Vintage Report: Rhône 2013,

Vintage Report: Rhône 2013, "a silver lining" (and a quick word on 2012s)

Monday 17th November 2014
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

Walking through some Grenache vines in Châteauneuf –du-Pape at the end of September 2013 was glorious.  It was a bright, sunny and rather balmy afternoon, unusually so at that time of year even for the Southern Rhône.  

As I looked at the vines, sparsely dotted with the odd bunch, most of them grapillons (the second flush of grapes that are left on the vine after vintage because they never ripen and are not used to make wine). I imagined how glorious the crop would have looked and how gratifying harvest must have been.  So it was to my great surprise later that evening to learn that picking had not even started yet.  Nearly a year on, I travelled out( this week) to taste the results. 

Uneven weather before and during the 2013 flowering period resulted in the dropping of embryonic bunches, followed by aborted flowering of those that remained. Grenache was the most severely affected variety in the South and given that this makes up 70% of the typical Châteauneuf blend, was something of a catastrophe for growers.  A drop of 30 to 50% compared to a usual harvest was reported across the region, for many producers it was the smallest crop they had ever seen.  In the North, depending on the vineyard and individual terroir, Syrah was worse affected than it was further south and there were also tiny yields for Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne. Furthermore a very uneven wet and cold summer meant it was a late vintage, the latest in thirty years of wine producing for one particular Hermitage vigneron. 
Château Margaux and Justerini & Brooks in Jakarta

Château Margaux and Justerini & Brooks in Jakarta

Thursday 13th November 2014
by Chadwick Delaney

We organise many dinners and tastings all over the world, but last week we hosted a particularly memorable event in Jakarta with Paul Pontallier of Château Margaux.

It was the first time that Paul had been to Indonesia, so Justerini & Brooks put on a gala evening at the Grand Hyatt hotel for our Indonesian customers, and arranged to have vintages of Château Margaux, back to 1966.