Author Archives: Charles Lea

2020 Burgundy En Primeur travel diary part 1

2020 Burgundy | Part 1 – Chablis

By on 30/12/2021

Chablis - arriving in Fleys on the road from Tonnerre Towards the end of October I planned to set off from Kent to start a trip to Chablis and Champagne, and was told, when I began to make appointments for the Monday, that the Sunday was by chance the rather local event, the 'Fête des vins de Chablis' - a chance for the local vignerons to show their wares in a street closed for the day, and a good opportunity to try the wines of quite a number of different domaines - so I set off rather earlier than I'd originally intended to get there in time.

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Harvest Lamy

2021 Burgundy harvest reports | Côte de Beaune

By on 19/11/2021

[caption id="attachment_33650" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Harvest at Domaine Hubert Lamy[/caption] Domaine Rémi Jobard - Meursault Remi Jobard told us:- ‘It was the shortest harvest ever – even my father had never seen anything like it. 1/3 of the normal harvest, and short in red as well as white. I picked late – starting as most people finished.

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Harvest Anne Gros

2021 Burgundy harvest reports | Côte de Nuits

By on 20/10/2021

An interesting report given that there seems to be a 'blanket' view that 2021 is a disaster in France. In Burgundy the quantity of white is certainly disastrously low, but there will as usual be some nicer surprises.

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Bordeaux Harvest

2021 Harvest Reports – Bordeaux Gleanings

By on 20/10/2021

Asked how the harvest has gone, one négociant replied that he felt that Bordeaux has got away with frost losses much better than some other parts of France, with frosts that were -3C to -4C, the kind that the great Châteaux are able to deal with by using very expensive things like helicopters or candles in the vineyard.

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alternative to cote rotie

Matt Walls in Decanter – Côte-Rôtie alternatives

By on 19/05/2021

From Matt Walls, writing in Decanter, comes an article on top-quality and great-value Côte-Rôtie alternatives. As Matt puts it,  “When a grape variety is given time to ripen slowly and gradually, it develops its aromas one by one. The grape has time to listen to those aromas, to remember them all, layering them like tints in a watercolour.

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Steven Spurrier in Barnes

Steven Spurrier – a wine legend | 1941-2021

By on 09/03/2021

[caption id="attachment_32961" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Steven Spurrier at our Barnes shop for a book signing[/caption] We are very sad to hear the death today of the wine legend Steven Spurrier. Steven’s Paris shop ‘Les Caves de la Madeleine’ was a magnet for wine enthusiasts and has proved an enduring influence on those who worked there – which sometimes feels like a whole generation of the UK wine trade.

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Pontet Canet

2019 Bordeaux EP | Pontet Canet kicks off

By on 29/05/2020

Vintage good to outstanding. Timing poor to appalling. Pricing might be interesting We have already expressed our sympathy with the view that the interruption of the primeur tastings in Bordeaux should really have resulted in a radical rethink of the whole en primeur circus, which, in the last ten years, has become a selling opportunity for the Chateaux rather than a buying opportunity for the consumer.

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2019 Bordeaux EP Launch

2019 Bordeaux EP | Negative Comment, But Bordeaux Presses On

By on 26/05/2020

We’ve already said that the UK trade is not terribly enthusiastic about the prospect of a primeur campaign over this summer, and we are not the only ones. “This horrible virus could have been the excuse that the region needed to kick this outdated and increasingly irrelevant ‘buying opportunity’ into the long grass, once and for all.” (Matthew Jukes)

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Denis Durantou

By on 21/05/2020

I am still reeling from the news of the death last week of Denis Durantou, owner and winemaker of Chateau l'Église Clinet, La Petite Église (its second wine) Cruzelles, Montlandrie, La Chenade and Saintayme. He was only 62. I've been so disengaged (delegation) from the last two Bordeaux primeur campaigns, that I didn't even know he was ill.

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