Almost our last visit of primeurs week in Bordeaux was back to see Stéphane Dief up in the northern Médoc at Saint Christoly. Stéphane has made his usual success of his two wines, Clos Manou and Petit Manou. The Clos Manou has, unsurprisingly, the majority of the Cabernet, (69%) while the second wine is 88% Merlot.
'This is simply a magical bottle. That's all there is to it' "Le Piane's 2011 Boca is simply dazzling. Rich, translucent and remarkably vivid, the 2011 encapsulates all the reasons the wines from Alto Piemonte are so compelling.
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.
The Left bank of the Gironde - the Médoc, encompassing the villages of Margaux, Saint Julien, Pauillac and Saint Estèphe as well as the actual Médoc and Haut Médoc appellations, mostly had a very different experience of the 2015 vintage to the Right bank.
The Bordelais are displaying their usual respect for the work of their importers by rushing out some prices early (La Couspaude and La Tour Figeac out this morning), long before there is any real chance of us having our notes completed. There is no rush for these wines so remain calm and survey the scene for a moment.
It is beginning to look as though Spring may finally be upon us, and so we have all been sat around wondering what we should tell you about our choice of wines for the sunnier seasons.
Well it's (nearly) that time of year again. Early news suggests that this really is a top-drawer vintage, but there are also reasons to believe that it may not be quite such a homogeneous success as either 2009 or 2010. In essence the issue is that some rain fell in September and early October before the harvest.
Château Latour continues its process of releasing older stock from the château as it approaches maturity. As previously the prices are above the current market, but come with the assurance of perfect provenance, complete with proof tags.
Offer runs until 8th April! The 162nd Boat Race race is taking place this Sunday so what better way to celebrate such a British occasion than with a special offer on two of our favourite champagnes! Not to mention that our Chiswick shop is within not so many boat lengths of the river so do drop by (even on Sunday) and take advantage of this limited time offer - check our Easter opening times below*.
One of our favourite new producers - Màquina & Tabla - has been given a resounding thumbs up by Tim Atkin this weekend, featuring on his website as "Wine of the Week".
Vintage Overview 2011 was generally a warm vintage in the rolling hills of Piedmont. Spring began with a good early heatwave that got the flowering of the vines off to a perfect start. The warmth continued and it was looking like it might be a very quick season, until June, when the temperature dropped a little and stayed cool to the end of July.
This Friday we are heading off to the south west of Frankfurt to Rheinhessen in Germany and trying two wines from Braunewell: 2012 SPÄTBURGUNDER Weingut Braunewell A delicious, light and bright Pinot Noir. It has plenty of juicy strawberry and red fruit character, and at only 12% ABV makes this a perfect little red for a long lazy lunch.