To celebrate the fourth annual International Sauvignon Blanc day we are pleased to present 2 great examples of the grape that made New Zealand famous for wine production. Central Otago First off we have the deliciously distinctive 2012 Rippon Sauvignon Blanc from Central Otago.
2012 Bordeaux - Montrose, Clinet, Domaine de Chevalier, Rouget, Clos l'Eglise Château Montrose is on a real roll at the moment, and while the 2012 wine is not quite up to the (Parker 100 point) 2009 (currently £2500+, nor the 2010 (£1600+), it is a great Montrose, and as Robert Parker says 'one of the top successes of the vintage'.
An up and coming talent in the village of Cairanne, young Romain Roche is a vigneron to watch. With the help of super star consultant (and school friend) Philippe Cambie, he is making incredible wines at down to earth prices. 2011 CAIRANNE Côtes du Rhône Villages Domaine Romain Roche £14.50 or just £12.
This morning's big releases are Grand Puy Lacoste and Pavie Macquin. I did not taste Pavie Macquin this year, but the critics who did seem united - Robert Parker 92-95, Neal Martin 94-96, and so on. It seems to have united both American and European critics, and as a regular favourite of ours amongst the Saint Emilions, this comes recommended.
2012 Bordeaux - Pichon Lalande, Leoville Barton, Beauregard, Marquis de Terme The tasting at Pichon Lalande was a cheering experience this year, bringing to mind the wines of the eighties which never missed here. Silky and 'feminine' in the inimitable Pichon style, it has depth and length - a real core too.
Quite a few releases this morning as Bordeaux gets back from a very long weekend. There is no real sense that there is any urgency to sell this vintage. Coming out at the same price as mature vintages are trading on the market is not going to make for a long-term future for this way of selling wine.
2011 Vintage Port - General Declaration of a Classic Vintage Port vintages are only 'declared' by the shippers/producers when the quality is deemed to be on the very best, and often they do not agree. The 2011 has brought a unanimity seldom seen, and as Jancis Robinson titled her article these are 'The best 2011 reds anywhere'.
Not a lot of time for anyone to react to the sheer number of releases on the market this morning, but briefly, the wines of Denis Durantou, Saintem (also confusingly called Saintayme - it is exactly the same wine), La Chenade, Montlandrie and Les Cruzelles are all oustanding value buys and come strongly recommended.
'Sleeper of the Vintage' A long-term customer asked me today about what he called 'Captain Bob's jargon'. 'Please tell me what 'a major sleeper of the vintage' means! When I first saw this term, often used by Robert Parker, I thought it meant the wine needed many years cellaring.
The realisation that tomorrow is a holiday in France seems to have prompted a raft of releases this morning. Lafon Rochet (£245) offers value and consistently good tasting notes from the major critics. It is down around 12% on the 2011 price, but Lafon Rochet has never been about silly pricing so this represents solid value and comes recommended.
With Robert Parker's scores out, and in particular his headline 'Train Wreck Coming?' one might have hoped for a bit of realism, but instead we got three wines today trying to capitalise on pretty good notes. Parker warns: 'Bordeaux is at a crossroads.
2012 Bordeaux - Robert Parker pronounces Robert Parker has released his Wine Advocate scores scores for the 2012 vintage, and here are those for wines released so far and available in our offer, with price in £ per case in bond. The full list can as usual be found on the Wine Advocate website https://www.