A Portugal Party

A Portugal Party

Wednesday 27th April 2022
by Mark Dearing

Justerini & Brooks is delighted to have introduced three new, exclusive Portuguese producers to our portfolio for Spring 2022, as well as a classic, well-priced rendition of Vinho Verde from respected co-operative Adega de Moncao which hails from the prime, northern reaches of the Vinho Verde appellation. 

Spain and Portugal Buyer Mark Dearing says of the new additions, “this is really an evolution of the continued interest and demand for small family estates and indigenous varieties we have seen in Spain in recent years. Where we have a long history of importing the finest fortified wines of Portugal, it was becoming increasingly clear that the local wine scene in Portugal has reached a really exciting juncture as we look ahead in 2022. I am absolutely delighted that we can now boast three genuinely young, refreshing projects, each with a contemporary feel, but with philosophies that respect the traditions of their respective regions.”

The Communes of Barolo and Barbaresco

The Communes of Barolo and Barbaresco

Wednesday 30th March 2022
by Mark Dearing

The Communes of Barolo and Barbaresco

We understand that many Justerini & Brooks customers are fully au fait with the intricacies of the Piedmont’s two principal wine regions; Barolo and Barbaresco, but for those less familiar, or perhaps just in need of a refresher, we provide here a summary of the key comnes in both regions. When one considers the diversity of soil, elevation, aspect and micro-climate across the Langhe, even before the complexities of vine age, clonal variation, training methods and winemaking technique, it becomes ever-clearer that the wines of Barolo and Barbaresco comprise some of the most terroir-driven of any wine region in the world. 

In the context of noteworthy single cru Barolo and Barbaresco, the likes of which are represented in our offer today, a little insight into the broad characteristics of each commune may help to narrow down a selection of wines that will appeal to your personal tastes. To the connoisseurs, we hope that a simple overview might tempt a move into new areas, or some lesser-known crus, in the pursuit of diverse and contemporary Barolo and Barbaresco collections.

For your convenience, we have also included a summary of the single crus we offer from each commune. While there are a total of eleven approved communes in the DOCG Barolo appellation, we have opted to focus only on the most prominent six. Not included are Roddi, Grinzane Cavour, Novello (home to Ravera – an increasingly famous single vineyard), Cherasco and Diano d’Alba. In Barbaresco we have opted not to include San Rocco Seno d'Elvio. 

Rooting for the Underdog: Our Piedmont 2018 Trip

Rooting for the Underdog: Our Piedmont 2018 Trip

Tuesday 22nd March 2022
by Mark Dearing

After two years away, it was a great pleasure for us to be back in Piedmont last week to taste the new vintages in Barolo and Barbaresco.

However, initially at least, we were greeted by a few long faces, as producers bristled about the reviews some of the upcoming 2018s have received. Whether it’s a case of critics tasting the wines too young, or in the wrong season, or simply with the wrong mindset, we don’t know, but we at Justerini & Brooks are delighted to report that in our week in the region we tasted and will be buying a significant number of really delicious, archetypal Nebbiolos. Moreover, we feel that vineyard signatures are as clear as ever, and if the wines are not the powerhouses that are generally adorned with big scores, then so much the better for the Italian-lover seeking wines that they can enjoy in the early going.

A Portuguese (and Galician) Odyssey

A Portuguese (and Galician) Odyssey

Monday 13th December 2021
by Mark Dearing

Breaking New Ground

At Justerini & Brooks it is a privilege to be afforded the opportunity to taste at some of the world’s most prestigious estates. However, it’s worth remembering that many producers now widely regarded to be at the pinnacle of their respective regions were of humble origins, for whom success came later. We were championing the likes of René Rostaing, Elio Altare, Bruno Clair and Fritz Haag long before they were famous.

Following in that wine buying tradition, this week I put myself under the cosh and set about breaking new ground in Northern Portugal and Galicia. 1,400 kilometres in a hire car saw me hit the Dao, Bairrada, Douro, Bierzo, Valdeorras, Ribeira Sacra and Rias Baixas regions in pursuit of new emerging winemaking talent.

Germany VDP Auction

Germany VDP Auction

Tuesday 7th December 2021
by Mark Dearing

Hammer Time!

Last month our buyers Julian Campbell and Mark Dearing hit the road again in pursuit of the world’s finest Rieslings at the annual VDP auctions in Trier and Bad Kreuznach. 

As one might expect, the organisation was seamless, and following the tradition of a “wet” auction (excuse the phrase), all lots were tasted multiple times ahead of and during the auction itself. A raft of lacy, elegant Kabinetts, sumptuous Spatlesen and a handful of noble sweet wines were this year under the gavel. Fears of diminished demand ahead of the day in Trier were soon allayed once auctioneer Max Von Kunow began rattling through the lots. 

Early on though, with a hammer price of just €25.00 per bottle the A.J. Adam Hofberg Alte Reben Kabinett proved to be one of the great bargains of the auction – perhaps unsurprising given that this was their first appearance – and thus an unknown entity somewhat. On this showing, bidders will surely pay attention in future! Hopefully we’ve not missed the boat on that one…  Similarly, Dorothee Zilliken’s heavenly Rausch Kabinett closed at just €30.00 per bottle – a veritable steal for a wine from such a storied Saar estate, and a total production of just 600 bottles and 24 magnums. We are delighted to have secured a small amount for our stocks including 12 magnums. At a hammer price of €95 per magnum ex taxes, the rarity to value ratio doesn’t get any better than that and proves that the auction is not all about fever-induced prices! 

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