We have only just returned from our annual pilgrimage to Burgundy but the en primeur campaign is already looming large. Our visits in October and November were an absolute delight. Many vignerons were wearing broad smiles again and as well they might, this is clearly a vintage that will give enormous early drinking pleasure for both red and white.
Our final day careering around the Côte began with a rather bleary-eyed breakfast. Conversation quickly turned to volume (which was nothing at all to do with the size of my bowl of cornflakes.
Another star-studded day yesterday. If anything, the bar was raised a notch, and not just because of a certain cellar in Gevrey Chambertin.
We have an early appointment with Clos de Lambrays this morning so I’ll type fast. It was an (almost) embarrassingly star-studded lineup yesterday, with far too many wines to go into great detail on each. So a word on the vintage itself, which is coming more and more into focus.
It’s a beautiful, crisp autumn day as we land in Lyon. After negotiating passport control (the sizeable queue was an ominous portent for life after Brexit), we headed through the fog to the ‘calcaire’ time-capsule that is the village of Rully. Our first appointment was at Domaine Jacqueson.
Dreaming of a White Christmas, but some Red of course too! Christmas is the perfect time to indulge a little, in every quarter, wine included. This does not mean we all have to drink hugely expensive wine at every turn - no, what’s important is to make sure that what we do drink is perfect, every time.
'A rockstar 2012 vintage for Brunello' 2012, looks to be a fantastic vintage for Brunello di Montalcino. Like 2010, it has been awarded a 5-star rating by the Consorzio Brunello. Walter Speller of JancisRobinson.com was convinced by the number of wines he awarded 17 to 17.5 in his initial tastings (again, Fuligni is rated 17.
On Monday, we welcomed members of the trade and press to our 2015 Burgundy En Primeur Tasting at 67 Pall Mall. Those who braved the appalling weather and tube strike were welcomed by a room of joyous wines. 2015 was a fantastic vintage across the board.
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.
Late September is a good time to head to Portugal for a couple of days - you get some welcome sunshine before the Christmas run in begins and, as the harvest is coming in, there’s plenty to see.