The Outsiders 2021 We enjoyed a slightly belated tasting of the wines which variously seem to have become known as ‘The September Series’ ‘La Place Late Releases’ or to us ‘The Outsiders’. Something which more or less began with a few Californian producers looking for global reach for their wine, it now represents wine from Italy, Oregon, Argentina, Australia, The Rhone and Bordeaux itself.
When someone around you decides to change for the better, it’s usually a lovely thing to watch. Maybe they start eating more healthily, correct an annoying trait or start doing charity work. Even if you really liked them before, the idea of them becoming even more lovely is always a positive thing.
The 2020 vintage is beginning to reach us, with the first major sample arriving yesterday. These blog entries will keep track of my thoughts on the samples that I am able to taste, along with a few comments regarding the market and what pricing might be considered favourable.
The short answer is, from a first hand perspective, not a lot. Written reports compare the weather to that of 2016, 2018 and 2019 – mild and wet in the spring, which followed through to a hot, dry summer and an even more clement picking season.
I look at wine prices constantly. Partly, because it’s my living, but it also goes far, far beyond that – I’m one of those people who can’t stand getting over-charged for anything, whether it’s a holiday, a new coat or in this instance, a case of wine.
Domaine François Raquillet It’s a winding back road through the vineyards to get to Domaine Raquillet and I more than once tested the brakes on Charles’ car (he’s promised not to sue for the whiplash, but we’ll see).
What do I buy for the overly particular wine lover in my life? Is a statement which I expect is issued forth by almost every person in line (all three of them) to buy me a gift, every Christmas. Do you buy them wine? Perhaps.
Last Thursday we were joined by 20 lovely people for our first official Lea & Sandeman Interactive Zoom wine tasting. Three bottles of Chablis: Petit, Village and Premier Cru, whisked their way out to attendees before the hour and a half long chat began.
Domaine Frantz Chagnoleau Our second day began with a longer journey, from our digs in Beaune (which we had settled into the night before after driving down from Chablis) straight south to Pouilly-Fuissé. In the tiny commune of Pierreclos, we drew up to a maze of buildings and were greeted, then ushered down some steps to the tiny cave of Frantz Chagnoleau.
We've touched down in Burgundy and have an intense, covid-safe programme of visits that will see us covering the length and breadth of Burgundy starting from Chablis in the north – to the south in the Mâconnais and not missing anything out in between! An early start for Day 1, after our 10 hour journey from London - the following day, is something easily met when you know that your day will be packed full of Chablis tasting - helped even more by the first Domaine being just down the road.
There have been a fair number of ‘ifs’ about the 2019 Bordeaux En Primeur. The first and perhaps biggest was the ‘if it would happen’. With most of the world in various states of lockdown, Primeur week cancelled and critics unable to taste, the situation in April looked pretty bleak.
Although a hotly anticipated release, Cos d’Estournel, with its position next to Lafite, is arguably St Estèphe’s answer to a first growth. The 2019 was offered to us this morning with a score of 97-99 points from The Wine Advocate and sitting at £684 per 6 bottles IB.