The vintage is 1979 and a true champagne lover was born. Luckily, this is the year of Peter’s highest scoring champagne and his love for terroir was unearthed. Peter began this affair with champagne whilst drinking a bottle of 1988 Pol Roger. This affair then grew and led him to collecting older vintage champagne, which he generously opens to share and appreciate with others.
Peter Crawford is a champagne lover and enthusiast. Having grown up in a farming family in Scotland, Peter has an understanding of the blood, sweat and tears that goes in to farming life and has a high degree of respect for each producer. As you sit down with Peter, his passion is contagious. You find yourself eagerly energised and excited by a topic you may know little about. It is no surprise, therefore, that he goes by the name alavolee – on the fly! It is hard not to get swept up in the intoxicating world of Peter’s champagne affair.
And through his affair, he is conscious to understand the different methods used and pass on his knowledge to anyone who will listen. Peter loves to get everyone involved and grasp an understanding of what grower alternatives there are to the grand houses. With over 9,500 tasting notes purely on champagne, Peter was awarded the Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne in 2014 at the Palace du Tau, Reims.
It is hard to believe that Peter’s champagne vivacity is just a hobby. But that is what it is, and this allows him to remain unbiased and appreciative of each style. Aside from champagne, Peter has his own physiotherapy business in London. He used to play professional polo and continues to be engaged with rugby, squash and tennis. With a bottle of champagne always at hand, of course!
(photo credit: RWH Bray)
- February 6, 2016
- Comprehensive 1996 Horizontal
- Dusseldorf, Germany
- March 9, 2016
- Dinner with Francois Audoize at Taillevent
- Taillevent, Paris
- April 14, 2016
- Champagne Week 2016
- Epernay, France
What I look for in a wine
Because of the bubbles, Champagne is a very challenging wine to taste. I look for, and discuss, weight, tension, minerality, mouthfeel, and balance. Champagne is a wine that, for me, all about mouthfeel and balance.
I always try and get something down from each wine, even if it’s just a word. I never look to bamboozle anyone, including myself, with flashy descriptors. I look for mouthfeel and structure over fruit. I talk about front, middle and back palate. I recognise that wine is organic and as such you only ever experience great moments with a wine.
Sometimes bottles win. Sometimes, however, they don’t and my notes reflect that.
How I rate wine
Wines are almost always given two scores – one for now and one for potential. I am not creating anything new here but I do tend to mark a little harsher than most…so do appreciate that 80 is a good wine for me!
- 100 Perfect and up to this point never scored.
- 98-99 Reserved for those near perfect moments
- 95 Superb wine
- 90 Stepping into the big leagues!
- 85 This is the bridge
- 80 This is where it starts to get interesting (most of the wines in my cellar are above this line).
- 75 Good wine but lacking something
- 70 Lacking a number of components
- 60 Seriously unbalanced wines
- 50 or below Very poor