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.
[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.
Following our 2016 Burgundy tasting, this week's Country Life wine column by Harry Eyres picks up on the story of the small harvest as a result of frost, but also says: "at its best this is a very good vintage indeed, with especially elegant wines.
2016 Lea & Sandeman White Burgundy Burgundy en primeur season kicks off next week and most of the talk will be about the frost and the tiny volumes produced in some areas. Don't be put off by the gloom! The fruit that survived has produced some wonderfully pure, classically-shaped Burgundy - right down to village level.
[caption id="attachment_28973" align="aligncenter" width="800"] The main house of Gosset in Epernay[/caption] Trip to Gosset Champagne: Monday 6th - Tuesday 7th November 2017 What a treat it was to visit the Gosset estate and vineyards in early November. The trip comprised a diverse range of eager folk all involved in different areas of the wine trade.
“…an astonishing Yquem that will rank alongside the 2001 and 2009.” If you want some of this gorgeous nectar in your cellar, the time to stash it away is now.
We know Champagne Barnaut well, it’s been on the LEA & SANDEMAN list for many years and is our regular recommendation for quality and value and the brand that, perhaps more than any other, illustrates just what good value ‘Grower’ Champagnes can be.