Justerini & Brooks: A New Year Message

Justerini & Brooks: A New Year Message

Thursday 10th January 2019
by Chadwick Delaney

The start of a new year should be a time to review and reflect. A pause before the rhythm gets set for the year ahead. Here at Justerini & Brooks a great deal of activity continues to fill our time. Back in January 1991 we encouraged a small group of our Burgundy growers to bottle some cask samples and bring them over for Justerini & Brooks’ customers to taste before they bought. It was the first UK primeur tasting of Burgundy focussed on private individuals. Little did we realise how dramatically that would grow. Most pleasingly we still represent many of those estates that made that journey from France. In fact, I write this note from our Edinburgh office where this year we are extending our primeur tastings to include the New Club on Princes Street. It allows our Scottish customers to taste the new wines, and meet some of the growers, the day before the now huge London tastings begin. Bruno Clair, among others, is personally here. As he was for that very first Justerini & Brooks tasting in London back in 1991.

More widely, there is no doubt that Burgundy remains in its ascendancy, with records now being broken on an annual basis. We now represent around sixty estates in Burgundy, with Domaine Groffier in Morey St Denis and Domaine Genot-Boulanger in Meursault newly joining this year. But there is much else besides which shares our focus. A quick look through the visitors book in our St James’s street dining room shows that we have hosted a range of truly exceptional wine growers over the past twelve months. To name but a few: Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair, Château Lafleur, Champagne Philipponnat and, for the first time, it was our great pleasure to welcome Soldera to Justerini & Brooks, where we drank an astonishing vertical of bottles dating back to the 1990s.

But outside these sybaritic lunches and dinners our Buyers remain wildly busy. The Justerini & Brooks portfolio expands as we continue our focus on securing high-quality estates as broadly based as Oregon, South Africa, the Gredos mountains of Spain and the volcanic coast near Naples, alongside our more traditional areas of Burgundy, Bordeaux, Barolo and the fabulous wines of Germany. We have a packed schedule of tastings and events planned in Scotland, Hong Kong and London throughout the year to help support these releases. The next few weeks alone include a Château Margaux dinner in Hong Kong, a Château Lafleur dinner in Stirling and a Marquis d’Angerville event in London, We also, once again, hire space at Somerset House to display a large part of our Portfolio on the 6th February for customers to come along and taste. There is indeed much afoot.

2018 was an exciting year for Justerini & Brooks for other reasons too. In May 2018 J&B Rare returned home, and after a gap of twenty-one years Justerini & Brooks is once again in charge of the British distribution of our iconic house whisky – a brand my visionary predecessor created in the early 1930s. There is both hard work and fun ahead. As we expand our return to whisky, 2018 was also the year we created a team within Justerini & Brooks purely focussed on the rarest and most collectible malt whiskies – responding to increasing requests from our customers to gain access to these rare and beautiful liquids.

2018 was a year of note for reasons beyond just business. We remain active in the world of polo, with fabulous British Polo Day events and after-parties thrown in Shanghai, Beijing, New York, Dubai and India over the past twelve months. Back in the UK we are thrilled with our close partnership with the Beaufort Polo Club in Gloucestershire, and our title-sponsorship of their two historic high goal tournaments each summer. And more recently, we have supported the Sentebale Polo Cup at the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club.’

We continue to work on fresh ways for Justerini & Brooks to support Conservation, something we began to focus on in the 1980s with the charity Care for the Rare. In more recent years we’ve been proud to support the impactful work of Tusk Trust, and in 2018 we commissioned the renowned artist, Harland Miller, to paint a large model rhino which was then displayed in Trafalgar Square over August. Before being auctioned at Christie’s with all proceeds being donated to that cause.

Looking forward, we aim for 2019 to be even more memorable. Over the Christmas period there has been fervid refurbishment of our old St James’s Street building in preparation for our anniversary year and the associated events – 2019 marking our 270th year as wine merchants. Much has changed since 1749. Though a focus on quality and a firm belief in personal service remains our resolute aim for this New Year as much as it did when Justerini & Brooks first started.

Chadwick Delaney, Managing Director, Justerini & Brooks 

A fine wine dinner with Jacques Devauges of Clos de Tart

A fine wine dinner with Jacques Devauges of Clos de Tart

Monday 27th March 2017
by Chadwick Delaney

Singapore is a market which has long been particularly close to Justerini & Brooks.  A country filled with substantial and highly knowledgeable private collectors, Justerini & Brooks wine dinners in the private dining room within the Four Seasons hotel – dinners which began as soon as that hotel was first built and still run regularly today - have become the stuff of legend. Regularly attracting the biggest wine collectors from Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.


They were in attendance again last week for a series of fabulous Clos de Tart dinners.  Jacques Devauges, the new winemaker at the estate, flew in to Singapore especially for the events.  Clos de Tart is indeed a rare and special wine from a truly ancient estate.  Founded in 1141, it is one of only five Grand Cru monopoles.  It also happens to provide the oldest history that Justerini & Brooks has with a Burgundy estate.  In fact, a beautiful bottle of Clos de Tart 1928, bottled by Justerini & Brooks, still holds pride of place back in St. James’s street. 

A Château Lafleur dinner at St. James's

A Château Lafleur dinner at St. James's

Thursday 2nd March 2017
by Chadwick Delaney

What an extraordinary week!  Just two days after we welcomed Jacques Thienpont, who’d kindly flown over to dine with our Le Pin customers in Justerini & Brooks’ private dining room, we welcomed back our close friends Baptiste and Julie Guinaudeau of Château Lafleur to do the same. 

It is always such a delight to have them over for these dinners in St. James’s.  Our customers love their illuminating and engaging insights on the fascinating wines of Lafleur.

We began the evening with a chilled glass of Dom Perignon 2004 before moving upstairs to our dining room.  The first wine of the evening, once sat down, was the Guinaudeau’s quite delicious white – Les Champs Libres 2014.  It’s a beautiful wine which matched our chef’s slightly spicy crab gratin perfectly. 100% Sauvignon Blanc, barrel-fermented, and from Sancerre clones - the warmer Bordeaux weather gives the wine a little extra intensity on the palate.  But still with that linear Sauvignon feel and a fresh, high-toned nose.  Unquestionably a wine that keeps pulling you back for another sip.


A Le Pin dinner with  Jacques Thienpont

A Le Pin dinner with Jacques Thienpont

Tuesday 28th February 2017
by Chadwick Delaney

Last night was a rare privilege.  Our private dining room in St. James’s, the host of many truly wonderful evenings over the years, had the pleasure of welcoming Jacques Thienpont over from Bordeaux for the very first time. 

Jacques flew in to meet some of our customers who have been buying Le Pin.  It was quite the gathering.  All deep admirers of this iconic Bordeaux estate. We started the evening with a small glass of L’If ’14.  Jacques’ little St Emilion baby as he called it.  It showed a lovely balance with pure, silky fruits and was a first experience of L’If for many of those attending. 

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.

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