Obama urges wine industry to collaborate in climate change fight

Decanter News - ma, 09/07/2018 - 12:47

Former US president Barack Obama has used a climate change summit in Porto to urge the wine industry to work together more, and called on businesses to help shape government policy on the issue.

obama climate changeFormer US president Barack Obama was a strong supporter of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Business should unite to share ideas and exert influence over governments about climate change, said Barack Obama at a summit in Porto dominated by wine industry delegates.

‘For winemakers to share best practice in the face of rising temperatures makes perfect sense,’ said Obama, speaking on Friday 6 July.

Technological solutions are often out there, ‘but how we organise ourselves is a problem’, said the former US president.

‘Too late, and the solutions are sub-optimal,’ he warned.

He and other speakers attended to help launch the ‘Porto Protocol’, a wine industry-led initiative.

Adrian Bridge, CEO of The Fladgate Partnership, which includes summit co-organiser Taylor’s Port, described the protocol as ‘a binding commitment to make a greater contribution to mitigating climate change’.

Signatories will create a platform to share experiences and solutions, ‘because there is no time to reinvent the wheel’, Bridge added.

Obama’s comments about the role of business come amid a turbulent political and media environment with regard to climate change.

Commenting on US president Donald Trump’s plan to withdraw the from the 2015 Paris climate agreement, Obama said that, ‘even if there is a rolling back of regulations, they have been adopted by commercial interests who see them as good business sense.’

Turning to the rise of alternative media and alternative facts, Obama observed that ‘people are losing confidence in what they see on TV and don’t trust the internet’. He urged industry to publicise climate change’s future impact and develop an ‘invest now, save later’ attitude to costs and prices.

Bridge said that a wine industry-focused Climate Change Leadership Solutions Conference will be held in Oporto on 6 and 7 March 2019. Representatives from across the supply chain, including retailer Marks & Spencer, will discuss ‘concrete ideas [and] real solutions that work on whatever scale,’ he said.

Editing by Chris Mercer

See also: Extreme weather becoming the new normal, warns study How Al Gore convinced Miguel Torres to fight climate change in wine


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Categorieën: Wijnnieuws

Jefford on Monday: Redressing the balance

Decanter News - ma, 09/07/2018 - 10:23

Andrew Jefford reviews professor Alex Maltman’s recently published book, Vineyards, Rocks, & Soils.

vineyard soilsCalcereous rock and sandy, clay soil in the Pic-St-Loup area of Languedoc. This shot is from vineyards owned by Château de Lascaux.

There are wine books, and there are essential wine books.  The former sit in a bookcase to the right of my desk, but the latter fill two small shelves within grabbing distance to the left.

Essential wine books need not be exquisitely written nor sumptuously illustrated; they tend not to contain a single tasting note.  They become, though, worn, scuffed and annotated by dint of usage.  These are the key sources of factual reference through which wine’s complexity can be explored and understood.

I’ve just added a new volume to the shelves on the left.  It’s called Vineyards, Rocks, & Soils: The Wine Lover’s Guide to Geology by Professor Alex Maltman (Oxford University Press).  I have contributed a small (unpaid) Foreword to this book, but it is Maltman’s lucid, dense and deeply informative text which merits its inclusion in the dog-eared pantheon.

No student of wine should be without this book; every wine writer and sommelier should read it, several times.  Supposing that we all do this, the language and discourse of wine will move forward, and the common understanding of the ways in which vines interact with soils and rocks will change from folkloric to something which is sustainably scientific.  The book is an essential contribution to the as-yet-inexistent academic discipline of ‘Terroir Studies’.

Readers may be familiar with James Wilson’s book Terroir (a descriptive geology of France’s vineyard regions) and Great Wine Terroirs of Jacques Fanet (a non-exhaustive look at the geology of global wine regions), as well as Robert E.White’s Understanding Vineyard Soils (a technical work for viticulturalists).  Maltman’s book is much broader in scope than these, as well as more useful in practical terms for wine drinkers.  Wilson’s and Fanet’s books are liable to be misconstrued without careful reading of Maltman’s work.

His aim is to help those who enjoy wine understand something of the diversity of rocks types found in vineyard regions, and learn how the soils which lie on top of them are formed.  He explains, too, how rocks move, both at a vast tectonic scale as well as via folding, flowing and faulting; and he gives readers an account of weathering, of topography and of landscape formation.  Most geologists litter their writing with jargon and technical terms, and the result is usually opaque and incomprehensible for the lay reader.  After a lifetime of teaching undergraduates, Maltman writes with clarity and limpidity.  His breadth of culture is palpable in his literary references and evident interest in etymology.  Nothing in this book is opaque; much is entertaining.

In the middle section, there are necessary chapters on the three families of rocks (igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary), seasoned with notes as to where you may find such rock types in wine regions.  They will help you use the terminology accurately and thus avoid confusing tuff with tufa, and encourage you to relax about the differences between slate and schist.  You’ll grasp the vital difference between the physical characteristics of a rock and its chemical or mineral composition (and so realise that there can be many different types of slate, schist or limestone, meaning that use of these terms alone is rarely descriptively adequate).

To my mind, the most useful chapters of the book come at the beginning and the end, however.  I’ll take the two parts separately.

Vine roots never explore ‘limestone’ or ‘schist’: those are our classificatory labels of convenience.  What vine roots interact with are a suite of varying chemical compounds called minerals, combined in soil with organic matter.  The first three chapters are about these minerals, and Maltman puts particular emphasis on the process by which mineral nutrients become available to vines and other plants: the exchange of ions between soil particles and roots.  The functional differences between mineral assemblies (sand, for example, and clay) is in this respect enormous.  Anyone using the term ‘minerality’ should familiarise themselves with the concept of cation exchange capacity.

This, though, is theoretical knowledge.  Fast forward to chapter nine, where Maltman explains another vital distinction – between geologic minerals (analytically present in rocks and soils) and nutrient minerals (those which are actually bioavailable to vines and other plants).  The bioavailable minerals taken up by vines, he suggests, tend to come from the soil’s organic matter (humus), or from fertilizers.  The percentages of geologic minerals that are bioavailable in bedrock or soil are small or tiny, meaning that the elaborate coverage they receive in much wine literature is of anecdotal interest only.

Soil pH affects nutrient uptake dramatically, and vines themselves have an armoury of selective devices to modify nutrient uptake.  Fermentation, finally, changes the nutrient content of grape juice, to the extent that “the proportion of mineral nutrients in a finished wine bear only a complex, indirect, and distant relationship to the geologic minerals in the vineyard” (p.176).  Most minerals, he is careful to point out, have no sensual identity of any sort.  Whatever ‘minerality’ is, concludes Maltman, “it is not the taste of vineyard minerals” (p.177).

Although he distances the presence of geologic minerals from finished wine aroma and flavour, he does not underplay the role of the soil (in particular the way in which soil delivers water to vines – see chapter 10), nor does he contest the notion of terroir in itself.  Detailed climate considerations are beyond the scope of his book, but it is significant that in the vital pages 191-95 (‘Bringing It All Together: Terroir’) Maltman alludes to the astonishing significance which tiny nuances in topography and mesoclimate have for vines.  He returns to this theme in the Epilogue to the book, contrasting the easy and accessible simplicity of chanting vineyard geologies as a response to the enigma of flavour with the “patient data collection and analysis … [of] intangible technical details like air velocity, UV intensity, spectral wavelength, and bacterial taxa” (p.213).  It is these, he suggests, which may in the end be the terroir factors that most affect the aroma and flavour of wine.

He is also surely right to fault the complete absence of discussion of rootstocks in most wine writing (rootstocks are those parts of the vine, after all, which actually have a direct relationship with soils and bedrock), and to stress that in general that ‘the action’ of cation exchange and nutrient uptake nearly always happens in soils and not bedrock itself, meaning that the importance of pedology greatly outweighs that of geology in terroir analyses.  The ‘unnaturalness’ of vineyard environments, with their comprehensively modified drainage systems, is another important point noted by Maltman.

In many ways, this is a work of thoroughgoing, patient and measured inconoclasm, and you’ll find examples throughout the book of Maltman skewering groundless assertions, confusions, banalities, stupidities and generalisations connected with vineyard geology and its supposed direct, causal relationship with the sensual character of a wine in what he calls ‘populist writings’ on wine.  He deftly pricks other unscientific balloons when they sail past, such as the ‘gravitational significance’ of the moon on anything much smaller than Lake Huron.

He does not assert a zero relationship between geology, soils and wine character – though I note that the section entitled ‘Science Begins to Show Some Connections’ is a mere three pages long.  He understands the importance of metaphor in communicative writing, by the way, and has no objections to the metaphorical use of geological or pedological terms in wine descriptions – provided such terms are understood as being metaphorical.  He also points out that when rocks or soils do ‘smell’, it is generally due to the organic matter (bacteria, algae and moulds) which film geologic surfaces.

Read this book, in conclusion, to use geological terms with precision and accuracy, and to understand what is and is not possible when a grafted grapevine (rootstock and scion) is planted in topsoil over bedrock, and spends 60 or 70 years growing there in situ.  Read it, too, for one other reason.

You and I both know that compelling differences between wines exist.  We’d like to understand where they come from.  Wine producers have made vast technical strides in viticultural and wine-making techniques over the last half-century – yet, far from delivering some kind of ‘grand qualitative unification’, these advances have simply served to underscore the fact that a few site-variety combinations produce wines of outstanding quality, while most do not.

The easiest answer to this conundrum is to look down to the soil medium and the bedrock: it has a physical presence; its differences can be measured and named; and we love the comforting narrative of ‘sustenance from the soil’ since it seems to chime with our own mammalian identity and nutritional habits — even though plants are very different beings from mammals, and derive most of their nutrition from sunlight and air.

The result is that geology has, cuckoo-like, pushed every other fledgling out of the nest of our primitive understanding of terroir.  As a wine-loving (and wine-making) earth scientist, Maltman is uniquely well-qualified to see the damage caused.  His book is an accessible, carefully argued attempt to redress the balance, to set limits to geological influence, and to rescue some of the other possibilities requiring investigation in our long journey towards the understanding of terroir.

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Read more Andrew Jefford columns on Decanter.com

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Categorieën: Wijnnieuws

Wine Legend: Moss Wood, Cabernet Sauvignon 1975

Decanter News - zo, 08/07/2018 - 14:00

'Considered one of the greatest red wines produced in the region...'

Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon 1975Wine Legend: Moss Wood, Cabernet Sauvignon, Wilyabrup, Margaret River 1975

Bottles produced 6,000
Composition 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Yield 35hl/ha
Alcohol 13.5%
Release price A$2
Price today N/A

A legend because…

In the late 1960s and early 1970s there was a rush to make wine in Margaret River, and a number of properties – not only Moss Wood but Vasse Felix and Cullen – were planted. Largely improvised, these early vintages received unexpected acclaim. The 1975 Moss Wood Cabernet was one of those wines, and has long been considered one of the greatest red wines produced in the region.

Looking back

The surge in interest in Margaret River as a wine region can be attributed to the publication in 1966 of a report by Dr John Gladstones. A botanic research scientist with an interest in viticulture, he spotted the suitability of the region for wine production. Frost-free and maritime, the region’s climatic conditions were similar to those of Bordeaux.

First to respond was Dr Tom Cullity, founding Vasse Felix in 1967. Dr Bill Pannell and his wife Sandra were not far behind with Moss Wood – the original block is Margaret River’s second oldest vineyard. Present owner Keith Mugford, winemaker from 1979, recalls how at weekends they would drive down to Margaret River with a shovel in search of the best gravelly loam soils, considered ideal for vineyards by Gladstones. The Moss Wood property looked just right, and was for sale. The Pannells bought it and planted Cabernet Sauvignon in 1969.

The vintage

The 1975 growing season was quite mild, with Cabernet ripening slowly. It was certainly cooler than the very warm 1976 and 1977. There were no problems with disease or bird damage, and yields were moderate. The grapes were hand picked.

The terroir

The soils of the original vineyard, lying on a gentle, sheltered slope, are a reddish gravel loam over a clay subsoil, with a few sandier sectors. The clay contributes a good deal – there is enough to retain water and prevent drought stress, but not so much that the soil becomes waterlogged. The clay also adds to the wine’s opulence. Strong coastal winds help to moderate temperatures in summer. The vines are entirely dry-farmed. Minimal pesticides are used, but Moss Wood is not organic.

The wine

After harvest on 15 March, the grapes were fermented in open-top tanks with cultivated yeasts. The cap was plunged by hand three times a day, and temperatures were controlled, never rising above 28°C. Surprisingly, there was no malolactic fermentation. The wine was aged for 15 months in 300-litre barrels, of which 20% were new; 20% American oak was used, the rest being French.

The reaction

One of the first experts to recognise the wine’s quality was Edmund Penning-Rowsell, who tasted it while touring Australia on behalf of the Wine Society in the late 1970s.

‘To the best of my memory,’ says Mugford, ‘this was the first international recognition of the quality of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Margaret River region.’

In 1993 Jeremy Oliver was enthusiastic: ‘Heady, opulent, smoky aromas of cedar and cigarboxes over lightly meaty suggestions of undergrowth. Superbly preserved, with surprising fruit sweetness and vivaciousness.’

In 2002 Stephen Brook admired its ‘sweet, rich, cedary nose, with a touch of mint. Medium-bodied, it’s still healthy, with fine acidity and amazing freshness, leading to a long, lean, elegant finish.’

See more Wine Legends here


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Categorieën: Wijnnieuws

Aged white Rioja back to 1920: What does it taste like?

Decanter News - zo, 08/07/2018 - 11:00

Ever wondered what old white Rioja tastes like, or how long you should keep it? Read on for Pedro Ballesteros Torres MW's top ageable whites, dating back to 1920.

Aged white RiojaR. López de Heredia's founder, Don Rafael, in the cellars.

White Rioja can mix it with the best when it comes to ageing, according to Pedro Ballesteros Torres MW – and with age comes complexity, nuance and uniqueness.

Scroll down for Pedro’s tasting notes & scores What does aged white Rioja taste like?

Like all wines, the fruit character fades over time to leave a residue of tertiary flavours.

Old white Rioja is particularly adept at ageing well as it benefits from a long maturation period in oak before bottling, imparting complex notes of spices and nuts that are still there long after the fruit has gone.

The wines below have profiles that range from tasting like an old Tokaji and an old dry Sherry, to an aged white from Pessac-Léognan.

It’s worth noting how fresh many of the wines still appear. This could be down to the vintage, such as a cooler year yielding more acidity, or the grape variety, or both.

Viura is one of the key varieties for whites in the region, and when picked early it retains a good level of acidity. Tight bunches on the vine also mean that berries are less prone to rot.

Below are some old white Riojas tasted by Pedro, going all the way back to 1920. Do you have any in your cellar?

Exploring aged white Rioja back to 1920:


Marques de Murrieta, Rioja, Castillo Ygay Especial, 1946 Marques de Murrieta, Rioja, Castillo Ygay Especial, 1970 R. López de Heredia, Rioja, Blanco 6° Año, Rioja, 1964 R. López de Heredia, Rioja, Viña Tondonia, Rioja, 1981 Marques de Murrieta, Rioja, Ygay, Rioja, 1956 Bodegas Paternina, Rioja, Rioja, Mainland Spain, Spain, 1930 Marques de Murrieta, Rioja, Ygay, Rioja, 1948 La Rioja Alta, Rioja, Viña Ardanza Blanco, Rioja, 1986 You might also like: Good value white Rioja Mature Rioja: Panel tasting results Mature New Zealand wines from the cellar

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Categorieën: Wijnnieuws

Could there be new fine wine grape varieties? Ask Decanter

Decanter News - za, 07/07/2018 - 14:00

Could new grape varieties mean that there could be new fine wines?

Divico grapesDivico grapes Could there be new fine wine grape varieties? Ask Decanter

David Adam, Surrey, asks: I read Maggie Rosen’s ‘New Grapes on the Block’ (July 2018 issue of Decanter magazine), about new grape varieties, with interest.

It seems that most of these new grapes are being developed to create massmarket styles of wine. Are we ever likely to see fine wines made with Aromella, Divico and co?

Dr José Vouillamoz replies: The first and foremost rationale behind the breeding of new grape varieties is not to create massmarket wines, it is to obtain varieties that are resistant to biotic (insects, fungi, etc) and abiotic (frost, drought, etc) stresses, which usually allows a drastic reduction in the use of pesticides.

Despite some good examples like Divico in Switzerland, I have not yet tasted a wine made with these new crossings or hybrids that was as fine, complex, terroir driven and profound as the best wines made with historical grape varieties.

This might change in the future with the recent advent of gene editing that could regulate the wanted and unwanted aromas and flavours, thus creating complexity and, hopefully, balance.

More wine questions answered here

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Categorieën: Wijnnieuws

Travel: Fine dining restaurants in The Bahamas

Decanter News - za, 07/07/2018 - 13:01

Discover the luxury dining scene of The Bahamas, with a backdrop of dazzling white sands, turquoise waves and romantic sunsets...

This article has been created by Decanter in partnership with Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board.

Dune restaurants in nassau

Sea views from an elegant colonial-style dining room at Dune restaurant. Credit: fourseasons.com

Stroll along the sugar-fine white sands of Cabbage Beach to reach Dune restaurant, set within The Ocean Club, a Four Seasons resort on Paradise Island.

Here you’ll find Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten delighting diners with his signature French-Asian cuisine, using organic ingredients from the restaurant’s kitchen garden.

Born in Alsace, chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten cut his teeth at two-Michelin starred L’Oasis, near Cannes, before training in Bangkok, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Seat yourself on the outdoor terrace or in the elegant British Colonial style dining room — both have sea and sunset views.

After dinner, the Martini Bar is conveniently near for a night cap. Find out more

Nobu restaurants in nassau

Sunbathing on the beach by day, sushi at Nobu by night… Credit: atlantisbahamas.com

Ardent followers of chef Nobu Matsuhisa can get their sushi fix at his Bahamian outpost on Paradise Island, located in the sprawling Atlantis resort that surrounds an 11-acre lagoon.

Nobu restaurants – located in upscale locations around the world including London, Dubai, New York and Milan — specialise in Japanese haute cuisine.

But the menu at the Paradise Island Nobu also features Bahamian influences, including conch ceviche and local spiny lobsters.

These are intermingled with the usual Nobu delicacies such as wagyu beef, Kumamoto oysters and black cod. The restaurant also has its own well-stocked sake cellar for all your sushi and wine pairing needs. Find out more

Fish by José Andrés restaurants in nassau

See what US celebrity chef José Andrés has brought to his Bahamian seafood restaurant… Credit: atlantisbahamas.com

Chef Nobu Matsuhisa is not the only celebrity chef operating on Paradise Island; he faces stiff competition from famous seafood maestro José Andrés.

Spanish-born Andrés made his name in the US as a two Michelin-starred chef, TV personality, author and educator.

His ritzy new restaurant, Fish, embraces the seafood-centred Bahamian food scene, featuring local catches like grouper, hog snapper, spiny lobster and conch – served five different ways.

The lion fish on the menu is accompanied by a note detailing how this delicious yet invasive species is damaging the local aquatic environment. Each lion fish ordered results in a donation to a marine conservation charity. Find out more

Shuang Ba restaurants in nassau

Uncover the riches of the Orient at Shuang Ba… Credit: Grand Hyatt Baha Mar

Enshrined in dark lacquered wood, silk tapestries and marble sculptures, Shuang Ba brings a distinct sense of Chinese luxury to the heart of The Bahamas.

Situated near Cable Beach in Nassau — the capital of The Bahamas on the island of New Providence — Shuang Ba is arguably the most opulent of the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar resort’s 18 restaurants.

The chefs were hired directly from China and the menu remains loyal to its roots, dominated by a broad selection of dim sum, clay-pot cooking and Peking duck carved at your table.

The wine list ranges from $60 dollar bottles of Bordeaux Supérieur to Opus One for $1,200. If you’re after something stronger, dip into the list of Chinese Baijiu liquors. Find out more

Graycliff largest wine cellar

For a fee of $1,000 you can dine among the rare and valuable wines in Graycliff’s cellar…Credit: Graycliff

Set in the 18th-century mansion built by an infamous pirate, Graycliff hotel has a long and colourful history in Nassau, playing host to royalty, world leaders and A-list celebrities.

With guests like these, Graycliff’s restaurant maintains high dining standards, offering fine French cuisine like chateaubriand and lobster bisque, as well the local catch of the day.

However the real draw is the wine cellar, claimed to be the third-largest in the world, containing over 275,000 bottles and valued at $25 million. Wade through the 120-page wine list, or venture down into the cellar to select a bottle for yourself. 

For $1,000 you can even dine in the cellar.

Graycliff also has its own cigar factory next door to allow you to indulge in a post-prandial, hand-rolled cigar. Find out more

airplaneBook your direct flight to Nassau with British Airways

This article has been created by Decanter in partnership with Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board.

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Categorieën: Wijnnieuws

Champagne Grower-producers: the beginning of the end?

Decanter News - za, 07/07/2018 - 10:00

Are our beloved Champagne growers on a path to extinction? A concerned Tyson Stelzer reports...

Champagne grower producersCuvées produced by grower-producer Gaston Chiquet

Forces are at play that threaten the survival of Champagne’s grower-producers. The global economy, erratic harvests, incentives from négociants and even the French taxation system itself are driving growers to sell all their fruit, some to relinquish their status and become négociants, and others to sell up altogether.

Scroll down to see Stelzer’s pick of great Champagnes

The rise of the grower-producer has revolutionised this generation in Champagne. Recent decades have seen the little guy step forward to demonstrate that top Champagne is no longer the exclusive realm of the big players. Champagne is not just oceanic blends from everywhere, but single crus and individual vineyards, tended, crafted, matured and presented lovingly to the world by the same pair of hands.

See Stelzer’s selection of 12 great Champagnes Krug, Clos du Mesnil, Blanc de Blancs Brut, Champagne, 2002 Egly-Ouriet, Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Vieilles Vignes NV Bollinger, Vieilles Vignes Françaises, Champagne, 2006 Jacquesson, Terres Rouges, Champagne, France, 2012 Pierre Gimonnet, Special Club, Grands Terroirs de André Clouet, Le Clos de Bouzy Grand Cru, Champagne, 2008 Bérêche & Fils, Le Cran, Ludes 1er Cru, Champagne, 2008 Philipponnat, Clos des Goisses Brut, Champagne, France, 2007 Pierre Péters, L’Esprit, Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs, 2012 Billecart-Salmon, Cuvée Sous Bois Brut NV, Champagne, France De Sousa, Cuvée des Caudalies, Grand Cru Extra Brut, 2008 Louis Roederer, Philippe Starck Brut Nature, Champagne, 2009 You might also like: Wine region: Champagne Vintage Champagne guides & ratings Champagne travel: spend a weekend in Reims

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Categorieën: Wijnnieuws

First taste: Gaja Barbaresco 2015 release

Decanter News - vr, 06/07/2018 - 16:41

Armit Wine has released the latest Gaja Barbaresco in the UK, so here is re-cap on how the wine, and the vintage, has been shaping up.

gaja barbarescoGaja Barbaresco wine in barrels.

Armit said this week that it had launched Gaja Barbaresco 2015 on the UK market on Thursday 5 July at a ‘special release price’ of £750 for a six-bottle case, in bond.

The wine was one of the top scorers for Decanter expert Stephen Brook, following his recent tastings of new-release wines in Piedmont.

Gaja, Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy, 2015

Barbaresco was generally considered to have prospered in the 2015 vintage, which was marked by a prolonged heatwave in July and well-timed rain just before harvest.

Some have drawn comparisons with the excellent 2010 vintage.

The Nebbiolo grapes achieved full ripeness in many cases and most producers had harvested by the time rains returned at the end of September, said Brook following his recent tasting of Barbaresco 2015 and 2013 Riserva wines for Decanter premium members.

Gaia Gaja has praised the 2015 wines’ combination of complexity and fruit.

Read more: Piedmont new releases – Full report

Gaja Barbaresco is drawn from 22 hectares of vines spread across 14 vineyards. Vines are 40 years old on average and all planted between 250 metres and 300m above sea level.

In 2016, Gaja announced that it would be taking three single vineyard wines, Costa Russi, Sorì Tildin and Sorì San Lorenzo back into the Barbaresco appellation, after having previously declassified them.

More Barbaresco 2015 wines reviewed here Decanter wine legend: Gaja Barbaresco 2001

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Categorieën: Wijnnieuws

Best Waitrose wines to try this summer

Decanter News - vr, 06/07/2018 - 13:22

See our tasting team's must-try Waitrose wines for the summer season, with added wines from the new collection tasted by Decanter's Tina Gellie, including white Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Greek Assyrtiko and a magnum of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

Waitrose wines

This summer Waitrose wines are venturing into new and exciting territory – look out for Greek Assyrtiko, sparkling Tasmanian Chardonnay and magnums of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc for alfresco occasions.

As well as classic warm-weather drinking choices like refreshing South African Chenin Blanc and elegant Californian Chardonnay,  there’s Argentinean Malbec, Chianti and Rhône reds for meaty barbecues.

Waitrose impressed judges at the most recent Decanter Retailer Awards, earning accolades for the breadth and depth of its wine collection.

Waitrose was the runner-up Supermarket of the Year and walked away with England and Wales Specialist of the Year, and ‘Other’ Specialist of the Year for its fortified wines range.

Wines were tasted at a Waitrose press tasting events. 

Waitrose wines for summer: Jansz, Premium Cuvée, Tasmania, Australia Château Souverain, Chardonnay, California, USA, 2016 Thymiopoulos, Imathia, Atma Assyrtiko, Macedonia, 2017 The Ned, Sauvignon Blanc (Magnum), Marlborough, 2017 Tour Chapoux, Bordeaux Supérieur, Bordeaux, France, 2015 Hommage du Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Blanc, Rhône, 2016 David & Nadia Sadie, Swartland, Chenin Blanc, 2016 Remy Ferbras, Ventoux, Rhône, France, 2016 Hill-Smith Estate, Eden Valley, Chardonnay, 2015 Viñalba, Reserve Malbec, Patagonia, Argentina, 2014 Ara, Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, 2015 Cerro del Masso, Chianti, Poggiotondo, Tuscany, Italy, 2015 See also:

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Categorieën: Wijnnieuws

Top 30 Languedoc white wines for summer

Decanter News - vr, 06/07/2018 - 13:00

France’s far south is better known for reds but there is a wide range of exciting white wine styles thanks to the region's abundance of traditional grape varieties and winemakers' skill in creating interesting blends. Time to start exploring, says Rosemary George MW...

Languedoc white wines

Traditionally the Languedoc is a region of red wines. With the exception of Clairette du Languedoc, all the region’s early appellations concentrated on red and tended to ignore white wine.

St-Chinian and Faugères were appellations for red wine in 1982, whereas their white counterparts were not created until 2005.

In the extensive Coteaux du Languedoc, Picpoul de Pinet was recognised as a small pocket of white wine, and indeed became an appellation in its own right in 2005. La Clape, another coastal region, has also developed a distinctive identity, depending on the maritime influence as well as its own grape variety, Bourboulenc.

Scroll down to see George’s top 30 Languedoc whites to try See George’s pick of the best 30 Languedoc whites to try


Château Rives-Blanques, Limoux, Dédicace Chenin Blanc, 2016 Clos Centeilles, Côtes du Brian, Mosaïque de Centeilles, Mas Champart, Pays d'Oc, Blanc, Languedoc- Roussillon, 2015 Borie La Vitarèle, St-Chinian, Le Grand Mayol, 2016 Château d’Anglès, La Clape, Grand Vin, 2016 Domaine des Trinités, Pays d'Oc, L’Imaginaire Roussanne, Château de Lascaux, Pic St-Loup, Les Pierres d’Argent, 2014 Domaine de l'Hortus, Val de Montferrand, Grande Cuvée, 2015 Mas d’Alezon, Faugères, Cabretta, 2016 Boulevard Napoléon, Pays d’Hérault, Grenache Gris, 2015 Château Rouquette sur Mer, La Clape, Cuvée Arpège, 2017 Frontignan Muscat, Pays d'Oc, Terres Blanches Muscat Sec, Hegarty Chamans, Minervois, Les Nonnes, 2013 Château de Marmorières, La Clape, Les Pinèdes Blanc, 2013 Château la Liquière, Faugères, Cistus, 2017 Château Petit Roubié, Picpoul de Pinet, 2015 Château Rives-Blanques, Limoux, Occitania Mauzac Blanc, 2016 Clos Bagatelle, St-Chinian, Le Clos de ma Mère, 2016 Domaine de la Réserve d’O7, St-Guilhem-le-Désert, Réserve Domaine Gayda, Pays d'Oc, Figure Libre Chenin Blanc, 2016 Domaine Gayda, Pays d'Oc, Freestyle Blanc, 2016 La Croix Chaptal, Clairette du Langedoc, Clairette du Mas la Chevalière, Pays d'Oc, Peyroli, 2016 Pierre Cros, Minervois, Les Costes, 2016 La Combe St Paul, Coteaux du Languedoc, Calcaires Domaine le Clos du Bailly, Coteaux du Pont du Gard, Le B Château Martinolles, Limoux, Vieilles Vignes Chardonnay, Domaine des Lauriers, Pays d'Oc, Viognier, 2013 Château Cicéron, Aude, Le Jardin de Vignes Rares de Cicéron, St Cels, Alenquer, Combe Longue, Languedoc- Roussillon, 2017


You might also like: Languedoc-Roussillon wine region: A history Andrew Jefford: Wines from Pic St Loup: A Languedoc secret

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Categorieën: Wijnnieuws

Decanter travel guide: Tokaj, Hungary

Decanter News - vr, 06/07/2018 - 11:00

With its rural villages, atmospheric cellars and sweet golden wines, this northeastern corner of Hungary is a hidden gem, waiting to be explored. Caroline Gilby MW shares her highlights...

Tokaj travel guideExplore the Tokaj wine region...Decanter Tokaj travel guide – Need to know:
  • When to go: You can still get there for the 2018 Furmint festival on 2 and 3 September
  • Fly to: Budapest and take a train or hire a car. It’s a 2.5-hour drive.
  • Top tip: Take a taxi out to wineries. There is zero tolerance for drinking and driving.


Quick links:

Fact File

Vineyard area 5,747ha
Number of growers 3,900
Number of wineries 190
Six permitted grape varieties  Furmint (69%), Hárslevelu (18%), Sárga Muskotály aka Yellow Muscat (9%), Zeta, Kövérszolo, Kabar (all together 4%)
Wine styles  aszú (10%), dry (21%), wines with natural residual sugar (69%)

Tokaj is simply stunning; a region of hundreds of extinct volcanoes, wooded hilltops and vineyards. It covers 27 villages and the hillsides are full of tunnels that are carved into the volcanic rock, which provide perfect ageing conditions for its golden wine treasures.

It’s little wonder that in 2002 UNESCO listed the Tokaj wine region as a World Heritage Cultural Historic Landscape, one of only a handful of wine regions to achieve this status.

Tokaj (the place – Tokaji with an ‘i’ is the wine) lies in Hungary’s far northeast, so close to the border that a small part of the region is actually in Slovakia.

Wine and tourism are closely intertwined here and just about every winery is open to visitors, though usually you’ll need to make an appointment, as most are small, family-run concerns.

Unique landscape

Twelve million years ago this area was under the Pannonian Sea, at which time undersea seismic activity created the porous volcanic rock that now underpins the region and allows vine roots to grow deep. The region also lies at the confluence of two rivers: the Tisza and the Bodrog. The humid air leads to dense foggy mornings in the autumn, which creates the perfect environment for botrytis cinerea in its noble rot form to infect the grapes. The sloping vineyards enjoy sunny and breezy afternoons, which then shrivel the grapes too.

The resulting aszú grapes (aszú was first mentioned as early as 1571) are so dry that juice can’t be squeezed from them, so Tokaj has a special winemaking method. These shrivelled grapes are mashed into a paste, which is soaked in fermenting juice to make the luscious golden Tokaji aszú wines. These are the wines that made Tokaji world-famous, enjoyed in royal courts all over Europe. Tokaj has possibly the oldest vineyard classification in the world, produced in 1707-1708, long before Bordeaux or Burgundy. Then in 1737, a royal decree defined the Tokaj region and which villages were permitted to use the name – arguably the first controlled appellation.

Cellar discoveries

Hundreds of small cellars are a fascinating feature of this region, dug several metres into the coolness of the volcanic tuff bedrock – the perfect environment for ageing Tokaji. Most are lined with the velvety, cushioned growths of a fungus called Zasmidium cellare. This mould only grows in wine cellars and is believed to help purify the air and regulate the humidity. See it for yourself in the multi-level 17th-century cellars at Dereszla and contrast this with a visit to its brand-new winery and terrace wine bar in the heart of the vineyards at Henye.

Another option is Patricius, voted Hungary’s most beautiful winery in 2013. Explore the cellars, taste excellent aszú and late-harvest wines, and enjoy the stunning vineyards with their collection of almost-forgotten historic grapes. Vega Sicilia owns Tokaj-Oremus in Tolcsva, which makes the stunning Mandolás dry white, as well as wonderful sweet and aszú wines in its historic winery and deep underground cellars. Here you can even taste the legendary eszencia – the rich syrup that trickles from aszú grapes and is reputed to have miraculous medicinal properties.

For a complete contrast, visit the small Balassa winery, where owner István Balassa will take visitors into the vineyards and share his incredible knowledge of the landscape and soils of the region.

Wineries to visit

Tokaj is Furmint heartland – a wonderful grape that can truly reflect its terroir. Recently the development of single-vineyard or dulo wines has been a strong trend. István Szepsy has been a pioneer in so many aspects of Tokaji winemaking and lately he has focused on the fine details of the soils in his 400 vine parcels. Try his wines at Percze or Gusteau restaurants in Mád.

The talented Zoltán Demeter makes a stunning range of vineyard-selection dry wines, as well as elegant sparkling, fine f˝obor sweet wine and great aszú in an 18th-century house in Tokaj, where he plays classical music to his young wines. He and his wife will happily show you their wines if they are at the winery.

Other small wineries worth a visit include Dobogó , Gizella, the biodynamic Bott Pince and Tokaj-Nobilis. Meanwhile Frenchman Samuel Tinon has made his home in Olaszliszka and is king of the now rare, flor-aged dry style of szamorodni (made from whole bunches, mostly in sweet styles). Remember to book ahead to visit.

Wine is at the heart of tourism, but there are also lovely walks through the wooded hilltops of the region and breathtaking panoramic views, including the brisk hike to the region’s highest point, the Tokaj hill itself. Boat trips, mountain biking or horse riding can also be arranged nearby. The majestic, beautifully restored Rákóczi Castle at Sárospatak is well worth a visit. The 18th-century synagogue in the village of Mád, which forms part of a Jewish pilgrimage route through the region, should also be on your list.

When to visit

Best times to visit include late April when the annual Tokaj wine auction takes place, with the Tokaj Spring programme of visits and special tastings. Late May sees St Urban’s Day when a number of wineries open their doors, while in June there’s a wine festival in Tokaj town and Mád holds a Furmint Festival in September.

There are frequent flights to Budapest and it’s a straightforward 2.5-hour drive on good roads to Tokaj. A direct train leaves Budapest- Keleti railway station for Tokaj every two hours; journey time is two hours, 40 minutes. If you drive, leave the car at the hotel when you arrive and take a taxi – there is zero tolerance on drinking and driving.

This is a new travel guide, published in Decanter magazine’s August 2018 issue, and it replaces the original guide, published on these pages in 2014. 

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Categorieën: Wijnnieuws

Hail hits Nuits-St-Georges area in Burgundy

Decanter News - vr, 06/07/2018 - 10:24

Hail and heavy rain have caused at least some damage to several vineyards in Burgundy’s Côte de Nuits, mostly in the communes of Prémeaux-Prissey and Nuits-St-Georges.

nuits-st-georges vineyardsVines in Nuits-St-Georges, Burgundy.

Violent storms with hailstones struck vineyards in the early afternoon of Tuesday 3 July, marking the latest episode of a recurring theme for Burgundy winemakers in the last few years.

‘It is mainly the southern part of the appellation that is affected, from the Prémeaux-Prissey region to south of Nuits-St-Georges,’ said Thibault Liger-Belair, of the eponymous winery.

‘There were no strong winds and the hailstones were medium,’ he added. ‘We are about 40% affected on Nuits-St-Georges, especially on the 1er Cru Les St-Georges.’

Alongside hail, nearly 71mm of rain fell within minutes, imposing significant stress on vines already affected by many outbreaks of mildew.

‘We sprayed valerian on the vines [the estate is managed according to the principles of biodynamic cultivation] and we will return with chamomile and willow tomorrow,’ said Liger-Belair.

‘It’s a bit like giving the vineyard a big hug after this stress.’

Grégory Gouges, from the Domaine Henri Gouges, was also affected by the storm.

‘It’s difficult to assess the damage at this stage,’ he said, adding that, in general this year, the domaine’s vineyard plots have developed ‘beautiful grapes and a little coulure’.

Vine leaves can provide some protection from hail at this point in the growing season.

‘If the hail has impacted 80% of the plots of St-Georges, Vaucrains and Les Chênes Carteaux [as some initial estimates suggest], this risks reducing yields by 30% on those plots,’ said Gouges.

‘We now have to face the risk of botrytis, and we will wait until the berries are dry before going out to treat the vines with clay and then copper at the end of the week.’

Vosne-Romanée, Flagey-Echézeaux, Chambolle-Musigny and Gevrey-Chambertin further to the north were not affected by this hailstorm.

See also: Bordeaux hit by ‘unprecedented’ hailstorm – May 2018

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Categorieën: Wijnnieuws

Great value wines for the weekend under £20

Decanter News - vr, 06/07/2018 - 09:45

Refreshing and elegant white Burgundy wines — without the eye-watering price tag...

wines under 20Great value wines under £20

Burgundy is world renowned for the well-rounded elegance and finesse of its Chardonnay wines — as well as for producing some of the most expensive bottles on the market.

But there’s value to be had if you know where to look, we’ve sourced affordable examples from appellations like Chablis and Mâcon-Villages, as well as Crémant de Bourgogne sparkling wines.

All are under the £20 and rated by the experts, find your favourite in the top 10 wines in the collection below…

Each week we bring you new wines, so you can branch out from your usual choices, without breaking the bank – especially if you’re one of the wine drinkers who stick to the same wine for a decade.

Don’t forget to also look at our selection of supermarket wines.

Domaine William Fèvre, Petit Chablis, Petit Chablis, 2014 Cave de Lugny, Crémant de Bourgogne, Blanc de Blancs Brut Olivier Leflaive, Bourgogne-Aligoté, Burgundy, France, 2016 Domaine Louis Michel, Chablis, Burgundy, France, 2016 Domaine Guillot-Broux, Mâcon-Villages, Burgundy, 2016 Samuel Billaud, Bourgogne Blanc, Bourgogne d'Or Chardonnay, Berry Bros & Rudd, Chablis, Burgundy, France, 2016 Domaine Cordier, Mâcon, Aux Bois d'Allier, Burgundy, 2016 Domaine Boillet, Bourgogne Blanc, Burgundy, France, 2014 Domaine La Croix Montjoie, Crémant de Bourgogne, Burgundy Domaine Guillaume Cabrol, Picpoul de Pinet Prestige, 2015 Gai'a, Thalassitis Assyrtiko, Santorini, 2016 Torelló, Special Edition Brut Reserva, Cava, Mainland Spain Guado al Tasso, Bolgheri, Vermentino, Tuscany, Italy, 2016 Argyros, Assyrtiko, Santorini, Aegean Islands, Greece, 2016 La Báscula, Terra Alta, Garnacha-Viognier, Catalan Eagle, Domaine de la Métairie d'Alon, Limoux, Chardonnay Le Serracavallo, Valle de Crati, Besidiae, Calabria, 2016 Cazes, Côtes Catalanes, Le Canon du Maréchal Blanc, 2016 Font-Mars, Picpoul de Pinet, Languedoc-Roussillon, 2016 Co-op, Most Wanted Albariño, Rías Baixas, 2016 Mar de Frades, Rías Baixas, Mainland Spain, Spain, 2015 Bodegas Fulcro, Finca a Pedreira Albariño, 2016 Pazo Tizón, Extramundi, Ribeiro, Mainland Spain, Spain, 2016 Aronui, Moutere, Single Vineyard Albariño, Nelson, 2016 Colinas de Uruguay, Albariño, Uruguay, 2016 Paco & Lola, Val do Salnés, Rías Baixas, Spain, 2015 Anselmo Mendes, Contacto Alvarinho, Vinho Verde, 2016 Martín Códax, Rías Baixas, Mainland Spain, Spain, 2015 Te Awa, Left Field Albariño, Gisborne, New Zealand, 2015

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Profile: Whispering Angel rosé

Decanter News - do, 05/07/2018 - 18:00

You've probably heard of it, but how much do you know about this well-known rosé wine?

Whispering Angel, rosé wineWhispering Angel rosé: Quick facts

  • Made by: Château d’Esclans
  • Production: 360,000 cases*
  • Key grapes: Grenache, Rolle, Cinsault, Syrah, and Mourvèdre

*Average, based on d’Esclans figures

Whispering Angel rosé is made by Château d’Esclans and owned by Sacha Lichine, who recently caught up with Jane Anson to talk about the history of the estate and his own move from Bordeaux claret to Provence rosé.

The estate produces several other rosé wines, in the classic, pale Provence style. These include Garrus, Les Clans, Rock Angel, and, more recently, The Palm by Whispering Angel.

Garrus is the most expensive of the range – and Jane Anson notes Lichine’s ambition in wanting to ‘create the world’s most expensive rosé.’

Lichine, originally comes from a Margaux winemaking family at previous owners of Château Prieuré Lichine.

Around 90% of d’Esclans wines are exported, and Lichine’s style has proved particularly popular in a US market where the paler, Provençal style of rosé has seen a boom in demand in recent years.

Production of Whispering Angel for the 2016 vintage was expected to rise as high as 4.6 million bottles, according to Anson.

D’Esclans said that research group Nielsen has ranked Whispering Angel as the best-selling rosé wine in the US. Partly for this reason, it is a brand that is often lauded for ‘redefining rosé’.

It tends to be made from a blend of Grenache, Rolle, Cinsault, Syrah, and Mourvèdre.

Is pale rosé better? ask Decanter 

Anson described the most recent vintage of Whispering Angel as ‘ a little more grown-up than most other rosés in this price bracket.’

In 2016, Whispering Angel was even used by a confectionery brand to produce rosé-infused gummy bears.

Tasting Whispering Angel:


Château d’Esclans, Côtes de Provence, Whispering Angel, 2016 Château d'Esclans, Côtes de Provence, Whispering Angel, 2017 Château d’Esclans, Whispering Angel, Provence, France, 2013 Château d’Esclans, Côtes de Provence, Rock Angel, 2016 Château d’Esclans, Côtes de Provence, Rock Angel, 2015 Château d'Esclans, Côtes de Provence, Rock Angel, 2017 Château d'Esclans, Coteaux d'Aix en Provence, The Palm by

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Categorieën: Wijnnieuws

Château de Nalys: Guigal expands into Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Decanter News - do, 05/07/2018 - 13:39

Northern Rhône stalwart Guigal has given Matt Walls a preview of releases from its newly acquired Châteauneuf-du-Pape estate. Premium members can read Matt's exclusive report below.

Chateau de NalysNalys has recently changed hands.

When Philippe Guigal comes to town, you can usually be sure of some top-notch northern Rhônes. But not this time.

We met for lunch on Monday at Galvin at Windows for a rather different tasting. ‘It’s my first time in London for 100% Châteauneuf!’ said Guigal, clutching the first bottlings of his new project: Château de Nalys.

Scroll down to see Matt’s Château de Nalys tasting notes & scores You might also like: Southern Rhône 2016: ‘Unmissable’ wines and full report Regional profile: Châteauneuf-du-Pape Southern Rhône Quiz – Test your knowledge

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Categorieën: Wijnnieuws

Does TCA develop after bottling? Ask Decanter

Decanter News - do, 05/07/2018 - 13:30

Can TCA develop after bottling, and how does storage affect this? Geoff Taylor explains...

TCA after bottlingCould you spot cork taint? Does TCA to develop after bottling? Ask Decanter

Mark McKeown, Essex, asks: I recently opened a red Bordeaux second growth 2002 and immediately picked up the aromas associated with a corked wine.

I subsequently posted the cork back to the château for analysis and they confirmed that the cork was tainted with TCA. However, I was surprised by their comment that corked wines may arise due to ‘bad storing conditions or temperature fluctuations’.

Is it possible for TCA to develop after delivery? I thought that if TCA were to infect the cork then this would have occurred at some point up until the bottling process, and not after.

Geoff Taylor replies: Gosh, what an enormous subject area – I could write pages! Firstly, TCA (2,4,6-trichloroanisole) is just one of a family of anisoles.

All smell musty, are very similar, are naturally occurring and found in many other materials in addition to cork.

Much of the damp, musty smell in old cellars or warehouses is down to these anisoles, which incidentally are also found in food products.

Anisoles are volatile and can crosscontaminate other products externally.

For example, the cardboard and wood of a clean, taint-free case in an old cellar may become impregnated with anisoles, or there may be some on the label or glass, but I have never known it enter the wine from the outside.

This answers the question as best I can, but given the ease of cross-contamination (handling the bottle, box etc) testing a cork is fraught with challenges re interpretation.

In-depth: Common flaws and wine faults Got a question? Email us at editor@decanter.com
More wine questions answered here

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Categorieën: Wijnnieuws

Anson: Meeting a female pioneer of the Médoc

Decanter News - do, 05/07/2018 - 09:42

Jane Anson meets Jenny Dobson, the New Zealander considered to have been one of the first female cellar masters in the Médoc and who was subsequently nicknamed the 'queen of red wine blending' for her consultant winemaking work in her home country.

bordeaux barrelsNo need for the gym: Bordeaux cellar masters have a very physical and demanding job.

The woman reputed to have been the first female cellar master in the Médoc, you may not be entirely surprised to learn, was not French, and neither was the owner of the château that hired her.

Instead Jenny Dobson, who joined Château Sénéjac in the early 1980s fresh from working with Steven Spurrier at the Académie du Vin in Paris, was originally from New Zealand’s South Island.

And Sénéjac at the time was owned by the American de Guigne family (okay, the family itself is French but its owner from 1976 until 1999 was Charles de Guigne, who was born in San Francisco in 1939 and died in 2017 in California). De Guigne had moved to France in 1976 to take over the family estate in Le Pian Médoc, and hired Dobson first as a cellar hand, and then when the former cellar master became ill, encouraged her to take over.

‘Women cellar masters remain rare in Bordeaux.’

‘There was no one else at the estate,’ Dobson told me a few weeks ago, as we chatted next to one of the fishing huts – this one owned by Léoville Barton – that line the Garonne river. ‘Charles was back in the States and the choice was to step up or simply find another job. So I stepped up’.

Women cellar masters remain rare in Bordeaux, but they are there if you look.

Sophie Horstmann was cellar master at Château Corbin in St-Emilion for the past few years although she has now left, while Margaux Reeder fulfils the role at Château Bastor-Lamontagne in Sauternes (as does most famously Sandrine Garbay at Yquem).

Fanny Landreau is at Château Laujac in the Médoc, Manon Deville at Château de la Rivière in Fronsac and Sophie Burguet at Château de Rouillac in Pessac-Léognan.

Most began as cellar hands and worked their way up, and most work as vineyard manager or winemaker at the same time.

Jenny Dobson

Jenny Dobson.

‘Being a cellar master is a hugely physical job, but you just get on with it,’ says Dobson.

‘As a woman you use your body differently perhaps – sort of roll the barrels up your legs, bending your knees to support them rather than simply hoisting them up directly.

‘It’s just a different way of approaching things but get you the job done just the same, and I still work in the same way now, 30 years on. I couldn’t really tell you what other cellar masters thought of me when I started in Bordeaux,’ she adds. ‘I was working so hard that I didn’t really socialise with them. I just wanted to make good wine’.

Dobson had just spent the afternoon at Sénéjac for the first time since leaving in 1995 after 13 years in the role. She returns as a much-lauded winemaker who has been described as the ‘queen of red wine blending’ by the New Zealand Herald.

She has worked as chief winemaker at TeAwa Estate in Hawkes Bay, as well as consultant for Sacred Hill, Unison Vineyard, William Murdoch Wines and others in Hawke’s Bay, most usually in Gimblett Gravels.

Right now she is also launching her own new range of wines, and one of her first is from the white Italian wine grape Fiano, something that should be of interest to the many Bordelais who told me they remember her excellent 100% Sémillon wine at Sénéjac.

Dobson got her start studying chemistry at Otago University, but found the laboratory work uninspiring and so swapped into food science.

‘There were no university courses for wine in New Zealand in the early 1970s,’ she says. ‘There was just very little wine being made in the country at that point’.

There were no vineyards around her childhood home, but her parents drank wine, which was relatively unusual at the time and which caught her attention (‘not the alcohol but the aromas’ she is quick to point out).

Heading over to England and then France, her first job in wine was with Jacques Seysses at Domaine Dujac in Burgundy and then with Spurrier in Paris, helping to run the Académie du Vin wine school, which by that point was holding classes daily and teaching hundreds of students per week.

‘Jacques Seysses’ father was Parisian,’ says Dobson, ‘and had started a cellar for his son when he was born. We used to drink some amazing bottles while I was working there, and when I got to Paris the diversity of wines and my exposure to them continued at the Acadeémie du Vin.

‘I learnt so much from Steven’s knowledge for wine, but also his passion for sharing good bottles with those around him. But after two years at the Académie du Vin, I wanted to get back into the vineyards. I’d been in Burgundy, so when the opportunity came up to go to Bordeaux, I took it.’

Her first Bordeaux vintage, as luck would have it, was the 1982, first at Château Raoul in the Graves and then from 1983 at Sénéjac.

‘I oversaw a new cellar, and a move into more modern winemaking. The years 1988, 1989 and 1990 were just brilliant – the weather and the wines were great, and I was loving my job. There was no separation between cellar master and winemaker at Sénéjac, and I got to do everything. It was a brilliant opportunity.’

She left Bordeaux after having three children with her British négociant husband Charles, heading first to Australia before moving back to New Zealand.

‘At first we kept our things in storage in Bordeaux, just in case we wanted to move back. But in the end I felt I had reached about as far as I could go as in Bordeaux.

‘Not as a woman. The more difficult thing to overcome for me in terms of acceptance was probably being a foreigner. I would always have been on the outside to a certain extent. But what I learnt there has helped me for the rest of my career.’

For Premium members: Pessac-Léognan then and now
Read more Jane Anson columns on Decanter.com

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Categorieën: Wijnnieuws

Chile 2018 vintage: ‘A year of finesse’

Decanter News - wo, 04/07/2018 - 16:47

Chile’s 2018 vintage has been tipped by several winemakers as one of the best in recent years, with a good crop, moderate temperatures and relatively few weather-related dramas expected to produce balanced wines in many regions.

Chile 2018 vintageHarvesting grapes in Valle de Curico, Chile, in 2013. Chile 2018 vintage: ‘A year of finesse’

Timing of the harvest was back to normal, a relief following the hot and early harvest of 2017, and maturation periods were steady without any extreme events.

‘We had a cold and wet winter,’ De Martino winemaker Eduardo Jordan told Decanter.com, who produces wine around the country.

‘A warm spring brought excellent bud break. The moderate and cool month of March was very positive for accumulating sugars slowly and without losing acidity – key to obtaining balanced wines. The vineyards achieved excellent quality – with good natural acidity, moderate alcohol and good colour. 2018 is a year of finesse!’

It is always difficult to generalise, but all of Chile’s major production regions have so far reported a good year for wine quality and average to above average yields.

Official figures haven’t been released yet, but it is estimated 2018’s harvest was approximately 1.1 billion kilos, which is in-line with the annual average and a 20% increase from last year.

Northern and coastal Chile did particularly well this year, following some much-needed winter rains that reduced the ever-present drought threat.

‘It rained more than 400mm in the winter, which was very good because water is becoming more scarce each year,’ said Rodrigo Soto, of Veramonte in Casablanca.

‘I believe this is a great vintage… but it is premature to draw conclusions already. The quality looks good and the yield has been better than the last few years.’

In the south, it was a refreshingly uneventful vintage for some. ‘This year, after four complicated years [with frost, rain and fires], we have had a relatively normal year,’ said Torres winemaker Fernando Almeda.

‘A fresh year with normal yields. The white wines have an excellent preservation of acidity, making expressive wines with tension and freshness. The red wines have lower alcohol levels with tension that should develop well with ageing.’

As producers in Curicó, Itata and Maule continue to assess the effects of smoke taint from the extensive bush fires at the end of 2017’s harvest, the promising 2018 vintage is even more welcome.

For Premium members: Colchagua producers to watch – rising stars

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Categorieën: Wijnnieuws

Chile 2018 vintage: ‘A year of finesse’

Decanter News - wo, 04/07/2018 - 16:47

Chile’s 2018 vintage has been tipped by several winemakers as one of the best in recent years, with a good crop, moderate temperatures and relatively few weather-related dramas expected to produce balanced wines in many regions.

Chile 2018 vintageHarvesting grapes in Valle de Curico, Chile, in 2013. Chile 2018 vintage: ‘A year of finesse’

Timing of the harvest was back to normal, a relief following the hot and early harvest of 2017, and maturation periods were steady without any extreme events.

‘We had a cold and wet winter,’ De Martino winemaker Eduardo Jordan told Decanter.com, who produces wine around the country.

‘A warm spring brought excellent bud break. The moderate and cool month of March was very positive for accumulating sugars slowly and without losing acidity – key to obtaining balanced wines. The vineyards achieved excellent quality – with good natural acidity, moderate alcohol and good colour. 2018 is a year of finesse!’

It is always difficult to generalise, but all of Chile’s major production regions have so far reported a good year for wine quality and average to above average yields.

Official figures haven’t been released yet, but it is estimated 2018’s harvest was approximately 1.1 billion kilos, which is in-line with the annual average and a 20% increase from last year.

Northern and coastal Chile did particularly well this year, following some much-needed winter rains that reduced the ever-present drought threat.

‘It rained more than 400mm in the winter, which was very good because water is becoming more scarce each year,’ said Rodrigo Soto, of Veramonte in Casablanca.

‘I believe this is a great vintage… but it is premature to draw conclusions already. The quality looks good and the yield has been better than the last few years.’

In the south, it was a refreshingly uneventful vintage for some. ‘This year, after four complicated years [with frost, rain and fires], we have had a relatively normal year,’ said Torres winemaker Fernando Almeda.

‘A fresh year with normal yields. The white wines have an excellent preservation of acidity, making expressive wines with tension and freshness. The red wines have lower alcohol levels with tension that should develop well with ageing.’

As producers in Curicó, Itata and Maule continue to assess the effects of smoke taint from the extensive bush fires at the end of 2017’s harvest, the promising 2018 vintage is even more welcome.

For Premium members: Colchagua producers to watch – rising stars

The post Chile 2018 vintage: ‘A year of finesse’ appeared first on Decanter.

Categorieën: Wijnnieuws

Unsigned Talent Trade Tasting

Decanter News - wo, 04/07/2018 - 15:17

Taste exceptional Decanter World Wine Award winners from the 2018 competition, all looking to secure distribution in the UK.

Join us at the OXO2, London on the 20 September to taste exceptional DWWA 2018 award-winners that are currently seeking distribution in UK markets.

This tasting is open to all the UK trade, including merchants, sommeliers, wine buyers and importers.
Due to limited spaces producers will not be able to attend.

Date: 20 September
Time: 2 – 5:30pm
Location: OXO Tower Wharf, Bargehouse Street, Southbank, London, SE1 9PH

The post Unsigned Talent Trade Tasting appeared first on Decanter.

Categorieën: Wijnnieuws


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