Wine Dinner gave us the perfect excuse to revisit 2006 and it is not an exaggeration to say expectations really were surpassed. We tasted an amazing selection of wines, highlighting the 2006’s boldness and structure. These are not shy wines, but the best have completeness, balancing rich deep fruit with a controlled weight of tightly woven tannins, giving the wines a great core and huge potential longevity. 15 years old and some are beginning to express their true glory, but at the very top end these wines will go on for 30 years or more.
In a room of so many wonderful wines it is almost unfair to pick out a few, but here goes… As an appellation Margaux was a joy to taste and the right bank flight of Angelus, La Conseillante, Evangile and Vieux Chateau Certan was dreamy. For consistency St Julien wins the award and as ever lived up to all expectations culminating with a sensational Ducru Beaucaillou, and in Pauillac and St Estèphe the best wines exuded the power and composure of the vintage. However, saving the best till last, the First Growths highlighted that 2006 really is a vintage not to be overlooked, I have a weak spot for both Haut Brion and Cheval Blanc and boy did they excite this time round and the grouping of Lafite, Mouton and Latour offered a superb expression of their individuality and unique styles.”
Highlights of the auction, brilliantly conducted by Humphrey Butler, included over £115,000 raised for trips to Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne hosted by David Roberts MW and Johnny Goedhuis, an unbelievably rare jeroboam of Domaine Grivot 1999 Richebourg, donated by Roy Richards, and a double magnum of Le Pin 2008, donated by the Thienponts, which both went for £11,000.
Full list of Chateaux and Champgne Houses supporting the tasting this year:
Ch Branaire Ducru
Ch Brane Cantenac
Ch Cheval Blanc
Domaine de Chevalier
Ch La Conseillante
Ch Cos d’Estournel
Ch Haut Bailly
Ch Haut Brion & Ch La Mission Haut Brion
Ch Le Pin
Ch Léoville Barton
Ch Léoville Poyferré
Ch Lynch Bages
Ch Pichon Baron
Ch Pichon Lalande
Ch Pontet Canet
Ch Rauzan Ségla
Vieux Château Certan
Hatch Mansfield & Champagne Taittinger