Celebrate London Wine Week 2018 at some of the capital's top wine bars, as rated by Decanter experts.London Wine Week 2018: Where to go
You can also visit the London Wine Week hub at Flat Iron Square in Southwark,, near to London Bridge station, where there will be a pop-up bar from Berry Bros & Rudd plus a Pol Roger Champagne bar.
Flat Iron is also a good opportunity to pick up some excellent food and try out some pairings, with a whole array of cuisines available from pad thai to pizza.
A London Wine Week digital pass costs £10.See also: Wine corkage and offers in London Sager & Wilde
London Wine Week: ‘Toastie O’Clock’ – £5
Enjoy a mini spring onion or jalepeno toastie, with a glass of one of three Portuguese wines, at the Hackney Road branch.
London Wine Week: Classic wine pairings – £6 – £10
Focusing on foods that classically pair well with wines. The first tasting is Muscadet and Oyster, for £6.Terroirs
London Wine Week: A taste of Terroirs – £9
Enjoy a classic pairing on a Loire Chenin Blanc and two oysters.Social Wine and Tapas
London Wine Week: Sip and snack – £11
Two sip and snack options; Pan con Tomate and a glass of Cava Franck Massard, Brut Nature NV or Lincolshire Poacher Hard Cheese and a glass of Rioja white Viura.28º – 50º
London Wine Week: The world’s famous Sauvignon Blanc – £5
A taster of Sauvignon Blancs from different terroirs; Loire, New Zealand and Bordeaux. For an extra £9 you can add food pairings too. (Marlyebone Lane location)New Zealand cellar
London Wine Week: A journey across New Zealand – £5
Taste three wines demonstrating the variety found in New Zealand.Vinoteca
London Wine Week: Think Pink! – £5
Try three samples of rosés, from France, England and Spain (At the Kings Cross, Marylebone, City and Farringdon branches)Humble Grape
London Wine Week: Fizz. Pop. Clink! – £5
Explore three styles of sparkling wines, from Veneto to Alsace to South Africa. (Battersea location).Hawksmoor
London Wine Week: Food and wine pairings – £10
A selection of food and wine pairings; the selections vary with each location. The Borough branch offers a glass of Sherry and bone marrow oysters – and is conveniently close to the LWW hub.Salon Brixton
London Wine Week: Grape Oddities – £5
Three wines to showcase the range in Salon – Davenport, Horsmonden Organic White 2016, Markovitis, Xinomavro 2012 and Judith Beck, Beck Ink 2016.Naughty Piglets
London Wine Week: Glass of wine and a croquette – £9.50
The team at Naughty Piglets will help you choose a wine to suit your taste, and pair with a Alsacian ham and Parmesan croquette.
Lafleur 2017 saw strong demand in the first day of release this week after the Pomerol estate emerged as one of the success stories of a weather-hit Bordeaux Right Bank vintage.Harvesting grapes by hand at Château Lafleur in Pomerol.
Justerini & Brooks, the exclusive UK distributor for Lafleur, as well as for neighbouring Petrus, saw Bordeaux en primeur demand for Lafleur 2017 exceed supply this week, according to the merchant’s buying director, Giles Burke-Gaffney.
‘Now we’re going to have to look at how we spread it out [among customers],’ he told Decanter.com.
Lafleur’s 2017 ‘first wine’ was pitched at a significant discount to the current market prices for 2016 and 2015, according to both Burke-Gaffney and also Liv-ex analysis.
Justerini initially offered the wine in varying formats, including a three-bottle case for £1,335 in bond.
Liv-ex reported that the sterling release price was around 3.5% higher than the 2016 release.
Decanter’s Bordeaux critic, Jane Anson, rated Lafleur 2017 at 95 points following the recent Bordeaux en primeur tastings and highlighted it as one of several triumphs on the Right Bank in the face of one of the most devastating frosts in living memory during the growing season.
Lafleur and neighbouring Petrus largely escaped nature’s wrath, helped by more than 1,000 candles lit throughout Lafleur’s 4.5-hectare vineyard in late April 2017.
The 2017 vintage of Lafleur’s second wine, Pensées de Lafleur, was also released en primeur this week and was being sold by Justerini for £564 for a six-bottle case.
Elsewhere, it’s been a relatively quiet week for Bordeaux primeur releases, in terms of top names. There are expectations within the trade of a busy period of releases over the next fortnight, prior to the Vinexpo Hong Kong expo.See Jane Anson’s tasting notes for Lafleur 2017, 2016 and 2015
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See all Pomerol 2017 top scorers here
Daphne Teremetz is a judge at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA)Daphne TeremetzDaphne Teremetz
Having grown up in France and the UK, she is an experienced judge and is firmly into the second decade of her buying career, which started in the Ladies Tailoring department at Marks and Spencer’s London head office. Following successful studies with WSET in London, she made the switch to wine, taking responsibility for online. This was followed by a move to the expansive convenience chain Spar UK where her improvements to the wine range resulted in recognition by the press and judges alike, and with an award for Drinks Business Retail Buyer of the Year.
Christopher Sherwood is a judge at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards.Christopher SherwoodChristopher Sherwood
Gaining experience in the Hunter Valley, and Sydney restaurants, in 2001/02, Christopher returned to the UK to complete a wine MBA (during which he focused on strategic theory relating to the Portuguese wine industry) and has made a career running specialist independent merchants in London. Since early 2010 he has been sole buyer and general manager of the four Bottle Apostle stores, founded in 2009 in Hackney, east London. Managing a constantly changing list of 700 wines, there is heavy emphasis on Austria, Italy, and Portugal (an important focus since day one).
Christopher first judged for the DWWA in 2007.
UK wine retailers have reported a spike in rosé sales over the May bank holiday weekend, which saw record-breaking temperatures.The heatwave prompted a spike in rosé sales. Rosé wine sales spike over bank holiday heatwave
Majestic Wine reported a 114% increase in rosé sales over the bank holiday on 7 May, compared to the same period the previous year.
It was the hottest May Day bank holiday on record, with temperatures reaching 28°C in some parts of the UK.
Reports from Majestic and other retailers underline the rise in popularity of rosé wine in recent years.
Waitrose told Decanter.com that it ordered in 50% more rosé wine for the bank holiday weekend in anticipation of the heatwave.
Sales were up 84% compared to last year, it said.
Provence rosé remains the category leader at Majestic, with sales up 14% year-on-year for the financial year 2017/18.See also: Top rosé wines for summer Winter rosé
Majestic also reported an increase in rosé sales over the winter months, suggesting that it is not only seen as a warm weather drink for a growing number of wine lovers in the UK.
The retailer also reported greater interest in a range of styles.
‘For many, rosé has meant one of two things – pale and summery, or dark and sickly, said Charles Cutterdige, rosé buyer at Majestic.
‘But we’re seeing a huge change in the category now, as more styles come in. Malbec is a great example. It has popular appeal as a red wine but we’ve had increased interest in our pink styles too. It’s the same with other grapes, like Pinot Noir, as well as whole regions – like Lisbon.’See also: Is pale rosé better? Ask Decanter Look out for the rosés beyond Provence panel tasting in the August 2018 issue of Decanter.
Merlot vines in St-Emilion.
It’s worth pointing out that the greatest terroirs were not always spared by the notorious frost in St-Emilion, unlike in the Médoc, because it was just so much more widespread and wind direction had a large impact.Scroll down to see the wines
See all St-Emilion 2017 ratings here Back to the main Bordeaux en primeur page
James John MW is a judge at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards.James_John_MWJames John MW
James John MW started working in the wine industry 50 years ago, and prior to Harvey’s production move to Jerez in the 1980s, he was based in Bristol as the company’s Sherry buyer and blender. When the move happened, John went to work as a blender and taster at Cockburns Smithies, Harvey’s subsidiary Port company, in Oporto, Portugal, later returning to Bristol in the 1990s. Upon his return, John worked as the fine wine buyer and general manager of John Harvey & Sons, with responsibility for mail order and Harvey’s Royal Warrant, before leaving the company to become wine buying director of French-owned company Champagnes & Chateaux. As well as being a Williams & Humbert Scholar, 1971, James John was also Chairman of Vermilion Group 1998. In 1992, John established the Bath Wine School, and he has been officially retired since 2007.
Jorge Lucki is a judge at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards.Jorge LuckiJorge Lucki
Jorge Lucki began his wine studies through books and travels to France during 1975-76. After taking specialized wine tastings and courses in the Academie du Vin of Paris, in 1979, and in Burgundy and at the Oenology Institute in Bordeaux, in 1980 he continued his specialisation through frequent trips to the most important wine regions of the world. Lucki is a founding member and has occupied several posts on the Board of Directors of the Brazilian Association of Sommeliers and the Brazilian Society of Friends of Wine.
Between 2008 and 2010 he was co-author of the Descorchados Wine Guide Argentina and Chile published in Spanish for Hispanic-speaking countries and in Portuguese for the Brazilian market. Lucki is also author of the book “A Experiência do Gosto” (“The Tasting Experience”), and is co-author of the book “Conheça Vinhos” (“Know Wine”), released in December 2014. He is a consultant responsible for the philosophy and programming of Expovinis, Brazil’s most important wine fair.
On top of this he is a member of the Académie Internationale du Vin and works as a wine columnist for Valor Econômico, the country’s leading newspaper on the economy. What’s more he also writes regularly on wine in the prestigious monthlies ValorInveste and Prazeres da Mesa. His performance in the wine sector in Brazil also includes a daily commentary on wines alive on CBN radio broadcast in Brazil and abroad.
Virginia Philip MS is a judge at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards.Virginia PhilipVirginia Philip MS
Virginia Philip MS became the 11th female Master Sommelier in the world in London, November 2002. Three weeks later in New York City, she won the national title of Best Sommelier of the United States 2002-2006. In 2012, Philip was nominated for a James Beard Award and later in 2015, her alma mater awarded her an honorary Doctorate degree in Oenology.
In addition to her role as consulting wine director for The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida (known for its award-winning wine program) she is also the proprietor of the Virginia Philip Wine Shop & Academy, located in West Palm Beach, Florida and the Virginia Philip Wine Spirits & Academy located in Palm Beach.
Philip currently sits on the board for the Court of Master Sommeliers. She is a mentor to both the trade and consumers, and a contributor to Yachts International.
Victoria Anderson is a judge at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards.Victoria AndersonVictoria Anderson
Victoria Anderson began her career in the wine industry after discovering a love of wine while living in Madrid. She spent seven years in London with fine wine merchant Armit Wines becoming one of their buyers, responsible for developing exclusive agency relationships for both UK and Hong Kong markets and managing a portfolio of wines for multi-channel distribution.
Having made the move back to the north of England, she is now the sole wine buyer for Booths, the family-run, regional grocery retailer which has an estate of 28 stores. Booths are immensely proud to have been crowned Supermarket of the Year in the Decanter Retailer Awards 2017. Her time at the much respected retailer is tremendously varied, buying wine from global brands to small growers and everything in between, including managing and developing their range of own label wine.
Matt Pym is a judge at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA).Matt Pym - Judge at the DWWA 2018Matt Pym
Matt is the owner of Pym My Wine Ltd, a strategic consultancy and sales representation firm that helps wineries from around the world to develop and increase their sales in the Uk and Irish markets.
Before starting Pym My Wine, Matt worked for 19 years at Majestic Wine, 15 years as a buyer and most recently heading up the Buying Team. With vast experience of all aspects of the trade and producing regions, Matt is an expert in sourcing, brand creation and development, and strategic brand planning.
Agustin Trapero is a judge at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA).Agustin TraperoAgustin Trapero
Agustin comes from El Tiemblo (Spain) and grew up with his grandfather’s homemade Garnacha wine, but it wasn’t until he came to the UK in 2001 and started working in restaurants that Agustin decided to embark on a career in wine. He worked his way up in various London restaurants and Oxford hotels, ending up at the five-star Macdonald Randolph Hotel, where he spent six years.
In 2008 he won the competition about “California wines” by The Academy Food & Wine in the UK, and following that he came top in the “New Zealand Winegrowers competition” by The Academy Food & Wine in the UK. Agustin has spent time with winemakers in Burgundy (Domaine Mongeard-Mugneret) Ribera del Duero (Bodegas Laveguilla) and Chianti Classico (Fattoria Le Corti Principe Corsini).
After completing a stage in 2011 at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck, Agustin joined Launceston Place in June of the same year as Head Sommelier. In 2012, Agustin finished a placement at the world famous restaurant and three Michelin-starred El Celler de Can Roca in Girona. Agustin is based at Avenue restaurant and he is also involved in different projects as a wine specialist and wine consultant for independent and private customers.
Whether you have dreams of making your own cuvée, or already spend your days in the cellar, Jane Anson considers the enduring appeal of producing wine.What drives people to make wine?
What drives people to make wine? I have been thinking about this a lot recently, mainly because I am enjoying a podcast called Food: A Cultural Culinary History, from Professor Ken Albala, Chair of Food Studies at the University of the Pacific in the US.
In it he describes how food, and our drive to obtain it, has been a catalyst to pretty much every stage of human development, from our earliest moves towards speech and standing upright, to the growth of modern warfare.
Yeast makes an early entry, as you can imagine, with Albala telling us that the recent obsession with bacteria-free households is completely at odds with how we’ve developed.
Essentially any complex tastes we enjoy today came about through an interaction of foods with wild yeast and/or lactobacillus, from bread to cheese to beer and, of course, wine.
He points out that products that are able to change or transform into other things (flour to bread, grapes to wine and so on) have invariably been adapted as religious symbols – barley by the ancient Egyptians as a symbol of reincarnation, bread by Christians as the body of Christ, and wine as a symbol of life (in the ancient Near East of Egypt, Iraq, Iran and Syria), as a gift showing the bounty of God (during Shabbat in Judaism) and as the blood of Christ (in Christianity). The Romans used wine as an offering to their gods, often pouring it directly onto statues of deities.
In Europe, religion has played a direct role in the growth of vineyards – from the first communities of monks in the 6th century through to the famous settlements of Cluny and Cîteaux in the 10th and 12th centuries and beyond.
These religious orders, and the network of abbeys that grew up all over Europe, were essential in ensuring that viticulture didn’t die out after the Romans left. Monks were good writers, for one thing, and kept manuscripts of what they were doing, not only for symbolic reasons but for economic reasons and to have wine to serve to visiting kings, noblemen and church leaders, so effectively as diplomacy. Through this, the abbeys became centres of innovation.See also: Jefford: The sacred and the transcendant See also: Oz Clarke – Monasteries and Clos de Vougeot
I attended a fascinating tasting at the Cité du Vin recently held by Vins d’Abbayes, an association that promotes the remaining abbey wines in France.
There are more than you might think, although we just ran through eight of them at the tasting, including Dominique Gruhier’s Domaine de l’Abbaye du Petit Quincy Chablis, part of a vineyard that was created by the Cistercians in 1212, and the amazing Abbaye de Lérins in Provence that bottles as an IGP Méditerranée and comes from vines grown on the tiny island, Ile St-Honorat, just off the coast of Cannes. You can visit the monastery, where 21 lucky monks are making the wine.
Religious origins aside, the subject of winemaking motivation has been made personal recently, with two good friends of mine, Miguel and Barbara Lecuona, making the leap from enthusiastic consumers to fully fledged winemakers in Texas Hill Country.
They bottled their first vintage of Siboney Cellars 2017 just a few weeks ago. It’s been fun simply being an observer and offering encouragement as they go along, watching them select the name (drawn from Miguel’s Cuban great uncle, a successful composer who wrote the song Siboney in 1929), weighing up the best grape varieties for the Texan climate and testing out micro-vinifications.
And it reminds me of something the late Professor Denis Dubourdieu said in the first class of my tasting diploma in Bordeaux. He asked the question that opened this piece: what drives people to make wine? I think I put my hand up and made the cardinal sin of saying that they did it to make money. Luckily he didn’t throw me out. Someone else gave a much better answer, that they did it for pleasure.
‘That’s right,’ I remember him saying with a broad smile. ‘The most noble reason to make wine is to bring pleasure to those who drink it.’
This column first appeared in the June 2018 issue of Decanter magazine.More Anson columns here Search Jane Anson’s Bordeaux 2017 scores and tasting notes
Find out how three Chilean winemakers are producing premium wines in Atacama – the most arid desert in the world – and see Decanter's expert tasting notes and scores, available exclusively to Premium members.Amy Wislocki meets the Tara project winemakers growing vines in Atacama desert – a virtually rainless plateau.
Viña Ventisquero’s Tara project – which sees three of the company’s winemakers producing wines in Chile’s remote Atacama desert – continued to impress at an exclusive tasting in London for the Decanter team.
Ventisquero’s winemaker, Felipe Tosso, presented recent vintages of Tara Red 1 (Pinot Noir), Tara Red 2 (85% Syrah, 15% Merlot), Tara White 1 (Chardonnay) and a Viognier that is not yet commercially released.
The two Tara vineyards are located 400km north of Limarí, 15-20km from the coast. When the project started, there was just a single hectare planted – challenging enough given the extreme conditions. Some weather stations in the Atacama desert have never recorded a single drop of rain, earning it the title of the ‘driest place on earth’.Scroll down to see Tara project wine tasting notes Read articles from Decanter magazine’s June 2018 issue online How to join Decanter Premium
The post Wines from the world’s driest desert: Ventisquero’s Tara project appeared first on Decanter.
With exciting wines made from native grapes, pay a visit to these Cephalonia wineries, also known as Kefalonia, chosen by Yiannis Karakasis MW...Vineyards in Favios
Staying near Argostoli is a strategic choice as it offers flexibility and easier access to most locations, along with access to two wine routes.
The first, which is also the longest, starts in Argostoli and climbs up to the Monastery of Agios Gerasimos on the plateau of Omala, at the heart of the Robola vineyards.Cephalonia Robola Wine Cooperative
Here you’ll find the Cephalonia Robola Wine Cooperative, the largest producer on the island with a total production of half a million bottles, which buys grapes from 300 growers. Its San Gerassimo Robola, sourced from high-altitude vineyards at 800m above sea level, sings of tension, purity and precision.Melissinos-Petrakopoulos Winery
From there, you can take the road to the Mt Aenos National Park with its unique black fir trees and pay a visit to the Melissinos-Petrakopoulos Winery in Thiramonas. This artisanal winery set up by entrepreneur Nikos Petrakopoulos aims to produce terroir-driven wines, with a production of not more than 25,000 bottles. A fascinating range of three Robolas and two Mavrodaphnes showcases the complete array of flavours and textures these varieties can create. The complex pre-phylloxera Mavrodaphne is particularly worth tasting.Gentilini Winery & Vineyard
Return to Argostoli via Minies and the Gentilini Winery & Vineyards. Founded in 1984, Gentilini is now run by second-generation Marianna Kosmetatos and her husband Petros Markantonatos, both spirited contributors to the development of the region. The winery organises detailed wine tours and produces an engaging range of wines including the mineral Wild Paths Robola and a dense, velvety Mavrodaphne.Sclavos Wines
The second, and shorter, wine route tours Paliki, near Lixouri. Here esoteric producer Evriviadis Sclavos of Sclavos Wines has embraced biodynamics and natural winemaking, crafting characterful wines, which need time in the glass to blossom. His Synodos blend of Mavrodaphne and Vostilidi is scented and poised, with firm structure; while the hard-to-pronounce Metageitnion is a singular synthesis of 100-year-old Vostilidi vines. Also try his simply brilliant Vino di Sasso Robola.Foivos
Another producer worth visiting in Paliki is Foivos, where they vinify wines in amphorae, have experimented with ageing wines under water and have a wine museum.Haritatos Vineyard
Nearby is Haritatos Vineyard, which, alongside Foivos, produces solid examples of Robola, Mavrodaphne and Muscat.
Whichever route you choose, you’ll discover that Cephalonia is a stunning destination, offering beautiful beaches, fresh seafood and some of the best wines in Greece.
The popular time to visit is summer but, as with most of Greece, it’s best to avoid mid-August when the island can be crowded. Instead choose June, early July or, even better, September.Yiannis Karakasis MW is a specialist in Greek wines. He publishes www.karakasis.mw.
This first appeared as part of a travel guide in the June 2018 issue of Decanter.More wine travel guides here
See Jane Anson's most highly rated Pomerol wines following her Bordeaux 2017 en primeur tastings.Harvesting grapes by hand at Château Lafleur in Pomerol.
Introduction by Decanter Staff
The notorious frost of the 2017 growing season made things significantly more challenging on the Right Bank, but the recent Bordeaux en primeur tastings showed that quality is still very high for the wines that made it through.
Yields inevitably suffered in the worst-hit areas. Pomerol overall was down at 23.9 hectolitres per hectare of vines for 2017, which is around 40% lower than 2016.
However, such figures disguise the uneven nature with which frost enveloped certain vineyard areas in Bordeaux.
See all Pomerol 2017 wines
Dom Pérignon has announced an upcoming creative collaboration with the American actor and Grammy Award-winning musician, Lenny Kravitz…Dom Pérignon Champagne reworks its image with Grammy Award winning rock idol and film actor, Lenny Kravitz. Credit: Dom PérignonDom Pérignon and Lenny Kravitz collaborate
The joint project has been pitched as a ‘meeting of two icons’, according to a teaser press release circulated by Dom Pérignon, the Moët Hennessy-owned Champagne house, earlier today (8 May).
The announcement was precipitated by a breadcrumb trail of social media posts via Dom Pérignon’s Instagram account, which began two days ago.
The posts feature flickering film sequences of four-time Grammy Award winner, Lenny Kravitz, playing piano at Westlake Studios in West Hollywood alongside glasses of DP, with enigmatic captions like ‘inner fire’ and ‘inspiration comes full circle’.
‘I have friends who like to have people over and it’s centred around opening a bottle of Champagne and celebrating life just because it’s Tuesday,’ said Kravitz in one video.
Artistic projects are nothing new for Dom Pérignon, which is part of the LVMH wine portfolio – a company well known for launching collaborations across its luxury brands.
Previous Dom Pérignon creative projects have featured artists Jeff Koons, Michael Riedel and Tokujin Yoshioka, as well as fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld.
Kravitz leaked the news to his two million Instagram followers yesterday:
‘Announcing collaboration with @domperignonofficial as Creative Director, Photographer and Designer’.
‘My experience with Dom Pérignon has inspired me so much because it’s such a different world than what I know,’ said Kravitz in a video he reposted later that day from the Dom Pérignon Instagram account.
Although the connection between an American rockstar film actor and French Champagne may seem tenuous, in 2011 Kravitz received the honour of ‘Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters’ – one of France’s highest cultural accolades – for his work against interracial barriers in the music industry.
A full disclosure of what the project entails will be released in September 2018, according to Dom Pérignon.
- Third Somm film has all-star cast, says director
- Mouton Rothschild 2015 label design revealed
- Wine Legend: Dom Pérignon 1961
The post Dom Pérignon to collaborate with rockstar Lenny Kravitz appeared first on Decanter.
Wine producers in Margaret River have explained how an abundance of a particular tree blossom diverted birds from eating their grapes in the 2018 vintage…Marri tree blossom distracted birds from Margaret River wine grapes.
The blossom of the Marri trees in Margaret River has protected wine grapes from being eaten by birds, said wine producers.
‘We were treated to a spectacular “mega blossom” of the Marri trees,’ Cath Oates, of Oates End, told Decanter.com.
‘The most blossom in living memory which kept bird pressure to almost zero.’
The Marri trees produce a kind of nectar that birds like to eat, making them less likely to go after the grapes.
‘The flowering of the Marri has a great influence on food supply for the marauding Silver-eyes, Wattle Birds and Parrots, that find grapes attractive when there is poor availability of flowering gums as a preferred food,’ said Bruce Pearse, viticulturist and Margaret River Wine Association Board Member.
‘The dispersion of birds away from vineyards’ and deeper into native forestry as they chase out the last of the blossom creates a redistribution of bird populations and slows the return to vineyards.’
Speaking about the 2018 vintage in Margaret River, Pearse said that sea breezes combined with cool nights have ensured a ‘longer period of maturation on the vine and higher natural acid content’ for both red and white wines.Animals in vineyards
Depending on where the vineyard is, there are various animals that can have an appetite for grapes.
However, some vineyards have also moved towards using animals as natural pest control or weed fighters.
Another way of protecting grapes from birds is to use netting over the vines. However, nets reduced the amount of sunlight able to reach the vines and so this is not suitable for all vineyards.
Additional reporting by Sylvia Wu.
The post Rare ‘mega blossom’ saves Margaret River grapes from birds appeared first on Decanter.
Decanter’s long-standing consultant editor hand-picks fine wines for drinking now and recommends others to lay down...From the cellar Napa treats
While in Napa as keynote speaker for the annual Symposium for Professional Wine Writers at Meadowood in February, a highlight was dinner at the Staglin Family Vineyard with marvellous local wines, each presented by their owners.
Hostess Shari Staglin presented her elegant Staglin Estate Chardonnay 2015 in magnum, followed by a vibrant sparkling wine from Hugh Davies of Schramsberg: the late-disgorged J Schram 1999.
Three Cabernet Sauvignons followed: Quintessa 2004 (Agustin Huneeus Jr), an early vintage from this beautiful estate; Staglin Estate 2003 from magnum, vigorous and ripe but not too rich; and Spottswoode 2001 (Beth Novak Milliken), with 5% Cabernet Franc, my wine of the evening – a rich but controlled nose and still some florality which reminded me of a top Pauillac, perfectly expressed. (The 2016 Cabernets tasted at the Premiere Napa Valley auction showed that the ‘exaggerated style’ is now thankfully a thing of the past.)
The final two wines at dinner were a magnum of Raymond Generations Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 (Jean-Charles Boisset), still fresh and flavourful, and Pellet Estate Henry’s Reserve Red Blend 2013 (Tom Rinaldi), young but showing great promise.For the cellar Sesti Montalcinos
I have known the Sesti vineyard at Castello di Argiano, which was planted by Venetian astronomer Giuseppe Maria (Giugi) Sesti and his English wife Sarah in 1991, since their first vintage in 1995.
Located in the south of Montalcino, below Sant’Angelo in Colle, their 13ha (which are planted 85% to Sangiovese) are organically farmed ‘according to the stars – from the writings of a Greek philosopher 2,000 years before Rudolf Steiner’. Thanks to the hands-off approach in the cellar favoured by Giugi and his daughter Elisa, the wines express their terroir beautifully.
When I tasted them recently in London, the Rosso di Montalcino 2015 showed fine florality and good ripeness, while a 2012 vintage from my Dorset cellar was even better with a little more bottle age.
Meanwhile the Brunello di Montalcino 2009 has warm middle fruit, drinking well at its mid-point of maturity; however, the latest 2013 release (£43.34) is the one to wait for: showing floral notes and light earthiness over a superb depth of vineyard fruit that will improve over a decade or more. The proof came with another bottle from my cellar: the 2001 was a magnificent, elegantly vigorous wine that blossomed in the glass. Contact UK agent Armit Wines for prices and availability.Steven Spurrier recommends:
Where to eat and drink on the glorious Greek island of Cephalonia, also known as Kefalonia, and picked by Yiannis Karakasis MW...Kyani Akti Kyani Akti
This seafood restaurant in Argostoli is an unmissable experience thanks to its unique waterfront location. You eat on a deck over the sea but book a table to be on the safe side. The pasta al vongole here is a must and also ask for the sea urchin vodka shots. www.facebook.com/kyaniaktikefaloniaAvithos Preview Taverna
Located in Kaligata, a few minutes’ drive from Argostoli. A modern take on traditional Cephalonian cuisine: sublime food, a decent wine list and fine service. avithospreview.grLord Falcon
In Fiscardo, behind Theodora’s Café Bar, Lord Falcon is an unexpected find, offering deliciously spicy Thai food. +30 693 892 4858Oinops
Argostoli’s smart downtown wine bar offers a selection of interesting regional wines and delicious food. They have an an extensive selection of Greek wines made from indigenous varieties. www.facebook.com/oenopsTaverna Foki
Enjoy a traditional meze-style lunch at beach-fronted Taverna Foki (+30 697 819 7524).Yiannis Karakasis MW is a specialist in Greek wines. He publishes www.karakasis.mw.
This first appeared as part of a travel guide in the June 2018 issue of Decanter.More wine travel guides here