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 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.
Bordeaux has broad horizons. A maritime city in a former imperial power with a rich viticultural resource, it has always traded well beyond its own borders. England's seemingly unquenchable thirst has been its mainstay but by the late 18th century wines were travelling much further afield on a regular basis.
Our very own Angus Barcroft was lucky enough to be granted a place on L'Academie du Champagne's summer course. This is no industry jolly. The week includes lectures led by the principals and winemakers of the sixteen member Houses covering all aspects of Champagne from viticulture to marketing.
BYOB Corkage at Lorne - July Only Our lovely friends at the brilliant Lorne Restaurant in Victoria have a very special corkage offer for customers in July. For all Saturday bookings they would like to extend an offer of £5 corkage, so that you can dig in to the cellar and bring out that special bottle you have been meaning to drink and take it along to enjoy with their exceptional food.
If you drive down the A303 on a regular basis, and read the large signs just west of Stonehenge, then you will already know about this, but might have forgotten when it’s happening, (this weekend), and of course if you don’t drive down the 303, you might still be interested.
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.
With most of our Right Bank tastings now complete, we thought it would be timely to offer some initial thoughts on the 2018s we’ve tasted. Below is a quick summary of our key Right Bank impressions, including which wines we think are contenders for ‘wine of the vintage’, as well as a few more down to earth picks that really impressed us.
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.
Every March the new releases from Montalcino are unveiled. The rules stipulate that Brunello must be aged at the estate for 5 years and for the Riservas it is 7 years before hitting the market. 2019 therefore marks the release of the 2014 Brunellos and the Riservas from 2013.