Bordeaux 2016: Northern Lights

Bordeaux 2016: Northern Lights

Wednesday 15th February 2017
by Tom Jenkins

Journalists like to pigeonhole vintages. It supposedly makes life easy for consumers. Condense the wines of Bordeaux down into a brief soundbite, a paragraph that tells you all you need to know about this wonderful region. 

In 2015 it was a ‘Right Bank, Pessac and Margaux’ year. Read into this what you will – but what is not said often resonates the loudest. Most interpreted this as ‘don’t go near the northern Medoc’. The truth is rarely so simple…

Last week, our reconnaissance team spent three fascinating days tasting and re-tasting what is already being referred to as a sanctified trilogy: 2014, 2015 and 2016. Let’s start with the 2014s. This is a vintage that really appeals to our palates – a combination of modern winemaking and classic flavours, a vintage of balance and precision with more than enough power and concentration. It will of course remain in the shadow of 2015 and 2016, but these wines will make you smile and if you bought them en primeur, you should be well pleased.

The clouds part as the Comte Liger-Belair comes to London

The clouds part as the Comte Liger-Belair comes to London

Thursday 26th January 2017
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

A day of being immersed in the Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair wines is a most effective way of lifting the spirits and January gloom. 

Louis-Michel Comte Liger-Belair came to town recently to present his glorious array of 2015s, a full line-up which included his much-anticipated new cuvee, Clos de Vougeot.  If anyone is capable of raising Clos de Vougeot to more ethereal heights, then it is Louis-Michel. 

The flight started off with a monopole, Clos des Grandes Vignes Blanc. This is his best to date, which is saying something after the splendid 2014.  Huge qualitative strides have been made here, ones that transcend any kind of vintage variation.  Then on to the reds, a breath-taking range, among which there were many highlights.  La Romanee was all potential, texture and depth, a wine that combines complexity and power with refinement. This Grand Cru rarely shows off until at least 8-10 years of bottle age, but always carries a sense of greatness. The rest of the wines were impressive for their divine textures and hall-mark Comte Liger-Belair elegance, a perfectly-judged counter-weight to the lushness of the vintage. 

A Drouhin dinner with Christophe Thomas

A Drouhin dinner with Christophe Thomas

Monday 23rd January 2017
by Justerini & Brooks

It went down to minus 8 the evening that the great Christophe Thomas arrived in Aberdeen to talk through the wonderful wines of J.Drouhin over dinner. 40 of us sat down to taste eight Drouhin wines and one Sauternes over 5 courses at The Marcliffe. 

As we all gathered for a glass of Forget Brimont, I inspected the white wines, which were bathing in basins of ice, and with a shiver I went to join our Chairman. Luckily, there was nothing chilly about the evening.

A New Year message: Letter from London

A New Year message: Letter from London

Wednesday 4th January 2017
by Chadwick Delaney

We will all certainly remember 2016 as the year of milestones. In the broader world 2016 was a year of quite some change, which has given us a lot to reflect on. Beyond careful planning for the future, at Justerini & Brooks it was a year we allowed a small focus on celebration. 

Firstly, we had a couple of important anniversaries. Our business, which started in St. James’s back in 1749, celebrated its 150th anniversary of doing business with the United States. The arrival of ocean-going steam ships allowed the rich and inquisitive of New York to come to London, and us to go there (Justerinis subsequently opened an office there in 1866). Yet records show the U.S. didn’t even house our first overseas customer – a lone Indian Maharaja beats the glitzy and more broad arrival of Manhattan by eight years. From that first customer we now service the needs of collectors across 49 different countries.

Harvest Report: Schloss Lieser

Harvest Report: Schloss Lieser

Wednesday 21st December 2016
by Justerini & Brooks

With harvest completed at the end of November, 2016 is shaping up to be a delicate, precise and well-balanced vintage at Schloss Lieser. 

They share their first impressions of the new vintage with us. "we had quality and quantity, but this was an intense harvest time." "May and June were very wet and we did not expect such healthy grapes."  "The weather turned in June - August and after a warm, sunny September with no humidity, we began harvest on the 10th October." 

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