Posts with the label "sauternes"


Bordeaux 2017: The Wine Advocate’s scores are in

Bordeaux 2017: The Wine Advocate’s scores are in

Monday 30th April 2018
by Tom Jenkins

We thoroughly enjoyed our week tasting 2017s from barrel. We loved the style, the aromatics, the precision and the freshness of the best wines. 

We thought it would be a vintage that would appeal to those who like restraint and charm, dare we say it, something for a European palate (we are still European for the time being…). Lisa Perrotti-Brown, the new Bordeaux correspondence for the influential Wine Advocate is also smitten, awarding three wines 97-100 points and numerous scores into the high nineties. Please find an overview of her thoughts below.

Bordeaux 2017: The Sweeties

Bordeaux 2017: The Sweeties

Saturday 28th April 2018
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

In 2017 the going was hard in Sauternes and Barsac, frost being particularly vindictive in the latter.  

At its most extreme the vintage yielded no Grand Vin at all, Climens, who made just 35 barrels, being the most prominent example in Barsac. The picture in Sauternes was complicated, too, if not always quite as dramatic.  Where frost struck, it struck hard but otherwise there was hope.  Though not untouched by frost Coutet reported that in their best parcels they managed to achieve a pretty healthy 17hl/ha. 

In Tour Blanche, by contrast, they made just fifty barrels.  End of August and early September rains brought on botrytis and the first “tries” were carried out until grey rot started to appear and the harvest stopped.  Warmer, drier weather arrested any further ignoble rot development and concentrated what was left on the vine.  The harvest restarted and largely finished in the second week of October, by which time the berries showed significant concentration.   

Owing to such conditions it is not a straightforward vintage and far from uniform. The challenge was, as ever, to find the right balance in the wines and not simply concentration.  Having enough of the fresher lighter fruit to pick in the early part of the harvest and using the right amount of the later, more concentrated October berries (if you were lucky enough to have any)  was crucial. It cannot be considered a great vintage but there are a clutch of very good wines that show a lovely weighting of richness alcohol and freshness.   

Southwold: Bordeaux 2014 – very good, but not quite great

Southwold: Bordeaux 2014 – very good, but not quite great

Monday 19th February 2018
by Tom Jenkins

Last week, the great and the good of the British wine trade including journalists, merchants and multitude of MWs decamped to our new Southwold-on-Thames venue to dissect the 2014s.

After the demoralising 2013s, there was a palpable sense of anticipation. We have always admired this vintage for its classical style and elegance. As is custom, we start with several flights of St Emilion. The flights seem to get longer each year and usually feature unfamiliar names that leave us pondering, ‘why?’ There was no such bafflement this year. Vignerons appear to have used a lighter touch and coupled with the natural acidity of the vintage, the wines have a real sense of cohesion and energy. Top marks went to Francois Mitjavile’s Tertre Roteboeuf, such an unmistakable wine, there’s really no need to disguise its identity… My preference was Canon, John Kolasa’s last year at the helm – this is as classical and super-refined, and a mighty impressive showing from Troplong Mondot.

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.

Wine dinner at Oxleaze Barn, Gloucestershire

Wine dinner at Oxleaze Barn, Gloucestershire

Friday 21st April 2017
by Justerini & Brooks

Luckily our Cotswold barn scrubbed up suitably well for a Justerini & Brooks’s private customer dinner. The setting couldn’t have been more perfect, the location was a beautiful farm in the Cotswold countryside, and the evening sun was out.

As the great and the good from Gloucestershire arrived and sipped on Pol Roger 2006 and Gusbourne Estate Blanc de Blancs 2012, Andrew Kojima, a masterchef finalist, was preparing our delicious Japanese fusion style dishes for the night.

I had been looking forward to this for a long time, I was a little nervous too as it was my launch with Justerini & Brooks in the South West (having done 14 years with them in Scotland) so there was a bit hanging in the balance as they say.  Luckily I had the support on the night of Hew Blair the Chairman!

The guest list was strong, the wines were exciting, and the food was fresh and fashionable. After my introduction to Justerini & Brooks, and a little talk about Gusbourne and Pol Roger, thirty of us sat down to a stunning table set with glasses, flowers and surrounded by the rustic charm of the barn. This was definitely a cool place to hold a fine wine dinner.

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