Releases continue to trickle out in Bordeaux, rather slowly given that, according to one rumour coming out from the Bordeaux trade, the majority of the big names intend to be out before Vinexpo Hong Kong, which runs from the 24th to the 26th May, and that's a lot of wines to release in a month with more French holidays than you'd think possible in a country that only works 35 hours a week anyway.
Harry Eyres was very taken by our Stapleton & Springer Pinot Noirs at our spring press tasting. and mentions as such in last week's edition of Country Life magazine: 'Delightful surprises are perhaps the best aspect of of the wine-writer's profession.
The L&S team are so used to me going on about how the fun of wine is in the complexity and nuance, the origins, the whys and wherefores of how the flavours get into a glass of wine, that they might wonder if I had inspired this weekend's article by Victoria Moore in the Telegraph, which, coming rather late to the party, I read over breakfast this morning.
Today is the day when we expect Neal Martin's verdict on the 2015 vintage. Many critics have already given their opinions, with a rave review (six hundred pointers and lots of 'best-evers') from James Suckling (jamessuckling.com), enthusiastic set of notes from Roger Voss of the Wine Enthusiast (wineenthusiast.
Almost our last visit of primeurs week in Bordeaux was back to see Stéphane Dief up in the northern Médoc at Saint Christoly. Stéphane has made his usual success of his two wines, Clos Manou and Petit Manou. The Clos Manou has, unsurprisingly, the majority of the Cabernet, (69%) while the second wine is 88% Merlot.
'This is simply a magical bottle. That's all there is to it' "Le Piane's 2011 Boca is simply dazzling. Rich, translucent and remarkably vivid, the 2011 encapsulates all the reasons the wines from Alto Piemonte are so compelling.
There are various people in Bordeaux (or rather in the vineyards around Bordeaux) who are prepared to be intelligently honest in their appraisals of vintages, and that can really help sort out what one's thoughts about a vintage are.
The Left bank of the Gironde - the Médoc, encompassing the villages of Margaux, Saint Julien, Pauillac and Saint Estèphe as well as the actual Médoc and Haut Médoc appellations, mostly had a very different experience of the 2015 vintage to the Right bank.
The Bordelais are displaying their usual respect for the work of their importers by rushing out some prices early (La Couspaude and La Tour Figeac out this morning), long before there is any real chance of us having our notes completed. There is no rush for these wines so remain calm and survey the scene for a moment.
It is beginning to look as though Spring may finally be upon us, and so we have all been sat around wondering what we should tell you about our choice of wines for the sunnier seasons.
Well it's (nearly) that time of year again. Early news suggests that this really is a top-drawer vintage, but there are also reasons to believe that it may not be quite such a homogeneous success as either 2009 or 2010. In essence the issue is that some rain fell in September and early October before the harvest.
Château Latour continues its process of releasing older stock from the château as it approaches maturity. As previously the prices are above the current market, but come with the assurance of perfect provenance, complete with proof tags.
Offer runs until 8th April! The 162nd Boat Race race is taking place this Sunday so what better way to celebrate such a British occasion than with a special offer on two of our favourite champagnes! Not to mention that our Chiswick shop is within not so many boat lengths of the river so do drop by (even on Sunday) and take advantage of this limited time offer - check our Easter opening times below*.
One of our favourite new producers - Màquina & Tabla - has been given a resounding thumbs up by Tim Atkin this weekend, featuring on his website as "Wine of the Week".
Vintage Overview 2011 was generally a warm vintage in the rolling hills of Piedmont. Spring began with a good early heatwave that got the flowering of the vines off to a perfect start. The warmth continued and it was looking like it might be a very quick season, until June, when the temperature dropped a little and stayed cool to the end of July.
This Friday we are heading off to the south west of Frankfurt to Rheinhessen in Germany and trying two wines from Braunewell: 2012 SPÄTBURGUNDER Weingut Braunewell A delicious, light and bright Pinot Noir. It has plenty of juicy strawberry and red fruit character, and at only 12% ABV makes this a perfect little red for a long lazy lunch.
Màquina & Tabla – More Magical Wines from Spain at L&S It was an exciting day when we first discovered these brilliant wines, and we are delighted to be introducing them to the UK and share the joy - each wine has an incredible sense of identity and real pow! Yet all done with such charm and restrained style, they just make you smile.
As the NSPCC celebrates the 30th anniversary of Childline, we were delighted to be involved in one of the longer-running fundraising events for the NSPCC for our tenth year. This year's City Fine Wine Challenge raised a wonderful £186,500, so a big thank you to all who attended who make our work for this event so rewarding.
Just a quick note to say that our February Sale draws to a close this coming Monday at midnight. There's still plenty of great bargains to be picked up so take advantage of our FREE nationwide delivery for all orders over £100 and stock up your wine rack! All of our shops are open until 8pm this evening with Chiswick open from 11am till 5pm tomorrow.
‘2011 is another great vintage which could easily have produced a high quality Riserva, but sadly there just wasn't enough fruit to be able to make it.’ These were the words of Roberto Fuligni, who was in London recently to present his new releases, the Brunello 2011 and the Brunello Riserva 2010.