Justerini & Brooks House Wines

Appellations

Barolo is the greatest, most intense and expressive display of the Northern Italian grape variety Nebbiolo. The name is given to bottles from the Piedmont area, made exclusively from Nebbiolo, and coming from the five core towns of Barolo, La Morra, Serralunga d'Alba, Castiglione Falletto and Monforte d'Alba, along with certain other peripherary villages. The wines offer power, aromatics and longevity that is almost unmatched elsewhere in Italy, perhaps the world. Top, forward thinking producers have pushed huge changes in the winemaking culture of the area, and as a result finer, purer Barolo is being produced than ever before.
Although only separated by some thirty miles; the Medoc and the Right Bank are very different stylistically, historically and culturally. The left bank is dominated by Cabernet plantings, largely due to the fast draining gravel found close to the Garonne estuary. St Emilion and Pomerol are predominantly planted with Merlot and a small smattering of Cabertnet Franc. These varieties thrive on the limestone slopes and clay plateau found around St Emilion and Libourne. In the Medoc one encounters vast, fairytale Chateaux surrounded by vast, flat vineyards. The Right Bank is a little less grand with more modest Chateaux or sometimes no Chateau at all. The topography of St Emilion and Pomerol are quite varied too. The flat planes beneath St Emilion produce unexceptional wines on sandy soils. The Cote of St Emilion affords vineyards a steep southerly exposure. It is here where limestone dominates that St Emilion really shines. As one moves towards Libourne from St Emilion the vineyards gently slope up towards the plateau of Pomerol. By Bordeaux standards the vineyards on the plateau have to be considered quite high altitude... The Medoc was classified in 1855 creating a hierarchy which is still relevant today. The first growths are more sought after and command higher prices than even before. Today, one can drive the short distance from Bordeaux town to the vineyards of St Emilion in a mere 45 minutes. However, before the advent of the car, trade was reliant on the Garonne and Gironde. Therefore, although Belair and Ausone were considered to be of similar quality and shared a similar status to that of Latour, Lafite and Margaux, they were not recognised in the 1855 classification. Pomerol now enjoys a reputation as one of the most exclusive appellations in the world. Their wines are perfumed, seductive and exude breed. They boast many household names such as Petrus, Le Pin, Evangile, Conseillante, Lafleur, Eglise Clinet and Trotanoy, however, serious winemaking is relatively new to this region. Until the '40s, Sauvignon Blanc dominated plantings and the appellation was considered a rather poor neighbour to the more illustrious St Emilion. Generalisations are difficult to make in Bordeaux given the vast number of Chateaux, the multitude of microclimates, winemakers, soils, subsoils, grape varieties and winemaking techniques. However, given the dominance of Cabernet on the left bank, wines tend to be structured, cool and ageworthy, whereas the Merlot biased wines from the right bank demonstrate a fleshy, approachable character, which affords earlier drinking.
Bourgogne or Burgundy is a wide-ranging generic appellation in eastern France that has been planted with the vine at least since Roman times, the earliest archaeological evidence coming from 2nd Century A.D. The region, now spanning up to 28,000 hectares, owes a lot to the work of Cistercian Monks in the 11th and 12th Centuries, particularly in the Côte d'Or, who were responsible for identifying some of the finest vineyard plots still in existence today. The appellation is large, stretching between the cities of Auxerre in the North and Lyon in the south and includes Chablis, the Côte d'Or (from where hail some of the world's finest examples of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir), the Chalonnais, Maconnais and Beaujolais. Chardonnay is the main white grape planted, though there is still a fair amount of Aligote to be found if an ever decreasing amount, as well as tiny proportions of Pinot Blanc and Pinot Beurrot. For quality reds Pinot Noir is the dominant grape and the only permitted variety for the "Bourgogne Rouge" appellation controlee, there are plantings of Gamay too, though, which can be blended with a minimum one third Pinot Noir to make "Bourgogne Passetoutgrain." There is also the rarely seen Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire, which may include the Pinot Noir, Gamay, César, and Tressot varieties. This appellation also exists for whites, allowing a blend of Chardonnay, Aligoté and Melon de Bourgogne. Being such a big area style can vary enormously: From the steely, minerally white Bourgognes near Chablis to the rounder, more buttery offerings in the Maconnais. Very fine and extremely good value examples of red and white Bourgognes are made by many of the high quality estates in the Côte d'Or, the designated "Bourgogne" vineyards here being on the flatter less well-drained terrain the other side of the RN74 road to the villages and 1er Cru appellations. Some Bourgogne Rosé can also made be made but this is a tiny fraction of the red and white wine production.
A village and appellation in the Côte de Nuits, whose red wines are some of the most seductive in Burgundy offering a delicate balance between Vosne elegance and Gevrey-Chambertin power. There are two Grand Cru vineyards in the commune, the majority part of Bonnes Mares and the whole of Musigny. Next door to Musigny is one of Chambolle's most famous Premier Cru vineyards, Les Amoreuses, whose wines offer a combination of power, elegance and richness, less austere or intense than Musigny but very good nonetheless. The next most sought-after would be Charmes, that produces very opulent, ripe, seductive wines. The Premier Crus largely fall into two groups: The higher vineyards such as Veroilles, Cras and Fuees - these wines are usually the most ethereal, structured, high-toned and have the best acidities, they age extremely well; and the lower-lying vineyards beneath or adjacent to the Village which include Les Charmes, Beaux Bruns and Baudes, here the wines are richer, warmer and more generous in their youth than the higher vineyards but often without the same lift and definition. Chambolle is smaller than Gevrey or Vosne, so the "villages" wines, which can be very good value, are not always easy to find. The pre-eminent producers are: Mugnier, Barthod, Roumier, Comte de Vogue and Groffier.
Champagne is the world's original and most famous region for the production of sparkling wine. A range of styles are produced from the Non-Vintage, through Rose, Vintage and more recently a host of prestige, Vintage luxury cuvees. The three permitted grape varieties are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
Cognac is the world's most famous brandy, better known even than its older Gascon cousin Armagnac. It comes from the Charentais, a large area of western France situated immediately north of Bordeaux, and takes its name from the historic town of Cognac – the long-standing epicenter of local brandy production.
Côtes du Rhône is a huge appellation spanning over 40,000 ha of the Rhône valley, ranging from pockets of vineyard skirting the Northern Rhône appellations to the flat, arid plateaux of the Southern Rhône. Most of the production comes from the South from the Grenache grape, however the other Châteauneuf varieties are permitted too. This vast swathe of vine-growing land is as big as AC Bordeaux and makes huge quantities of low-priced wine consumed in brasseries up and down France. Alot of the lower priced wines are made in a similar method to Beaujolais, carbonic or semi-carbonic maceration, which gives light wines of soft tannins and aromatic, but often confected fruit. The quality of these inexpensive wines is usually bland at best, however there are a number of great wine estates from the more solubrious parts of the Rhône, particularly Châteauneuf-du-Pape, who make very good examples at a fraction of the price of their top wines. The vast majority of the production is Red, followed by rosé, very little white wine is produced. All but the wines from the greatest wine-producers are for drinking within 1-3 years after the vintage.
The Douro valley is the home of Port production and is one of the oldest demarcated wine regions in the world. The vineyards follow a band of Schist along the valley rising up in steep terraced slopes from the river. Upstream lies Spains Ribera del Duero. Increasingly, unfortified wines are produced here, but it is really for great vintage port that the region is known.
A town in the Côte de Nuits producing some of Burgundy's most renowned red wines. With 400ha of vineyard area this is the largest wine-producing region in the Côte d'Or. Gevrey-Chambertin's wines are typically some of the sturdiest in the Côte de Nuits, certainly bigger and heavier than those of close neighbours Vosne-Romanée and Chambolle-Musigny. As such the best examples require a longer bottle-ageing to show at their best, however whilst the best examples rate as highly as those of Vosne-Romanée and Chambolle-Musigny, being a large commune there are all too many disappointing wines that lack the ripeness structure and power they should have. Fortunately there are a number of top class growers making Gevrey, including Armand Rousseau, Denis Mortet, Bruno Clair, Drouhin-Laroze, Trapet, Rossignol-Trapet, and Denis Bachelet.
Gevrey also boasts eight grands crus, perhaps too many!, the finest of which are Chambertin and Chambertin-Clos de Bèze. Whilst it is questionable whether some of these are worthy of their Grand Cru status, Gevrey also boasts two Premiers Crus, the region's best, considered worthy of elevation to Grand Cru status. These are Les Cazetiers and Clos St-Jacques, a particularly fine bottling of the latter is produced by Domaine Armand Rousseau, who charge more for their Clos St-Jacques than for several of their other Grands Crus.
The Haut Medoc is a sub region of the Medoc, which covers some 4,643 hectares and incorporates communes such as St Estephe, Pauillac, St Julien and Margaux. Given the size of this appellation, there are a variety of different terroirs including clay, chalk and gravel. Most famous estates within the Haut Medoc defer to their more specific appellations, however, there are five classified growths that belong to the generic Haut Medoc AOC, The most famous being La Lagune and Cantemerle. Jean Gautreau’s Sociando Mallet is another noteworthy Haut Medoc estate.
Famous hill and appellation in the Northern Rhône, Hermitage is limited to 132ha (about the size of one large Bordeaux property) making long-lived red and white wine, roughly two thirds the former and one third the latter. It was one of the most expensive wines in France during the 18th and 19th Centuries excepting, perhaps, Bordeaux's First Growths, and its wines were often used by Bordeaux and Burgundy producers to strengthen their wines. Hermitage was known to England as far back as the 17th Century when it was quoted in a Thomas Shadwell play. It is a steep south-facing hill that contains a marble of clay and limestone top soils based on granite rock. The hill is split into various vineyards with their own individual terroirs or "climats." These range from the sandy gravel over granite soils of Les Bessards, where some of the hills most muscular wines are made; Le Méal with its high limestone content that produces finer more floral wines, to l'Hermite at the top of the hill with its poor sandy soils with large stones on the surface. Clay dominates the lower-lying vineyards. Other famous sites include Maison Blanche, Péléat, Les Murets, Rocoule, La Croix, and Les Signeaux. White grapes are best suited to the limestone-dominated sites.

The red wines are almost always Syrah even if in theory 15% white grapes can be added, whilst the white wines are made from Marsanne and Roussanne grapes. The reds are the main event here, typically they should be deeply coloured, violet-scented, rich, spicy and long-lived. The best can age over 20-30 years. White wines vary more in style and quality depending where on the hill the grapes are grown, the ageing and the percentage of oak used if at all, the grape blend and how much of the malolactic fermentation is allowed to take place, however they should always be full-bodied and complex. They are famous for going into a bit of a trough at about 4-5 years of bottle age however they do emerge, the finest examples are up their with some of the best, most long-lived whites of France. Chave is particularly renowned for producing whites that are every bit as good as his reds. The hill is dominated by the big houses such as Guigal, Jaboulet and Chapoutier, so there is only ever a finite amount of high quality artisan grower-winemakers. Most people's pick of the bunch is Chave, whose wines are outstanding, however there are some excellent examples also made by Marc Sorrel, Domaine du Colombier, Bernard Faurie and Chapoutier.
Sherry is a fortified wine made from white grapes that are grown near the city of Jerez de la Frontera in Andalusia. Produced in a variety of styles, Sherry is primarily made from the Palomino grape. It ranges from light versions similar to white table wines, such as Manzanilla and Fino, to darker and heavier versions that have been oxidised and aged in barrel, such as Amontillado and Oloroso. Sweet dessert wines are also made from Pedro Ximenez (a.k.a. PX) or Moscatel grapes, and are sometimes blended with Palomino-based Sherries.
The wines tend to show more perfume and roundness than neighbour St-Julien, Pauillac, and St-Estèphe, whilst retaining a certain structure and concentration. Margaux is the most southerly and most extensive of the famous Médoc communes, a patchwork of vineyards with lesser parcels classed purely as Haut-Médoc. A myriad of soil mixtures can be found, clay, limestone, and gravel. Though quality is not always consistent here, the potential is great as more Margaux properties were included in the 1855 classification of the Médoc and Graves than any other appellation.

The two leading lights are the highly sought after Châteaux Margaux and Palmer, though there are several other solid performers including Brane-Cantenac, Rauzan-Ségla, Durfort-Vivens, Lascombes, Giscours, Ferrières, Malescot St Exupery and Luc Thienpont’s new boutique vineyard, Clos des Quatre Vents.
A town in the northern part of the Côte d'Or that gave its name to the Côte de Nuits. Sitting on the southern edge of the Côte de Nuits, the town is the mini commercial hub of this part of the Côte d'Or, though much less significantly so than the Côte d'Or's capital, Beaune. Many négociants are based here and the town, like Beaune, also runs its own charity auction, the Hospices de Nuits, but on a much smaller scale.

The appellation Nuits-St-Georges lies both sides of the town, incorporating the vineyards of neighbouring Prémeaux-Prissey to the south. Typically Nuits-St-Georges are powerful, mineral, muscular and long-lived wines, however there is a distinct, widely accepted difference between the wines on the south side and those further north adjoinging Vosne-Romanée where the wines are silkier and more elegant, rather like those of its neighbour. There is more clay in the soil of the Prémeaux vineyards, making wines of less finesse and more prominent tannins.

Nuits boasts 27 Premier Cru vineyards but no Grands Crus, perhaps because at the time of the classifications in 1930 the town's leading vigneron, Henri Gouges, who was tasked to help classify the vineyards, was too concerned of being seen to favour vineyards in which he owned parcels. However, if the crown was to go to one Les St-Georges, on the south side of Nuits, would be it. Also particularly fine in the southern Nuits-St-Georges sector are Les Cailles and Les Vaucrains, both adjacent to Les St-Georges, while Aux Murgers and Aux Boudots on the Vosne-Romanée side and Les Argillières, Clos l'Arlot, and Clos de la Maréchale in Prémeaux can make great wine.

Small quantities of very rare white wine are made, too, from the Chardonnay grape, as in the Clos l'Arlot, and also from the Pinot Blanc grape in Gouges' Premier Cru Les Perrières. The town is home to a surprisingly small handful of well-reputed producers, namely Henri Gouges, Robert Chevillon, Domaine de l'Arlot, Patrice Rion, and Chauvenet, whilst there are many growers in neighbouring Vosne-Romanée who make outstanding examples of Nuits St Georges., and in Chambolle-Musigny, Freddy Mugnier is responsible for the great revival in fortunes of the spectacular Clos de la Maréchale vineyard.
Petit Chablis is an appellation encompassing the outlying area of Chablis planted largely on Portlandien soil, a kind of clay limestone, as opposed to the complex Kimmerdigean soils of Chablis itself. There are over 500 ha of vineyard area but this is dwarfed by the Chablis total of over 3000 ha. The Portlandien soils give a wine that is similarly citrus and steely as Chablis without perhaps the same depth, finesse or minerality. Having said that many of Chablis' top growers do produce excellent quality Petit Chablis that can make very good value for money.
Pomerol’s Merlot-dominated wines at their best are rich, seductive and silky. For hundreds of years Pomerol was considered as nothing but a satellite district of neighbouring St-Émilion to the east, and it was not really until not until the 1950s that Pomerol started its meteoric rise led by Château Petrus. By far the most dominant merchants in the region are Jean-Pierre Moueix who own or distribute the majority of the finest properties in Pomerol, the most renowned being Petrus.

Pomerol's finest wines originate from the highest parts of the plateau, which is predominantly gravel and clay, with an iron rich subsoil called crasse de fer.
Apparently as important in fashioning wines that are plump, voluptuous, and richly Merlot dominates plantings dramatically, though the notable exception is Vieux Château Certan, nearly half of their estate is devoted Cabernet Franc. Pomerol has no no official classification, but its small scale wines fetch some of the greatest prices for wine in the world. The regions greatest names are Pétrus, Lafleur, Certan de May, Hosanna, La Fleur de Gay, L'Église-Clinet, Le Pin, La Conseillante, Trotanoy, , L'Évangile, Latour-à-Pomerol, and Vieux-Ch-Certan
7,700 acres along the northern side of the Rhine between Wiesbaden and Rüdesheim where the Riesling produces classic and substantial wines.
Spains most famous wine growing region is seeing something of a revolution. A band of new producers are shunning the traditional methods of production in a effort to gain greater purity of fruit, less dominant oak influence, and individual terroir characteristics. The results are wines that have the ability to age and improve in bottle, that have finesse, character and real elegance.
Even after discounting the big names - Bordeaux, Burgundy etc - France is still full of excellent quality winemakers who are doing great things now and are simultaneously showing bags of potential. Areas like Côtes de Roussillon and the Languedoc have been producing highly-drinkable, thoroughly enjoyable wines for a very long time.
St-Émilion is a very different region to those of the Médoc, dominated by small-holding farmers and estates rather than grand Châteaux. Merlot is widely planted as is Cabernet Franc in some parts. The wines are enormously variable in style depending on the terroir, the grape variety make-up and winemaking style. Loosely the region is divided between the limestone Côtes, Graves or gravelly limestone plateau or the sandy alluvial soils nearer the Dordogne. Traditionally Médoc wines were trade from Bordeaux and St Emilions from Libourne so they have their own classification system separate to that of 1855. The classification is revised every ten years and falls into four categories, St Emilion, St Emilion Grand Cru, St Emilion Grand Cru Classé and St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé
Most of the district's best properties are either on the steep, clay-limestone hillsides immediately below the town or on a gravelly section of the plateau west of St Emilion itself abutting Pomerol. There are several high profile estates in the region, including Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Figeac, Le Dôme, Valandraud and Pavie.