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.
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.
Last week we hosted our 4th annual pure Italian Tasting which has become one of the highlights of our year. A showcase of our incredible Italian selection which grows every year, presented by the wonderful people who make the wines.
“I’m absolutely ecstatic and humbled (and very hungover) after this being officially announced yesterday.”
On Tuesday, with two members of the Duddells’ team, I flew out to Barcelona to see Albert Jané of Acústic and Auctòcton cellars. Many of you will know of his wonderful creations, especially the Acústic wines from Montsant that we have been importing since the 2004 vintage, a year after Albert bought his first vines in the region.
It was a year for the very best vineyards and the very best producers to shine. Skilled and dedicated winemakers farming the best sites of Barbaresco have pulled it out of the bag. And none more so than the brilliant Andrea Sottimano.
Eating perfectly cooked grouse with a judiciously selected bottle or two is one of the great gastronomic delights. But what to pair with (arguably) Britain's most delicious game bird? Good, old red Burgundy 'The traditional answer to the question of what to drink with grouse is 'a bottle of good, old red burgundy.
2016 PIES NEGROS RIOJA Crianza Bodegas y Viñedos Artuke [caption id="attachment_29446" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Artuke Vines[/caption] Brothers Arturo and Kike (Artu-ke) are making such great wines in their beautiful corner of Rioja and this 2016 Pies Negro - their Crianza - is another complete gem.
When the sun beats down out of a clear blue sky, and the garden starts to frazzle; when the designer shades are donned and inadvisably exposed skin is allowed to soak up the ultra-violet; the vinously inclined have hitherto been apt to reach for crisp white wines and the palest of pale rosés of course, all nicely chilled, leaving any red wine undisturbed in the wine-rack until the Autumn.
One of the great thrills of working in this business is the chance to get into the cellars and taste wines straight from the barrel with the winemaker. To taste a wine in its most natural, 'un-mucked-about-with' state is a great experience.