Today sees the initial release of 2015 Gravette de Certan, the second wine of Vieux Château Certan. Now, we have not tasted this, and as far as we can tell neither has any other journalist/commentator/critic, but the 'Grand Vin' from 2015 was awarded 98-100 by Neal Martin and certainly one member of the Thienpont family spoke of the 'Gravette' with awe at the beginning of this year, saying he thought it as good as many earlier vintages of the Grand Vin.
CHÂTEAU SMITH HAUT LAFITTE have released their wines. The grand vin is out at £467.50 per 6 bottles IB. This was a really classy wine with an intense core of outstanding Cabernet fruit. There's gorgeous texture and lovely length here too - it's a supremely well made Pessac.
Ignoring the holidays in the UK and US, second growth Château Gruaud Larose was launched onto the market yesterday, along with its popular second wine Sarget de Gruaud Larose. Half the vineyard here is now farmed biodynamically and this may account for what seems to be an increased transparency and detail in the wines.
'a more classic style' of Pape Clément red, says Neal Martin (95-97), while Galloni found it 'one of the raciest, silkiest wines I have ever tasted here' (93-96), and that 'it is the wine's balance that is most remarkable'.
You may not have heard of Château Jean Faure, but it's time you did. For a start, it is very well-placed: It is a fantastic clay terroir, ideal for the high Cabernet Franc content (like Cheval Blanc). It is planted to 50% Cabernet Franc and is also organically cultivated and will be certified 'organic wine' from the 2017 vintage.
Over the last two nights, with danger still present, the Bordeaux vineyard has been hit hard by a very destructive frost. Temperatures descending as low as -5C have done massive damage to the nascent buds and some vineyards have lost the entire 2017 crop.
Two of our favourite en primeur value buys are now out, one from each side of the river. Many of our customers have followed these for years and the proof of the pudding is those who bought the early vintages and have drunk them are coming back for more. Both have excelled again with the 2016 vintage.
The Bordeaux primeurs season is warming up gently, and yesterday saw the release of a perennial Primeur favourite, the Sichel family's Château Angludet. With no premium for either halves or magnums, this is a great opportunity to put away some delicious drinking Margaux for around eight to twenty years from now.
Classicism is the name of the day in 2016, but it is certainly a very polished classicism. A return to wines mostly in the 13-13.5% level, so more ‘Englishman’s claret’ than some recent top vintages.
In the first six months of the year, rainfall was over 60% up on average. From the 15th of June to the 13th of September rainfall was 50% lower than average.
By a series of astonishing coincidences Grange Park Opera is building a four-tier opera house at West Horsley Place, close to the A3 just beyond the M25, so within easy striking distance of many of our west-London-based customers. We think this development might well be of interest to you.
Domaine Francois & Isabelle Lumpp - Givry, Cote de Nuits, Burgundy Amongst all the chatter about high prices in 2015 Burgundy, some real bargains get overlooked. We have been happy to see some of our regionals - 'Bourgogne Rouges' gain good traction as critics realise what great value they represent - from as little at £90 a case of 12 in bond.