Posts with the label "italy"


Piedmont Paulee

Piedmont Paulee

Sunday 15th April 2018
by Mark Dearing

We were all in high spirits following our annual tasting of the latest Piedmont vintage in London. This year it was the turn of the 2014s; wines that deliver bright and lively vineyard characters while being fresh, energetic and easy to taste young. 

Buoyed though we were from that tasting, the bar was about to rise. For one night only, Justerini & Brooks had reserved the entire Rex Whistler restaurant, part of the esteemed Tate Britain gallery. A London institution amongst wine lovers, the Rex Whistler is celebrated for its generous and mature list of fine wines, impeccable service, and hearty, enjoyable food. It was the obvious choice for a “Piedmont Paulee”.

For the first time in its history one of the UK’s most lauded art institutions would have a full-blooded, boisterous Italian installation on its lower ground floor. Fifteen of the region’s top producers including Giuseppe Mascarello, Elio Altare, Paolo Scavino, Fratelli Brovia, Castello di Verduno, Marco Marengo, Piero Busso, Azelia, Roberto Voerzio, Davide Carlone, Matteo Correggia, and new kids on the block Luigi Oddero, would be joined by forty five eager Nebbiolo enthusiasts for a bespoke four course meal to be enjoyed with innumerable bottles generously donated from one another’s personal cellars.

The Vintage Report: Piedmont 2014

The Vintage Report: Piedmont 2014

Tuesday 13th March 2018
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

The snow-capped Langhe region provided a perfect live map of Barolo & Barbaresco’s finest vineyards during my visit to Piedmont last week.  

Bare, melted patches amidst the vast blanket of white revealed exactly where lay the vineyards with the best exposures and warmest micro climates.  In the old days this is how entrepreneurial growers decided on which plots to expand into next, where to do their deals.  These very patches yielded some superb wines in the newly-released 2014 vintage, a year that had its challenges but one that, in the end, proved well-suited to the late-ripening Nebbiolo vines when grown on hillside sites.  For the vintage’s greats, think Brunate, Cerequio, Cannubi, Monvigliero and right across Barbaresco… to call out just a few

New Tuscan vintages - Benvenuto Brunello

New Tuscan vintages - Benvenuto Brunello

Tuesday 6th March 2018
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

Benvenuto Brunello is a wonderful chance to get a broad view of the new Brunello vintage.  Some one hundred and thirty plus producers exhibit at this annual event, all under one roof. 

This year was the turn of 2013 Brunellos and 2012 Riservas.  The trip also offered me the opportunity to break out and explore the rest of Tuscany and its new vintages. Here’s what I learned: 

Brunello 2013 – is a highly promising vintage, a potentially great one, and at its best better than the higher five-star rated 2012 vintage.  Montalcino wines rarely struggle for power or density, so these cooler rainier vintages, when handled correctly, can produce excellent results – adding a rare finesse and vibrancy to these naturally well-built wines.  It was no wash out, either, good weather dominating the latter part of summer from end of July onwards. The 2013s show good intensity and great balance, suggesting excellent ageing potential. Of course not everything will be great, many producers still pick too late, extract too much or, a new trend, pick very early. In the latter case, when taken to the extreme, this can yield rather lean, mean wines with aggressive tannins, tart fruit and hollow middles.  There were more of these in evidence than I can remember.  But back to good examples, though, which are in a majority, they are complete and want for nothing.  More discrete than the blockbuster but well-formed 2010s, but don’t miss them – allow them time  and aeration and they become hugely rewarding.  As ethereal as Brunello gets.

Justerini & Brooks' Portfolio Tasting

Justerini & Brooks' Portfolio Tasting

Friday 2nd February 2018
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

Since 1749 we have been supplying the very finest wines and spirits to our customers in Great Britain and beyond.  

Portfolio has always sat at the very heart of Justerini & Brooks. This is why we invest so much and take such pride in how and what we source.  Our six Buyers spend half of the year travelling and tasting in cellars around the globe. Their aim is to track down the world’s finest wines, those that speak of their origins and that our customers will delight in drinking. We directly import from over 300 producers, including the greatest, scarcest names such as Pétrus, Château Lafleur, Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair and Domaine Armand Rousseau. But at Justerini & Brooks we have always valued the undiscovered gem just as much as the famous label.  It is why we have always extolled the virtues of German wine, why we were championing red Burgundy over twenty five years ago before anyone was interested and why we have been banging the drum for Piedmont since the mid-nineties.

Piedmont 2013:

Piedmont 2013: "Nothing short of outstanding."

Monday 3rd April 2017
by Justerini & Brooks

For the Justerini & Brooks buying team, the annual Piedmont trip is one of the most eagerly anticipated. Protected by the Alps to the north and the Mediterranean to the south, Piedmont is a very special place.

Arriving from busy Milan, spirits lift as the Langhe hills loom into view. It is a striking landscape. Atop winding country roads, medieval villages cut a sharp silhouette, hopping across steep, jagged valleys and awe-inspiring vineyards from one hilltop to the next. It was good to be back.

Of course, we were here to taste the wines. This time our focus was the latest 2013 vintage releases from Barolo, Barbaresco and Alto Piemonte. A week in mid-March under dry, sunny skies was just the climate for strolling vineyards and tasting in cellars. Growers were happy too – a spell of fine weather signalling the arrival of spring and budburst in a few of the earlier ripening vineyards. Our schedule was busy; twenty estates in four days - with the great and the good - and some new faces too.

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