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.
'The food of the Inns of England is the stuff of which heaven is made.' At least it was in 1748 according to the then Venetian ambassador to Britain. It's a quotation popularised by the late, great TV chef, polymath and bon viveur, Clarissa Dixon Wright (if you haven't listened to her episode of Desert Island Discs, you must).
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.
Those who have visited Piedmont will understand just how varied these beautiful Alpine foothills are in aspect, altitude and geology. The best winemakers are able to translate the nuance of these sites, or 'crus', into delicious and distinctive expressions of Nebbiolo. Andrea Sottimano is an absolute master of the art.
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.
Fine wine has long been a popular choice for christening presents. As the wine matures, so too does the recipient and eventually, many years down the line, a choice will be made whether to drink the contents or sell. Every year we are asked by godparents about purchasing wine and laying it down on the child’s behalf.
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.
'The recent Lea & Sandeman Italian tasting was a voyage of discovery,' said Susy Atkins in last week's Telegraph. We are thrilled that our tasting has drawn so much positive feedback, from journalists and customers alike. Italian wine is definitely alla moda and it's easy to see why.