We have only just returned from our annual pilgrimage to Burgundy but the en primeur campaign is already looming large. Our visits in October and November were an absolute delight. Many vignerons were wearing broad smiles again and as well they might, this is clearly a vintage that will give enormous early drinking pleasure for both red and white.
We all know that our feathery new world friend can emerge from the furnace a touch on the bland side. The old bird's silver lining is a free rein when it comes to wine pairing. Whites or reds make excellent matches, particularly those that are packed with flavour.
Everyone likes to indulge in a special bottle or three over Christmas and the L&S team is no different. We've all squirreled away something to savour and share with (appreciative!) friends and family. L&S Top Brass Charles Lea: I'm rather hoping to get a chance to raid the better end of my brother-in-law's cellar - the 2002 Vieux Château Certan was particularly memorable last time.
Our final day careering around the Côte began with a rather bleary-eyed breakfast. Conversation quickly turned to volume (which was nothing at all to do with the size of my bowl of cornflakes.
Another star-studded day yesterday. If anything, the bar was raised a notch, and not just because of a certain cellar in Gevrey Chambertin.
We have an early appointment with Clos de Lambrays this morning so I’ll type fast. It was an (almost) embarrassingly star-studded lineup yesterday, with far too many wines to go into great detail on each. So a word on the vintage itself, which is coming more and more into focus.
It’s a beautiful, crisp autumn day as we land in Lyon. After negotiating passport control (the sizeable queue was an ominous portent for life after Brexit), we headed through the fog to the ‘calcaire’ time-capsule that is the village of Rully. Our first appointment was at Domaine Jacqueson.
[caption id="attachment_29768" width="600" align="alignright"] L'Aumônerie, Gevrey Chambertin[/caption] During the 11th century, Abbot Halinard instructed for cellars to be built in Gevrey Chambertin as a store for the Abbey of Saint Benigné in Dijon. Nine hundred or so vintages on, the very same vaults shelter the latest batch of exulted offerings from Domaine Dugat-Py.
We have just spent a week careering around the Tuscan countryside like crazed cinghiale, sniffing out truffle and guzzling Chianti Classico. Everywhere we went, friendly black roosters tempted us in like slightly tipsy Sirens. The problem is, all roosters are not created equal. That's unsurprising given that Chianti Classico's rippling landscape covers nearly 72,000 hectares.
Eating perfectly cooked grouse with a judiciously selected bottle or two is one of the great gastronomic delights. But what to pair with (arguably) Britain's most delicious game bird? Good, old red Burgundy 'The traditional answer to the question of what to drink with grouse is 'a bottle of good, old red burgundy.
As we mentioned in our initial post on the vintage, it was the frost that hit Bordeaux for several nights at the end of April which dominated the early headlines on the 2017 vintage. The frost was undoubtedly catastrophic for some but the more we chatted to winemakers across every appellation, we realised there was a subtler story to tell.
(Staircase at Lafite Rothschild) Flicking through my diary over breakfast revealed another jam-packed day including two first growths and the lion’s share of ‘super-seconds’. Not bad for a cold, grey Wednesday! The fun began at Léoville-Poyferré where we tasted the superb Le Crock as well as a very impressive grand vin.