Posts with the label "rhone"


Rhone 2017 - A tale of the unexpected

Rhone 2017 - A tale of the unexpected

Thursday 25th October 2018
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

During a week of bounding up and down the Rhone valley I have tasted some truly delicious wines. My focus has been on 2017s from barrel but I have also been tasting 2016s and 2015s from bottle. 

Before I launch into the many surprises 2017 sprung on me, a word on 2015 Chateauneufs. These are in a very good place right now and it is clearly a superbly-balanced vintage, they may well go into the shut-down phase that most Chateauneufs do but right now they are a joy and what’s more they show the harmony to suggest excellent ageing potential, it can genuinely be considered a great year in the South. People may remember France being bathed  in sunshine throughout 2015 but in the Southern Rhône it was not too much of a heat-wave vintage, there was a little more rain and ensuing cooler temperatures than further north.  The results were wines of great allure, roundness and charm. For sure richer than a “cool” style vintage but less alcoholic than other hallowed years like 2016 and 2007, for example. If you missed these at the time, then don’t hesitate to snap up 2015 Southern Rhônes. 

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.

Interview: In the cellar with Jerome from Chateau Mont-Redon

Interview: In the cellar with Jerome from Chateau Mont-Redon

Thursday 26th May 2016
by Justerini & Brooks

Last week Justerinis welcomed Jerome Abeille from the famed Chateauneuf du Pape estate, Mont Redon to St James’s Street.

After a typically French breakfast of coffee and croissant, we tasted a mouth-watering selection of Mont Redon wines. Jerome explained his wines to our team and described the enormous effort that goes into producing the highest quality Chateauneuf du Papes.

Mont Redon has been in the Abeille family since 1923. Four generations later and the winery remains in the capable hands of Jerome’s father, Jean, and his uncle, Didier Fabre. This striking domaine is very much a family affair; sons and cousins are charged with all aspects of the winery’s upkeep, from harvesting to export and sales; there is no let up for an estate that boasts close to 200 hectares.  It’s hard to image that Mont Redon once started out with a relatively tiny 2.5 hectare plot.

Harvest Report: Château Mont-Redon

Harvest Report: Château Mont-Redon

Tuesday 29th September 2015
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

The Abeille-Fabre Family share with us their insights from the 2015 harvest at Château Mont-Redon, which reaches its end today, somewhat earlier than expected. 

“2015 has been a quite easy year on the climatic point of view all along the vegetative cycle, featuring a dry year with a hot summer marked by temperatures exceeding 40°C, thus accelerating the maturities and dropping acidity. This lasted until the beginning of September. We have had a crop with rarely equaled, healthy conditions, but experienced again a gap between alcoholic maturity and the phenolic one, therefore we had to wait quite a while in order to meet our expectations."

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. 
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