Our plans to taste the latest releases from Chateau Margaux face to face (at a safe distance!) with the team from the Chateau were thwarted last week by complications with travel for the Bordeaux contingent. We had been heading into London to the Mentzelopoulos family's Marylebone outpost - Clarette (the wine bar owned by Alexandra Petit Mentzelopoulos).
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.
Wednesday was quite a day as we headed to the Rothschild family’s English home, Waddesdon Manor, for an impressive Rothschild double header – the 5 wines from the Lafite Rothschilds and 5 wines from the Mouton Rothschilds. It was a strange feeling – very reminiscent of our usual primeur pilgrimage to the great Châeaux of Bordeaux.
Château Latour 2012 is released today – for the first time, as this was the first vintage in which Latour was not offered en primeur.
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.
Is there anything that beats a good Dinner Party? Coming together to share delicious food, exciting wines, and lively conversation with friends now seems more essential than ever before – but how to have that experience now? In recent weeks, technology has really stepped up to the plate, changing the way we work, play, and socialise.
Every January the small village of Ampuis in the Northern Rhone plays host to the annual Marché aux vins, a salon that attracts a global audience of Syrah and Viognier enthusiasts, collectors and buyers.
2018 was a very hot vintage – the growing season only beaten by 2003 for overall heat. However the wines are very different from 2003, for even where they are ripe there is much more freshness than one could have dreamed possible.
It’s the busiest moment of the year for our team as we try to help everyone get the right wines into their glasses as well as the perfect presents into people's stockings for Christmas.
On Wednesday we published our immediate thoughts on the wines of the Right Bank (see 2018 Bordeaux En Primeur: Right Bank Roundup). Here are our first impressions from the other side of the river and a list of wines we felt were outstanding within their quality level or commune.
We will touch down at Mérignac airport early on Sunday morning and fly straight into the 2018 Bordeaux en primeur tastings. Judgement will be reserved until all the barrels have been sampled but here are some early impressions of the vintage and thoughts on the upcoming campaign.
…for those who like refined Syrah that isn’t particularly high in alcohol, these are great wines, many of which drink well young on the youthful fruit, but will also age gracefully for ten years or more.