You will be aware of Susie & Peter. They may sound a bit like CBeebies presenters but they are, in fact, the two rising stars of wine reviewerdom - Peter Richards MW and Susie Barrie MW, two MWs who married each other and take turns to pop up on 'Saturday Kitchen' conjuring up wine matches to the cuisine on offer in James Martin's TV kitchen.
Just published is Tim Atkin's 2012 Burgundy Special Report, available for £12 from his website, an incisive and in-depth tome on all things to do with this most extraordinary of vintages. It's £12 well spent, especially if you are considering making a purchase or two, which Mr Atkin would seem to heartily recommend.
The theme, such as you need a theme beyond ‘Christmas’, was to put a few less likely wines in front of people, to test and tantalize the taste-buds. With that in mind, we left out the traditional option of Champagne, and kicked off with the very splendid Gusbourne 2008 Brut Reserve from the Garden of England, a zippy but textured fizz that works really well as an aperitif.
Father and son Fernand and Laurent Pillot are 4th and 5th generation winemakers in Chassagne Montrachet and LEA & SANDEMAN are proud to have sold their wines for a number of years now. The 2011’s that we showed recently continue their fine tradition of quality.
Another exhaustive taster of new vintage Burgundies is Tim Atkin MW, who has been hard at work, both at the tasting table and the lap-top, of late. If for nothing else than the beautiful photographs, his opus on the 2011 vintage is well worth a look.
In these straitened times, splashing out on a few cases of 2011 Burgundy might seem a tad indulgent. Well, with a miniscule (but, by all reports, excellent) 2012 vintage to follow and the Burgundians making ever more successful overtures toward the Chinese market, it could turn out that 2011 was the smart vintage to buy.
The deadline for deliveries before Christmas outside London is past, but if you live in (central-ish) London, you can still order online for delivery today (Wednesday), or, if you really insist on taking it to the wire, tomorrow (Thursday). Even then our magnificent warehouse crew will get your wine to you before Christmas.
The L&S Christmas Hamper case The cut-off for country deliveries is fast aproaching (you need to get your order in by Sunday night to be sure of getting your wine for Christmas). Part of the problem is often just making a choice, so here is a mixed case of our favourites in our enormous range which will sort out a multitude of Christmas drinking opportunities.
I had heard little whispers in the trade along the lines of 'I gather the 2011s are showing pretty well', and taken them with a large dose of scepticism. But my first day of tasting today has left me feeling that the rumours did not say the half of it.
On Monday we faced another of the many hurdles on the long path since losing Patrick, with our postponed Press tasting. An opportunity for us to show the world our latest finds, as well as new vintages of much loved wines on our list.