For once I think it really helps an understanding of the weather to understand the variation and style of the wines of Bordeaux in 2011 - although nothing is ever completely deterministic and odd surprises still exist. The story of the the 2011 harvest began with the dry Indian summer of 2010, which stayed fine long after this fine harvest was in the cellars.
I made this simple Vin de France wine of the week after glugging almost an entire bottle of it on my own one evening this week! One of Charles' new finds in the Rhône valley, from a relatively unknown and very small producer in Châteaneuf (although they do make it into Bob Parker's Wine Advocate), 'Le Petit Roy' is simply a Vin de France because it is made up of eveything that does not make it into the Châteaneuf cuvées, and as such carries no vintage on the label, only '11eme année' which is a clue I guess.
Tricky vintage. Singed or scorched (cramé or échaudé, take your pick) grapes. Rotten grapes. Grapes which had failed to turn colour properly. All needed to be sorted out. In Bordeaux there has been much experimentation with sorting in different ways, and all the properties do it - to a greater or lesser extent.
Selection, Selection, Selection, seems to be the new mantra on Bordeaux in recent vintages, not only in terms of grapes before the fermentations, but also in terms of the wines that 'make the grade' into each of the different cuvées that the property produces.
2011 Bordeaux en primeur Dense and concentrated with flashes of brilliance In 2009 and 2010 it was difficult not to make great wine. In 2011 it was less straightforward. Location mattered, both in terms of the localised weather events, especially hail, but also in terms of the ground the vines were growing in.
Traditionally at Lea & Sandeman we have always closed our doors for the four day Easter holiday so that we can all take a well earned break and enjoy the seasonal weather.
Lea & Sandeman Pinot Noir - the Wine Gang report A selection of fabulous drinking Pinot Noirs as selected by the Wine Gang in their March report. 'This was in fact a tripartite tasting, with a substantial Nebbiolo flight between the Pinot Noirs and the Sangiovese, but we're putting the spotlight on the latter two this month and will cover the Piedmont reds in a forthcoming report.
Lea & Sandeman - Independent Champagne Retailer of the Year Harper's magazine is the wine trade's leading review and at their recent annual champagne summit awards Lea & Sandeman were announced as the Independent Champagne Retailer of the Year.
Matthew Jukes, wine writing's ebullient enthusiast, came to our last tasting, and was very complimentary - like the Wine Gang, of which more shortly. He chose just one wine, as it happens it is the same vineyard that Neal Martin picked out in the 2010 vintage from our 2010 Burgundy tasting, but this is the 2009 which is available now.
BRUNELLO di MONTALCINO 2007 & 2006 'Riserva'- Superlative New releases from FULIGNI and COLLEMATTONI- opening offer. Brunello di Montalcino has enjoyed a recent run of great vintages, but never had two such great consecutive vintages as it did with 2007 and 2006.