Posts with the label "tasting"


The Forgotten Vintage

The Forgotten Vintage

Friday 18th October 2019
by Tom Jenkins

Sandwiched between a pair of excellent vintages, 2017 has always been in danger of becoming an overlooked crop.

It will be remembered unfavourably for the great frost that devastated many vineyards. The first such frost since 1991, the 2017 wave was at least a little more selective. While it ravaged the less auspicious terroirs, it left the best plots on the plateau of Pomerol, the high ground in St Emilion and the vineyards closest to the Gironde unscathed. Apart from this freakish weather in April, the growing season wasn’t that remarkable. The water table was high after spring and early summer rains, then there was a prolonged drought, but the vines were not tested with excessive heat, and there was sufficient moisture in the soils to sustain photosynthesis. So, for those who survived the frost, 2017 was a relatively straightforward year.

Le Marathon Bourguignon

Le Marathon Bourguignon

Monday 9th September 2019
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

The Hameau de Barboron was the perfect setting for two Burgundy marathons. 2016 White Burgfest and 2016 Red Burgfest proved to be an unexpectedly comprehensive pair of tastings.

The White tasting held in May, the red at the beginning of this month. A total of 218 white and 259 red samples were mustered, a show of great faith and generosity from growers given the tiny yields of this frost-ravaged vintage. A group of 12 wine merchants and journalists gathered to taste blind over 4 mornings each for the red and white wine marathons.  At white Burgfest there were 38 blind flights, at red Burgfest 43 blind flights, each organised by village and, where possible, vineyard.  The rabble, herded patiently by Jasper Morris, included myself, William Kelley (for the white tasting only) Jason Haynes (Flint), Catherine Petrie (Comte Armand), Matthew Hemming (Vinum), Adam Bruntlett (BBR) Toby Morhall (The Wine Society), Christopher Moestue (Moestue grape selections), Neil Beckett (World of Fine Wine), Luis Gutierrez who made a cameo appearance in the absence of Neal Martin for white Burgfest, and a well recovered Neal Martin himself who returned for the reds this month. A full, collective report of the Burgfest tastings will be published in the World of Fine Wine towards the end of this year. In the meantime find herewith my own personal thoughts: 

David Sadie comes to London to preview David & Nadia’s upcoming releases… and more.

David Sadie comes to London to preview David & Nadia’s upcoming releases… and more.

Friday 9th August 2019
by Mark Dearing

David Sadie, of the eponymous David & Nadia, was in London last week to present the upcoming 2018s to a group of enthusiasts in the dining room at St James’s Street. The question on everyone’s lips: would they actually live up to the benchmark 2017s?

It's well known by now that 2018 was no easy ride, for the trio of 2016, 2017 and 2018 vintages will likely be remembered primarily as those harvested under the cloud of severe drought. And although South Africans had endured two years of it already by then, it wasn't really until 2018 that the rest of the world finally took note of its severity, as the international media covered the countdown toward “Day Zero” – when the water would be cut off entirely. 

2010 White Burgundy

2010 White Burgundy

Tuesday 9th July 2019
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

Last week Burgundy-specialist merchants and journalists gathered to taste 29 White Burgundies from the 2010 vintage, an experience that was impressive and, dare I say, surprising. The element that was most encouraging being the absence of premoxed wines. 

Almost all were in good condition, except a slightly tired, bruised-fruit Pernot Belicard Puligny that may have just been a bad bottle and a Terre de Velle Puligny that was just about holding on. The regional wines, at the lowest end of the quality pyramid, were tiring a little but nothing more than you would have expected and still showed rather well considering.  Certain wines displayed  more unctuosity alcohol and exotic fruit, recalling the botrytis that affected some of the crop, these were fine and still very much alive now but did not necessarily offer excitement or suggest further ageing potential. 

Burgundy: An Acte Masterclass with Omri Ram

Burgundy: An Acte Masterclass with Omri Ram

Monday 4th March 2019
by Tom Jenkins

We were thrilled to have Omri Ram hosting the Acte Masterclass. Here is a few words from Omri about Acte and his thoughts on the new vintage.

"We just finished the very first ever masterclass of the Acte project with Justerini & Brooks. It is the first time we have presented a vertical of Acte externally. Until now, this has been an academic exercise to help the technical team to evaluate the project.

The thing with Acte is it’s an ambition project. It is a long-term project. It’s creating someone thing from zero. It’s not a new label but a new vineyard. A vineyard that may become a new cru that people will recognise in the future, but it takes a lot of time and decision making.

The genesis of this project starts long before Acte 1 (2009). Years of soil studies, sourcing and negotiation were required to locate the finest, five-star terroirs of Fronsac. The vision was to find the greatest clay and limestone parcels, suitable for making wines in the Lafleur mould. That is not to say Acte is intended to be a replica. Lafleur is a unique terroir in Pomerol. The best soils of Fronsac are more reminiscent of the Cote and plateau of St Emilion. The ambition was to create a new cru using Lafleur genetics and best terroirs in the commune.

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