"Wilberforce...is good fictional company and the narrative voice Torday gives him...provides an astringently comic note" SUNDAY TIMES "This compulsive study of addiction proves Torday's mastery of the dark, as well as the light, realms of fiction" TIMES "a human story of real poignancy" SUNDAY TELEGRAPH "Torday, as he demonstrated in his debut novel Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, is an extravagantly gifted writer" MAIL ON SUNDAY "it becomes darker and more poignant with each eagerly turned page" BIG ISSUE IN THE NORTH "Unusual and intriguing, this 'Novel in Four Vintages' is a story of passion and addiction, identity and the desire to belong" GOOD BOOK GUIDE
Late one summer evening, Wilberforce - rich, young, and work-obsessed - makes a detour on his way home to the vast undercroft of Caerlyon Hall, and the domain of Francis Black, a place where wine, hospitality and affection flow freely. Through Francis, Wilberforce is initiated into a life rich in the promise of friendship and adventure, where, through his new set of friends, the possibility of finding acceptance, and even falling in love, seems finally to be within his reach. Wilberforce becomes a willing pupil to Francis, and in the cellars of Caerlyon he nurtures a new-found passion for wine. But even the finest wine can leave a bitter aftertaste, and Wilberforce will learn the undercroft's unpalatable secrets, and that passion comes at a price ...