It may be surprising to know that most of the states of the US produce wine. But, of course, most of the American wines that hit these shores are from California. From the earliest days of Spanish settlers, through waves of various European migrants, surviving the vicissitudes of Prohibition, to the modern internationally recognised industry of today, wine has always been part of the Californian scene.
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.
Italy has always been close to the heart of Lea & Sandeman and we are very fortunate enough to represent some superb estates across the length and breadth of this beautiful country.
For many, Californian Wine means one thing – the big, rich, bold style – fruit-laden whoppers embodied most often by the wines from the Napa valley – but after 10 days hard study and exploration along the dramatic coastline of this beautiful state, we have learnt lots and there is great variety for those looking for more.
The December issue of Decanter landed on our doorstep this morning, and we were delighted to see some really high praise for lots of wines in the L&S portfolio. The ‘Weekday Wines’ section is put together each month by Tastings Director Christelle Guibert. It features 25 wines for less than £20, all of them a little different or adventurous in their own way.
Bordeaux can be a rather confusing and confounding market and never more so than at 'primeur' time. It is very easy to switch off, and many of us do, with just some of the big names and wild prices making the headlines.
There are various people in Bordeaux (or rather in the vineyards around Bordeaux) who are prepared to be intelligently honest in their appraisals of vintages, and that can really help sort out what one's thoughts about a vintage are.
As the NSPCC celebrates the 30th anniversary of Childline, we were delighted to be involved in one of the longer-running fundraising events for the NSPCC for our tenth year. This year's City Fine Wine Challenge raised a wonderful £186,500, so a big thank you to all who attended who make our work for this event so rewarding.