Posts with the label "buyers approved"

Krug Clos d'Ambonnay 2000

Krug Clos d'Ambonnay 2000

Monday 27th July 2015
by Julian Campbell

The walled garden that supplies Andrew Fairlie’s eponymous two star restaurant at Gleneagles Hotel was the setting for last week’s unveiling of Krug’s Clos d’Ambonnay 2000.  

All four vintages of this tiny .68ha jewel in the portfolio were poured, making it a unique chance to see the full Krug output from the 100% Pinot Noir walled vineyard in Ambonnay.

The vineyard itself was purchased by Krug in 1994. The village of Ambonnay has historically always provided the highest quality Pinot Noir in the  Grande Cuvée  blend and so when the opportunity came to purchase arguably the greatest Pinot Noir vineyard in the greatest Pinot Noir village in Champagne, the decision was an obvious one. A sibling for Clos du Mesnil was born, though one far rarer (Clos du Mesnil is almost three times the size). 1995 was the very first vintage, not released until 2007, and since then we have seen the 1996, 1998 and finally today, 2000 released.

White Burgfest 2012: An update on 2012 White Burgundies

White Burgfest 2012: An update on 2012 White Burgundies

Tuesday 9th June 2015
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

As wickets tumbled against New Zealand, at least the nine strong 2015 White Burgfest group proved their staying power.  

Over two and a half days the team tasted through the 2012 vintage of Chablis and the Cote d’Or’s top Premier and Grand Cru vineyards from growers and negociants alike.  In total 191 wines were tasted, all blind, by village and vineyard, across 28 flights.  75 of the region’s most famous, and infamous, producers were represented.  The tasting was a great privilege, presenting several rare opportunities such as the chance to compare Meursault Perrieres from eight of the village’s top growers side by side, or examine a six-strong flight of Chablis Les Clos, or even, on the last morning, indulge in the merits of five different Chevalier Montrachets.  But enough gloating, how are the 2012s looking?  Well my own personal thoughts are as follows:

2012 White Burgundy in bottle tastes every bit as concentrated as it did from barrel, hardly surprising given that this was one of the smallest ever crops (I recall Sauzet making 2 barrels of Folatieres instead of 10, the smallest since Gerard Boudot started in 1974!)  In some instances this made the wines difficult to taste, so much power and density left you wondering how long it was going to take for them to be at their best.  There were enough shining examples, though, to suggest this is a good to very good, if not all time great vintage.  In such extreme growing conditions, there was always going to be a degree of variability amongst the 2012s. As ever a grower either managed the conditions well or not, but particularly stark this year was how some terroirs generally performed better than others.  The concentration in this vintage has served to magnify a vineyard’s characteristics rather than mask them, but sometimes to the point of caricature.   

26 vintages of Clos des Papes

26 vintages of Clos des Papes

Friday 3rd October 2014
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

I have drunk more Clos des Papes in the last four weeks than the whole of last year, 26 different examples of red and white to be precise, but I am not complaining.  For this fine Rhône estate produces wine that, with age, challenges the convention that Chateauneuf du Pape is about power, richness and little else.  

Whilst the famous vintages of course get great journalistic scores and points, the last month has also proven how good Clos des Papes is in "challenging" vintages, indeed they are sometimes preferable.

Overall the wines were utterly graceful, sensual sweet but moreish, very refined but with a distinct sense of place.  My first tasting was with Vincent Avril himself in his cellars, the initial premise was to taste 2013 but Vincent's generosity extended to another eight additional wines.  The second occasion was a thoroughly convivial dinner earlier this week where the 1934 was rather decadently, but not incorrectly, served as an "apertif" - it was a memorable night.  
White Burgfest 2011: An update on 2011 White Burgundies

White Burgfest 2011: An update on 2011 White Burgundies

Tuesday 23rd September 2014
by Hew Blair

It will soon be my 40th Burgundy vintage with Justerini & Brooks this autumn, but for now I look back on the Burgfest review for the 2011 white wines tasted earlier this year. 


* 3 days of blind tasting by 8 top worldwide wine buyers and journalists Neal Martin and Dr Neil Beckett.
* 250 wines tasted in 29 flights.
* 1ers and Grand Crus from the Cotes d’Or’s main wine producing villages and for the first time St Aubin and Chablis.
* Discussion was entered into after each flight pre and post disclosure and at the termination of the tasting.
A week in Piedmont - 2010, 2009 and Barolo

A week in Piedmont - 2010, 2009 and Barolo "Classico"

Friday 28th February 2014
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

Last week was one of the most enjoyable and exciting trips to Piedmont I can remember having. My schedule was fuller than ever before, including 20 of the region's top producers and upcoming stars. There were as many new faces to meet as old and plenty of wine to discover. 

At a time when Italy is in the doldrums, Piedmont seems to be positively buzzing. Not only is demand and quality of wine sky-high, but also the region is teaming with budding young winemakers. What a difference to 30 years ago when Barolo was being given away for free with more sought-after bottles of Dolcetto. 

My main purpose was to taste 2010 Barolo, but first 2009. Understandably less homogenous, hot vintages are often pigeon-holed as bad and incapable of lasting very long. However this is an injustice. 2003 makes the case strongly. The successful ones still provide delicious drinking today, offering exotic vintage traits together with fresh, clear fruit flavours that keep you coming back for more. Who'd have thought it? And so it is likely to be with 2009. I tasted many this week. They were aromatic, seductive and eminently drinkable now already. They will probably not be in as fine fettle as the 2010s or 2008s in 25 years’ time but who cares? 10 years plus is well within their capabilities and at least we will have something to drink while we wait. Gaja's Sperss, Giuseppe Mascarello's Monprivato, Vietti's Castiglione were highlights. Marengo, Scavino and Azelia also excelled. 2008s, 2006s and 2004s have not really awoken yet and 2007s are still seductive but it would be a shame to approach the best right now.  Thankfully we have vintages to drink in 2003, 2005 and 2009. 
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