Southwold: Bordeaux 2014 – very good, but not quite great

Southwold: Bordeaux 2014 – very good, but not quite great

Monday 19th February 2018
by Tom Jenkins

Last week, the great and the good of the British wine trade including journalists, merchants and multitude of MWs decamped to our new Southwold-on-Thames venue to dissect the 2014s.

After the demoralising 2013s, there was a palpable sense of anticipation. We have always admired this vintage for its classical style and elegance. As is custom, we start with several flights of St Emilion. The flights seem to get longer each year and usually feature unfamiliar names that leave us pondering, ‘why?’ There was no such bafflement this year. Vignerons appear to have used a lighter touch and coupled with the natural acidity of the vintage, the wines have a real sense of cohesion and energy. Top marks went to Francois Mitjavile’s Tertre Roteboeuf, such an unmistakable wine, there’s really no need to disguise its identity… My preference was Canon, John Kolasa’s last year at the helm – this is as classical and super-refined, and a mighty impressive showing from Troplong Mondot.

Whisky: A Celebration of Scotch

Whisky: A Celebration of Scotch

Thursday 15th February 2018
by Alex Turnbull

In celebration of International Scotch Day,  we held a very special whisky masterclass showcasing six rare and highly sought after drams. 

Amongst a line-up of greats the unanimous favourite was Linkwood 37 year old, an elegant and stylish whisky that debuted as a 2016 Special Release and of which stocks are dwindling fast. Located in the north of Speyside just outside of Elgin and on a beautiful lake home to a myriad of wildlife, there has always been something undeniably romantic about Linkwood. One of the few single malts to be sold as such in the Victorian era, the gentle spirit made here has always been in high demand from blenders, and alas there is never enough of it. What makes Linkwood so special is its ability to straddle dimensions; its new make spirit is light and fragrant in character and yet on the palate it has considerable weight and depth which when matured offers the drinker an ethereal experience.

Bordeaux 2017: A Problem of Perception

Bordeaux 2017: A Problem of Perception

Monday 12th February 2018
by Tom Jenkins

2017 is probably the most misunderstood and poorly represented vintage we can recall. Before a single grape had been picked, major broadsheets were taking swipes at the poor old '17s. 

It’s true, many vignerons were left heartbroken after the frost of the 27th of April. The unlucky ones had their entire crops wiped out, but in parallel with life itself, the most fortunate, through a mixture of toil and often just good luck, went unscathed. And for those who had a crop, there was everything to play for. But good news doesn’t sell newspapers; the pejorative voices of the press would rather declare this the ‘worst vintage since 1945’. Those who’ve tasted Mouton `45 are probably pricking their ears up… Negative terminology has created a huge misunderstanding. 2017 is a very simple vintage, it’s about the haves and have nots. You either have a crop, and judging by what we have tasted, it’s a very smart crop, or you have nothing, which is a travesty for many small growers. ‘Worst’ in terms of quantity, by all means, but don’t allow this sweeping statement to influence your view of the quality.

Vintage Update: A Trip to Chablis

Vintage Update: A Trip to Chablis

Monday 5th February 2018
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

A trip to Chablis last week was short and soggy.  The village was heavily flooded in parts, including a 200 metre stretch of road to the entrance of the village.  

France has seen relentless rain since the beginning of December.  But vine-growers aren’t complaining, the deluges are offering much needed replenishment to water reserves after the drought of 2017.  Finger’s crossed for a trouble-free year for Chablis, it will be well deserved.  After hail and frost in 2016 and frost again in 2017, less wide-spread but more damaging where it did hit than in the previous year, growers have earned a more plain-sailing vintage.  2016s at good addresses will be lovely from the off, full of open fruit and fresh acidities, but it will not be a year to buy willy-nilly.  

Justerini & Brooks' Portfolio Tasting

Justerini & Brooks' Portfolio Tasting

Friday 2nd February 2018
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

Since 1749 we have been supplying the very finest wines and spirits to our customers in Great Britain and beyond.  

Portfolio has always sat at the very heart of Justerini & Brooks. This is why we invest so much and take such pride in how and what we source.  Our six Buyers spend half of the year travelling and tasting in cellars around the globe. Their aim is to track down the world’s finest wines, those that speak of their origins and that our customers will delight in drinking. We directly import from over 300 producers, including the greatest, scarcest names such as Pétrus, Château Lafleur, Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair and Domaine Armand Rousseau. But at Justerini & Brooks we have always valued the undiscovered gem just as much as the famous label.  It is why we have always extolled the virtues of German wine, why we were championing red Burgundy over twenty five years ago before anyone was interested and why we have been banging the drum for Piedmont since the mid-nineties.

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