We have only just returned from our annual pilgrimage to Burgundy but the en primeur campaign is already looming large. Our visits in October and November were an absolute delight. Many vignerons were wearing broad smiles again and as well they might, this is clearly a vintage that will give enormous early drinking pleasure for both red and white.
As we mentioned in our initial post on the vintage, it was the frost that hit Bordeaux for several nights at the end of April which dominated the early headlines on the 2017 vintage. The frost was undoubtedly catastrophic for some but the more we chatted to winemakers across every appellation, we realised there was a subtler story to tell.
Yesterday began with a 9am tasting at Cheval Blanc (you have to start somewhere!). Sadly, it didn’t begin well. First came the news that there would be no Yquem tasting in the Orangery this year (quel désastre!), next came the unwelcome revelation that the Château was quite badly hit by frost in 2017.
Next week is primeurs week in Bordeaux and our tasting squad will be scurrying up and down the Gironde assessing the new vintage. Follow us on instagram and twitter if that's your thing, or check back here on the blog for our latest reports.
On Monday, we welcomed members of the trade and press to our 2015 Burgundy En Primeur Tasting at 67 Pall Mall. Those who braved the appalling weather and tube strike were welcomed by a room of joyous wines. 2015 was a fantastic vintage across the board.
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.
With the release today of Château Montrose at the wacky price of £850/12 the show is pretty much over. It has been a long haul – with many disappointingly priced wines – but there are some good buys too, which we feel are really worth considering.
This afternoon we have the release of Bruno Borie’s much praised Ducru Beaucaillou 2014 (£750/12). Like Léoville las Cases (£895/12, released on Friday) Ducru has been said by critics to be close to, or even equal to the quality of the First Growths, but at less than half the price.