Tom Jenkins
Tom handles Justerini & Brooks' relationships with its Bordeaux negociants, and orchestrates the annual Bordeaux En Primeur campaign.

Tom found his way to the world of fine wine through the parting advice from a short stint in financial PR: “you need to find something you love doing and you'll probably be really good at it”. A fledgling interest in wine became a passion, and ultimately a job.

Tom spent a year in the Justerini & Brooks private client team before joining the buying team in 2008. Many years on, his enthusiasm for Burgundy, Champagne, Germany continues, and he loves the buzz of a Bordeaux campaign.

Bordeaux is where wine-making tradition meets the corporate world of business and finance; a paradoxical relationship that is quite unique in the world of wine. For Tom, spending time in the company of the Guinaudeaus, Francois Mitjavile, Denis Durantou and many other growers that Justerini & Brooks is proud to work with dispels any notion that Bordeaux lacks passion. This is still a region bursting with discoveries, constantly innovating and pushing the boundaries.
The Roaring ‘20s

The Roaring ‘20s

Thursday 13th May 2021
by Tom Jenkins

The Roaring '20s

Numerologists probably decided 2020 was destined for greatness many years ago. Every vintage ending with a zero is marked by success in the same way that seven spells disaster. Whilst 2020 is indeed the culmination of an unmatched trilogy, it was certainly not straightforward for vignerons and winemakers.

Vintage Report: Bordeaux 2019

Vintage Report: Bordeaux 2019

Wednesday 27th May 2020
by Tom Jenkins

"Tout est Grand en 2019!"

These are the words of our dear friend, Denis Durantou, who passed away on the 14th of May this year. 2019 will be remembered by us as his last vintage in a spectacular career spanning four decades. Denis was always succinct because he had so much to do! Reviving the great L’Eglise Clinet, starting new projects, planting new vineyards, running a négociant business. He was a force of nature. It seems fitting to quote his analysis – it captures everything one needs to know using the absolute minimum number of characters… “There was water when it was needed from July to September, a rapid flowering, cool nights, colour change which varied according to the grape varieties but which was homogeneous overall, and a harvest in fine dry conditions. Everything is great in 2019!”

The Forgotten Vintage

The Forgotten Vintage

Friday 18th October 2019
by Tom Jenkins

Sandwiched between a pair of excellent vintages, 2017 has always been in danger of becoming an overlooked crop.

It will be remembered unfavourably for the great frost that devastated many vineyards. The first such frost since 1991, the 2017 wave was at least a little more selective. While it ravaged the less auspicious terroirs, it left the best plots on the plateau of Pomerol, the high ground in St Emilion and the vineyards closest to the Gironde unscathed. Apart from this freakish weather in April, the growing season wasn’t that remarkable. The water table was high after spring and early summer rains, then there was a prolonged drought, but the vines were not tested with excessive heat, and there was sufficient moisture in the soils to sustain photosynthesis. So, for those who survived the frost, 2017 was a relatively straightforward year.

Bordeaux 2018 - The Wine Advocate scores are in

Bordeaux 2018 - The Wine Advocate scores are in

Wednesday 24th April 2019
by Tom Jenkins

Many will remember waiting enthusiastically for the Wine Advocate to drop through the letterbox, or for a poor resolution scan to be emailed from the States, via Bordeaux. The age of the internet has made distribution more equitable and efficient, but maybe some of the romance and thrill has ebbed away. 

Anyway, enough nostalgia, the scores are in and it’s fair to say that Lisa Perrotti-Brown is a big fan. Her report echoes our thoughts on this magical vintage – extreme peaks and a bit of mediocrity. It’s a fascinating read. For those who do not subscribe, we have quoted some of the most salient bits below. We have also listed the 12 potential 100 point wines.

‘In this vintage of extremes, a producer undaunted by flirting with disaster and with a bit of luck on his/her side could well have sailed over the finish line to glory with all the flair and panache of Alain Prost. Or they could have cartwheeled down the track, combusting into a ball of flames. 2018 offers us the thrill of victory for a number of wineries, the agony of defeat for a few and a whole lot of also-rans…

Bordeaux 2018 - A Roller Coaster Vintage

Bordeaux 2018 - A Roller Coaster Vintage

Monday 15th April 2019
by Tom Jenkins

There were no magic micro-climates in 2018. This simple analysis of the vintage is the same from St Estephe to Castillon. This is one of the great turn-around stories, from despair to elation, but it was anything but straightforward. Nicolas Audebert from Rauzan Segla and Canon coined it the ‘Grand Huit’, or a rollercoaster. Even when summer arrived, this brought its own challenges. Water stress is necessary to make great red wines, however, those without clay subsoils were at risk of hydric stress and the dangers of blocked maturity. 

After a natural crop thinning by virtue of mildew, the vines were not carrying an abundance of fruit. Most vignerons didn’t do much in the way of green harvests and many did minimal canopy thinning. What was on the vine was very healthy with thick skins and wonderful potential. 

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