Posts with the label "bordeaux"


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.

Bordeaux 2015: London UGC Tasting

Bordeaux 2015: London UGC Tasting

Wednesday 18th October 2017
by Tom Jenkins

The British wine trade descended on Lindley Hall in Westminster yesterday for the annual London UGC. It was the turn of the much anticipated 2015s to flaunt their newly bottled wares. And they didn’t disappoint!

In truth, this is not the most flattering time to display, often there is a bit of bottle shock that subdues the exuberant fruit one might recall from barrel tastings. The 2015s had no such issues. These are extrovert wines packed with sweet, succulent fruit, and swathed in gloriously generous tannins. There is certainly a more noticeable tannic structure post elevage, but this can only be a positive. Charming and delicious as these will be in their youth, they possess the presence to last for medium and even long-term drinking.

Bordeaux 2016 Teaser Video

Bordeaux 2016 Teaser Video

Tuesday 2nd May 2017
by Justerini & Brooks

The Justerini & Brooks team interviewed the Bordeaux winemakers and Château owners in February and asked their thoughts of the 2016 vintage months ahead of release.

UGC Week: Bordeaux 2016 - Day three: The Mighty Medoc

UGC Week: Bordeaux 2016 - Day three: The Mighty Medoc

Friday 28th April 2017
by Tom Jenkins

Starting at Chateau Lafite at 9am set the bar pretty high. The Duhart Milon was superb, pure Cabernet class, even the Carruades was spectacular, dense and concentrated, and then we got to the grand vin, an ethereal, subtly perfumed, glorious Lafite; athletic, graceful, powerful and handsome. There’s absolutely no doubt that this is a top notch Lafite and one of the wines of the vintage. 

Next stop Mouton Rothschild and an equally impressive range, but stylistically quite different. By comparison, the Mouton stable was all primal power and complexity. The d’Armailhac is fun and filled with fruit, the Clerc Milon is a big step up in quality, the fruit is much more profound and the tannins are very classy. Petit Mouton is big and brooding and the grand vin is a wine of epic proportions. As with all great Moutons, this is slow to reveal itself, it is deeply introverted, but with time and coaxing it starts to reveal the power of this terroir. This has serious length, and while at this stage it doesn’t quite have the grace of the Lafite, we believe this is a seriously impressive Mouton that will continue to grow in stature – mighty impressive.

Vintage Report: Bordeaux 2016 - Back to the future

Vintage Report: Bordeaux 2016 - Back to the future

Thursday 13th April 2017
by Tom Jenkins

Tasting back to back vintages like 2015 and 2016 is fascinating. These are both exceptional years, although polar opposite in style. It is perhaps hard to be as loquacious about the 2016s as we were about the sumptuous 2015s. 

This is in no way a barometer for the vintage – 2016 is certainly as good as 2015, probably better, but the wines are generally less expressive and generous at this early stage. The 2015s were a sheer joy to taste - 2016s are more cerebral, introverted, structured, serious and profound. In most cases, and particularly on the Left Bank, there is a reserve and classicism that makes one think of ancient vintages with huge tannic profiles and long-term aging potential. Certainly, the best Chateaux have flexed their technical know-how and have produced wines with stunning purity of fruit and precision, but there’s no getting away from the fact that 2016s are real vins de garde.

The extraordinary growing season and Mother Nature have combined to produce something remarkable. There are many contributing factors to the success. After the early season deluge the drought and heat of July and August were welcomed by all. Old vines and soils with some clay component were best placed to benefit from the conditions. Critically, during harvest, there were dramatic day/night temperature differences. This helped the grapes to mature, but retain acidity, and also kept alcohol levels exceptionally low, a key feature of 2016s.

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