How quickly should you drink wines after decanting them...?Decanting is most beneficial in young and/or tannic reds to open up their aromas and flavoursWhen should you drink wine after decanting it? – Ask Decanter
Tõnu Meidla, Estonia asks: How soon does a wine start to decline in quality after being decanted? Should we hurry to drink every wine quickly after decanting?
Isa Bal MS replies: Most wines produced today do not need decanting (like a vintage Port would due to its sediment) but may benefit from it.
The benefit of decanting is to allow a wine to breathe in more oxygen; this helps bring out the complexity of aromas and flavours after confinement in bottle. However, many people – myself included – prefer to serve wine straight from the bottle and then taste through its evolution in the glass.
Mature wines, especially those that are light bodied, will open up in a decanter in as little as 10 or 15 minutes, but may start to lose aromas after about an hour, so you should keep this in mind when serving them.Double decanting: What is it and when should you do it? – ask Decanter
It may be enough just to open the bottle and let the wine breathe without decanting.
Taste it after opening then wait 15 minutes and taste again; if it has not developed to your liking, then try decanting.
Young and/or very tannic, full-bodied wines can take more than an hour to benefit from decanting – some needing four hours or more to fully express themselves. These should remain more stable for longer before suffering any ill effects from exposure to oxygen.
Isa Bal MS is a wine consultant and former head sommelier at The Fat Duck.
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A new train route set to cut out the changeover in Paris and go direct from London to Bordeaux is in the advanced planning stages, according to train operators.The Bordeaux skyline
A new London to Bordeaux direct train service would bring the journey down to just over four hours, according to HS1, which runs the UK’s high speed rail route that carries the Eurostar from central London the English Channel.
The return Bordeaux – London route currently takes longer, more than six hours, due to the need for security checks during the Paris connection.
This new proposed route will avoid Paris and use a new high speed train line that links Tours with Bordeaux. The total journey time will be under 5 hours, HS1 said.
It said that it was currently in talks with international rail operators about the proposed route, and they hope it will be running in a few years.
‘The service will take passengers direct from city centre to city centre, taking the hassle out of travel to South West France,’ said Dyan Crowther, Chief Executive of HS1 Ltd.
‘As we’ve seen with the recent introduction of the Eurostar London-Amsterdam service, there’s a real demand for international train services to provide a comfortable and better-connected service, especially for leisure journeys.’
‘The route is almost ready for a train operator to turn up and turn the key as soon as the UK and French Governments agree on border controls.’
‘With the right commitment, we could be looking at new services in the next couple of years.Bordeaux wine tourism
As well as proximity to vineyards, Bordeaux city offers many options for wine lovers.
Château Branaire-Ducru has followed in the footsteps of Palmer by releasing its 2017 vintage at a significant discount to the 2016 wine.Branaire-Ducru in St-Julien.
Branaire-Ducru released its 2017 wine en primeur at 33.6 euros per bottle ex-Bordeaux, which is 15% cheaper than its 2016 vintage release. It was rated 89 points by Decanter’s Jane Anson, with the 2016 rated 94 points.
Liv-ex said that the wine was being offered at £411 for a 12-bottle case in bond, which was down 13% on the 2016 release price in the UK.
The move by the St-Julien fourth growth was another sign that estates in the upper echelons of Bordeaux’s wine pyramid appeared willing to cut price in this year’s en primeur campaign.
Branaire-Ducru joins several Sauternes estates on the market, plus also La Tour Carnet and Latour-Martillac, both of which also released this week at 20.4 euros and 22.20 euros ex-Bordeaux respectively – down 3% and 9% versus their 2016 primeur releases.Search all of Jane Anson’s Bordeaux 2017 ratings
It’s been relatively muted start to a Bordeaux 2017 primeur campaign, albeit there is a feeling that recent years have seen more estates holding back to better gauge critics’ ratings and competitors’ strategies.
There has also been some trepidation among non-Bordeaux merchants, which have seen prices rise consecutively in the last three vintages and now face a 2017 crop that is much more uneven.
‘It is not a vintage to buy blind,’ according Decanter’s lead Bordeaux critic and sole primeur taster, Jane Anson.
Wine Lister highlighted the importance of looking at estates’ individual market dynamics.
‘La Tour Carnet’s release prices have been slowly increasing over the last few years as the brand gains traction in Asia. With low volumes, this bold release might still find buyers,’ Lister said.
It called the Branaire-Ducru discount a ‘decent gesture’, although it was still around the same market price as the 2015 wine.Back to the Bordeaux en primeur homepage
The post Branaire-Ducru 2017 adds to trickle of primeur releases appeared first on Decanter.
Decanter has launched a micro-learning app called Know Your Wine, designed to help you increase your knowledge from grape to glass, as well as understand more about some of the world's best-known wine regions.
Decanter has always set out to help our readers learn more about the fascinating, ever-changing wine world; from our 40 years of bringing you views from world-leading experts in the magazine to wine tasting events, online columnists such as Andrew Jefford and more recent online features, such as ‘Ask Decanter‘, Tasting Notes Decoded and weekly quizzes.
We have now taken this commitment one step further with the launch of a new learning app, created in partnership with the learning specialist and developer Feed Your Elephant.Click here to download ‘Know Your Wine’
Currently available only to iPhone users, Decanter Know Your Wine has been on the App Store for more than a week and has proved popular, with five-star ratings from more than 10 different countries.How does it work?
This is not a quiz app; it’s all about learning and remembering the myriad of information around wine.
Decanter Know Your Wine is a micro-learning app. It uses ‘s p a c i n g’ – or what some have called ‘spaced repetition’ – to deliver learning in highly efficient short bursts.
It forces the learner to use the app little and often and progress through a series of rankings to prevent cramming.
And we’ll be regularly adding more questions.
We hope you will give it a try and that it helps you learn more about the world of wine, or perhaps pass an exam, or even get 10 out of 10 on one of Decanter.com’s fiendish quizzes.
The best of Portugal’s white wines fuse tradition and modernity, says Sarah Ahmed, who recommends her favourite new releases from recent trade tastings in the UK.Vineyards in Alentejo. Expert’s choice: Portuguese whites
It is no coincidence that, bar one (Niepoort Redoma), all my recommended Portuguese white wines were first made this century. As they say, timing is everything.
Portugal’s whites were once dull and oxidative but, unlike the country’s reds, they escaped relatively unscathed from the late 20th century’s ‘wood means good’ trend.
In consequence, Portuguese white wines have come of age during an era that prizes freshness, restraint and intrinsic personality, emphasising the country’s diverse terroir and native grapes, not winemaking artefact.Read more articles from Decanter magazine’s June 2018 issue online How to join Decanter Premium
Promotional Feature, sponsored by Apcor
Promotional Feature, sponsored by ApcorWhat is the impact of cork on the environment...?
Promotional Feature, sponsored by Apcor.Environmental benefits of cork
If you’ve been lucky enough to encounter a cork oak forest, then you must concur that they are a particularly spectacular sight; even more so if it’s during harvest time – between May and August – when the highly skilled, dedicated workers move their way through the rows of trees, judiciously shedding the trunks of their prized bark.
It’s very much a labour of love, as it takes one quarter of a century before a tree delivers its first harvest, with the second harvest coming around one decade later.
However, the resulting cork from these two harvests doesn’t cut the mustard when it comes to the quality required for wine stoppers; these are taken from the third harvest, when the tree can be 43 years old, although the patience is arguably worth it, as the tree can often then go on for another 200 years.
Simple aesthetics are not the only benefit that these woods bring to the table. Well over 100,000 people around the world are directly or indirectly reliant on cork forests and natural cork is still the seal of choice for 70% of the world’s wine producers.
More immediately, they supply economic and social benefits to the surrounding population through employment, keep at bay desertification and therefore the destructive effects of water run-off and soil erosion, while at the same time providing an invaluable habitat for endangered, local wildlife.
In addition to all these boons, and on a far more grander scale, they also make a significant contribution to our planet.
Of course, the ability of trees to provide oxygen via photosynthesis is common knowledge, however cork oak trees can point to another, very meaningful string to their bow which, thanks to their particular cell structure, is the capacity to soak up climate-warming carbon.
The cork trees in Portugal alone retain over four million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year, plus natural cork is also a far more eco-friendly option when it comes to its production compared to other choices – what with the manufacturing of plastic closures being responsible for the release of ten times more CO2, while aluminium versions cause almost 30 times the release of CO2 than cork.
Yet another attractive character trait is that with cork production any waste arising from the making of the original cork stopper is used for an array of alternative purposes, including wall or floor panels, shoes, household accessories, insulation, and car seats, and even helping in providing electricity to factories; plus thanks to a raft of recycling initiatives in countries around the world, even the original cork you use at home can be shredded and ploughed back into similar schemes.
Also, finally, let’s not forget that cork is 100% natural, totally recyclable, decomposes naturally, comes from a sustainable source without cutting one single tree – and arguably looks prettier and certainly sounds better when you eventually crack open one of your prized bottles.
Apcor is the Portuguese cork association that represents, promotes, divulges and carries out research in the Portuguese cork industry. It was created in 1956 and is based in Santa Maria de Lamas, in the council of Santa Maria da Feira, at the heart of the cork industry, around 30 kilometres from Porto.
The winery that put Coonawarra on the map for wine drinkers in the 1950s has grown to become one of Australia’s best-known names. Huon Hooke explores its history and picks some of his favourite wines from recent vintages.Wynns Coonawarra Estate
Wynns Coonawarra Estate is the undisputed grandaddy of Coonawarra. The winery is the oldest and longest-continuing producer of wine here, it owns the cream of the region’s vineyards and its fame is second to none.
Huon Hooke is a journalist and wine writer, and the DWWA Regional co-Chair for AustraliaRead more full articles from Decanter magazine online
Andrew Jefford examines the uniqueness of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé.The vineyards of Sancerre above Chavignol.
What’s the hallmark of spring? Light without warmth. Autumn, contrariwise, is a period of warmth without light. Atmospheric inertia means that temperatures never catch up with the athletic precision and regularity of changes in light brought by earth’s axial tilt, but puff and hobble along behind.
Whichever hemisphere you are in, therefore, winter’s deepest cold comes as the days are already beginning to lengthen. Spring follows the equinox – but even then, tortoise temperature is still struggling to catch up with the hare of light. There are wines which seem to encapsulate the spirit of every season. If I had to pick one to summarise the combination of ample light without commensurate warmth, it would be Sauvignon Blanc. But not just any…
One of the problems of terroir studies is that we lack the means to understand and to describe the nuances of what lies above with the same sophistication and visual acuity that we can describe soil and topographical nuance.
The three work together, of course – but surely it’s no accident that some of the very greatest incarnations of Sauvignon Blanc are found under the fretful and conditionally generous skies of the high-latitude Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, whose position at 47˚19’55” is a full three degrees higher than pearly Bordeaux and six degrees higher than luminous Marlborough in New Zealand.
That means longer growing-season day lengths for Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, but less luminescence and heat. Each results in a different style of Sauvignon Blanc – but this is the one which most closely approximates ‘light without warmth’.
It’s a kind of restraint – and the virtue of restraint is lesson one for any wine-producer dreaming of creating a long-term, fine-wine classic. Sauvignon Blanc as a variety is associated with thiols (sulphur compounds which veer from sweaty or oniony towards the scent of cut box or tropical/citrus fruits), methoxypyrazines (grassy or asparagus notes) or terpenes (hydrocarbon or resin notes) – but the very best Sauvignon Blanc is the least varietal, the most spring-like in its sappiness, mouthwatering vinosity and planty freshness. Even the ‘gunflint’ aroma (another sulphur-related note which has nothing to do with flints in the soil) has no place in the finest Sauvignon. In over-cool locations, by contrast, the variety can be very phenolic.
I talked to many growers about their vinification practices when I was last in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, and was struck by how widely these can vary (prefermentation macerations or swift pressing, wild yeast or natural yeast, steel or oak, malolactic or no malolactic). It’s really the skies, the slopes and the soils which count for regional identity – and the care with which every action is carried out, no matter what that action may be.
By contrast harvest dates are critical, everyone agreed, and few of the greatest growers under these skies ever picks early. “Never confuse tension with greenness or thinness,” warns Didier Prieur. “I’m often the last to harvest,” says François Cotat. “Eighty per cent of the quality of the harvest lies in the harvest date,” warns Jean-Christophe Bourgeois. “It breaks my heart when I see a friend waste twelve months of work by picking a week too early.”
If ever you find yourself tasting a Sancerre blind and thinking or guessing that it’s Chablis – that’s an excellent sign. Chablis, too, is a wine which gives its drinker light without warmth, sappiness, mouthwatering vinosity and planty freshness. The two regions are climate-and-soil twins which just happen to find themselves growing different grape varieties – and, in great terroir, varieties are less important than you might imagine. (Chablis, you may be surprised to discover, is the more northerly of the twins.)
As a postscript, it was fascinating to chat to the Bourgeois family about differences between Sancerre and Marlborough – where they also grow and vinify Sauvignon Blanc (for Clos Henri). They point out that the different climate in New Zealand gives a different structure of ripeness: “Marlborough has really helped us understand warm years in Sancerre,” says Arnaud Bourgeois. “In New Zealand, the fruit isn’t ripe at 13.5% — it only gets there towards 14%.”
The family feels that the biggest challenge for Marlborough is that most producers there are principally fruit growers whose primary interest is crop size – and yields are consequently too high, planting densities are too low, and mechanical harvesting (which inevitably means some element of skin maceration prior to fermentation, emphasising ‘varietal character’) is ubiquitous. They remain, though, very enthusiastic about the area’s potential – and the whole family flies round the globe to harvest sunlight, with just a little more warmth, every winter.
Henri Bourgeois, Sancerre, La Côte des Monts Damnés 2016
This steel-fermented cuvée is blended from a number of different parcels on the Kimmeridgean marl slopes of the Monts Damnés, looking down on to Chavignol; it gets 9-10 months on fine lees before bottling. The wine is steel-white in colour, with cut apple and pounded stone scents. The palate is slicingly acid, with all of the wine’s flavours bonded into that acidity: green fruit, sap, stone, rich mineral water. Sheer and exciting: don’t wait. 91 (13%)
Famille Bourgeois, Sancerre, Les Côtes aux Valets 2015
Made from a single 1.06-ha parcel of west-facing, old-vine Sauvignon on the clay-limestone soils of the ‘Bannon’ lieux-dit close to the village of Vinon, in the south of the appellation. This, too, is only steel-fermented. Water-white in colour, the scents are pure class: white peach, violets, cut stone, trembling with finesse and delicacy. The palate, too, picks up on all these nuances and adds fine white currant and white pepper notes as well as sap and more stone. It’s severe yet tender, bone dry yet almost sweet by dint of its fruity purity. 95 (14%)
Famille Bourgeois, Sancerre, Les Ruchons 2015
This is the latest addition to the ‘Famille Bourgeois’ single-vineyard range: a 1.03 ha parcel of vines planted in 1970 in the lieux-dit of Fontenay. This is found in the riverside hamlet of St Satur, opposite the northern part of the Pouilly-Fumé appellation, and the Bourgeois family claims this clay-soiled parcel “has more flints on its surface than any other in Sancerre”. Some 45 per cent is barrique-fermented, and the rest fermented in steel; it formerly formed part of the D’Antan cuvée. White-gold in colour, with scents which variously hint at umami, sweet pear, lime and seaweed. On the palate, this has ample length and drive and an almost succulent quality of fruit; it’s rounder than many of its peers, but has great energy and reverb, too. A cascade of excitement. 94 (14%)
François Cotat, Sancerre, Monts Damnés 2016
From old vines and steep, south-facing slopes – and, like all Franços Cotat’s wines, produced in tragically small quantities (the total domain covers only 4.15 ha). Few wines manage to express the ‘Kimmeridgean’ nature of the Chavignol vineyards better than these, and they age superbly – for up to three decades, M.Cotat suggests. This 2016 seems to suggest the warmth of the vineyard exposition with a little lemon mingled in the mossy freshness. On the palate, it is pure and rich, suggesting stone and seaweed washed by soft rain. Limpid, long and tender. 96
François Cotat, Sancerre, Les Culs de Beaujeu 2016
Green-white in colour, with complex orchard fruits to draw you into the glass. Those apple and pear notes contrive, at least aromatically, to evoke other Loire vineyards like Vouvray or Montlouis; on the palate, though, we are firmly back in the limestones of Sancerre. The wine is limpid, mouthwatering, percussive and insistent, ready for the long-haul and promising long-term generosity in its tantalising, resonant austerity. 95
Louis-Benjamin Dagueneau, Sancerre, Le Mont Damné 2015
A comparison between Louis-Bejamin Dagueneau’s Mont Damné (made from a small, 0.8-ha parcel on these celebrated Sancerre slopes) and the family’s classic Pouilly-Fumé Silex cuvee is instructive. This wine is fresher, leafier and more aerial in scent, with a long cascade of flavour in which flower and citrus notes can be picked out – though harmony and seamlessness of flavour is a Dagueneau hallmark. It may be auto-suggestion, but there also seems to be a little stony crust to the flavours of this wine which is absent in the Silex. Assured and beguiling Sancerre. 93
Didier Dagueneau, Pouilly-Fumé, Silex 2015
From almost 4 ha of flint-scattered clays around the mound of St Andelain, this is light gold in colour with a fine-meshed weave of green plant and soft spring leaf scents, full of copse coolness. In the mouth, it’s a seamless pool or well of those same green plant and leaf notes fleshed out with quiet green orchard and citrus fruits. As ever, a remarkably unshowy, undemonstrative, stealthy wine, despite its fame and the reputed showiness of the variety: all is held in check by those clinging, cossetting cool clays. Give it time in decanter, glass or mouth and you’ll see figures and allusions quietly stirring. 94
Alphonse Mellot, Sancerre, Les Romains 2016
This comes from a unique part of Les Romains which has flinty clays on the surface and limestone beneath. It’s bright gold in colour, with subtle, creamy lime scents. The palate is fresh, elegant, vivid and long, with more of that lime fruit and an essence of spring-leaf freshness. 92 (13%)
Alphonse Mellot, Sancerre, Satellite 2016
From a set of old-vine sites in Chavignol, this is stonier and tauter than Les Romains, with quiet woodland-flower scents over a ground of pear fruit. The palate is long, elegant, pristine and a little more giving than the nose suggested: subtle, creamy, almost toothsome fruit which nonetheless retains all its poise and delicacy. 93 (13%)
Ch de Tracy, Pouilly-Fumé, Mademoiselle de Tracy 2016
This junior cuvée comes from limestone rather than flint soils (Pouilly-Fumé, like Sancerre, has both): steel gold with very fresh, floral aromas and a tense yet tender palate shaded entirely in vivid green-pastel acidity. It’s less complex than its sibling cuvées but the purity and restraint are near-faultless: a great buy. 92 (13%)
Ch de Tracy, Pouilly-Fumé 2016
Pale silver-gold in colour, with the scent of the forest filled with spring leaf, as the swelling light begins to warm the shaded soils. Every flavour note in the palate is gathered together to an arrowhead of singing green acidity, limpid, translucent and crystalline: Pouilly-Fumé of grace and conviction. 93 (13%)Read more of Andrew Jefford’s columns on Decanter.com
More than 270 of the world’s top wine experts have gathered in London to begin judging the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards, the world’s largest wine competition.
Nearly 17,000 wines will be judged at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2018 (DWWA 2018) judging week by 275 international experts, including 59 Masters of Wine and 25 Master Sommeliers from 33 countries.Follow live coverage of DWWA 2018 juding week via our social media wall
This year’s competition will see Andrew Jefford, columnist for both Decanter.com and Decanter magazine, joining the chairmanship currently shared between Sarah Jane Evans MW and Michael Hill Smith MW.
The three will take on their roles as Chairs of the competition to oversee and lead all Regional Chairs and judges to blind taste wine entries received this week, whilst co-founder Steven Spurrier will remain as chairman emeritus.
Joining the panel of Regional Chairs will be:
- Jane Anson – Bordeaux Regional Chair
- Karen MacNeil – USA & Central America Regional Chair
- Rod Smith MW – Provence Regional Chair
- Alessandro Torcoli – Northern Italy Regional Chair (excluding Piedmont & Veneto)
Other new judges this year include:
- Kelli White from GuildSomm, USA
- Sandia Chang from Bubbledogs & Kitchen Table, London
- Julie Dupouy, one of the world’s top female sommeliers, from Ireland
- Jeremy Cukierman MW, from France
- Sebastian Crowther MS from Australia
- Ruben Desport, from Alain Ducasse London
- Giovanni Ferlito, from the Ritz London.
Over the next two weeks, the DWWA judging will take place in Excel CentrEd, where judges will work in small teams according to their regional or stylistic speciality to blind taste this year’s entries.
This year, the DWWA has received wines from 61 countries, including Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Poland on top of the most common wine producing countries. There has been an increase in entries from emerging markets, such as The Balkans, the Caucasus & Eurasia regions, Czech Republic, Moldova, Japan, and Brazil.
Christelle Guibert, Decanter’s international tastings director, said, ‘When we launched the DWWA back in 2004 with 4,500 wines, the central purpose of the competition was to reward quality.
‘Furthermore, we hoped to offer an opportunity to those smaller producers who don’t have marketing budgets to be easily recognised internationally, to put new countries on the wine map, and of course to provide authoritative recommendations to consumers.
‘Fifteen years later, we are proud that the DWWA has established itself as one of the most trusted wine competitions. We couldn’t have done it without the support of our excellent panel of tasters, many of which have been with us since the start.’
The competition will also introduce a new system this year to award the top medallists – Platinum and Best in Show.
Gold medal-winning wines will be re-categorised by grape or style and re-tasted by a panel consisting of Regional Chairs and Co-Chairs.
The wines will be judged according to their origin and the judges will be aware of countries, regions, sub-regions, grapes, vintage and price bands.
‘Platinum’ medals will be given to the top wines, and wines with a price band below £15 will be awarded the ‘Best Value Platinum’ medals.
The Best in Show category is the ultimate accolade at the DWWA and, for this, Platinum winners will be judged in a separate tasting by the three Co-Chairs and selected from the Platinum winners.
DWWA 2018 co-chair Sarah-Jane Evans MW said, ‘As co-chairs, the pleasure for us is working with the judges to recognise and reward the best, to share their excitement, and to find the wines we can confidently recommend to all wine lovers.’
Over the two weeks of judging, Riedel has supplied 49,000 glasses. There will also be 2,796 bottles of Ty Nant water, 912 packets of water biscuits and 120 kg of cheese. There are 131 staff helping to run the event.See DWWA 2017 winners here
The post Decanter World Wine Awards 2018 judging week begins appeared first on Decanter.
Increased vineyard plantings and notable improvements in quality mean that the future looks bright for Pinot Noir in California. Read this report on 93 wines tasted by our three-strong expert panel, with an introduction by Karen MacNeil, who is region chair for California at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2018.
- 93 wines tasted with 2 rated Outstanding
- The panel tasters were: Stephen Brook, James Doidge and Ronan Sayburn MS
Unlike Cabernet Sauvignon, which confines itself to small zones in northern California (notably Napa Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains and parts of Sonoma), Pinot Noir is grown over an 800km north-south stretch.
The specific AVAs (American Viticultural Areas) that excel with the grape are strung like pearls along the Pacific coastline. Latitude, as it turns out, isn’t very important when it comes to Californian Pinot Noir. What matters more is proximity to the cold Pacific Ocean. In summer, standing in most top Pinot vineyards feels like being in a restaurant’s walk-in refrigerator.
Pinot Noir is now the fourth most-planted grape in California, right behind Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, the state’s most-planted grape. Just 20 years ago, Pinot was 10th in the line-up, far behind grapes such as Barbera and Chenin Blanc, which are increasingly absent on the contemporary scene.Scroll down to see the top wines from this panel tasting – exclusively for Decanter Premium subscribers Related content:
- Mature Californian wines from the cellar
- Burgundy 2001 versus 2000: Wines to drink
- Join Decanter Premium
The Chardonnays from the five key appellations in this underrated Burgundy region offer some of France’s most exciting and great-value wines. Read our report on 139 wines tasted by our three-strong expert panel, with an introduction by Andy Howard MW...
- 139 wines tasted with 3 rated Outstanding
- The panel tasters were: Stephen Brook, Emma Dawson MW and Mark Wilkin MS
The Maconnais wine region, centred around the provincial town of Mâcon, is arguably one of the most exciting and dynamic areas of Burgundy. The wines have a distinctly southern accent – an interesting contrast to the more classically structured (and much more expensive) wines of the Côte d’Or.
Chardonnay is dominant (80% of all wines), with a warmer, more generous character than the wines of Chablis.
Bordered to the east and west by the valleys of the rivers Saône and Grosne, the Mâconnais wine-growing area sits on complex subsoils formed about 200 million years ago.
To the north, closer to the town of Tournus, the landscape is formed of wooded hills and small valleys with many different aspects creating distinct terroir characters. Further south, large stone outcrops start to dominate, the most famous being the Rock of Solutré which dominates the vineyards of Pouilly-Fuissé.Scroll down to see the top wines from the panel tasting Related content:
Decanter’s experts from around the world nominated the best Grenache/Garnacha in their respective regions before Oz Clarke tasted them all and selected his favourites.Vineyards near to Collioure in Roussillon.
The march of the Mediterranean varieties is steadily gaining strength. Their numbers swell, their chorus grows.
As climate change sinks its talons into region after region, as drought becomes a recurrent nightmare and vineyards annually gasp for water that is more and more difficult to find, these drought plants, these dry-land experts, these hardy old-timers are coming into their own.
In different parts of the world Carignan, Cinsault and Mourvedre are stirring and demanding attention. But the leader of the pack is Grenache, or Garnacha – until recently the most widely planted black grape variety in the world.
And also until recently, largely ignored as a variety whose name might deserve any prominence on the label.
- Priorat in-depth and great reds to try
- Steven Spurrier: My top 10 Bordeaux wines of all time
- Châteauneuf-du-Pape profile and top wines, by Matt Walls
Michel Chapoutier presented the 2017 vintage of his top single vineyard wines in central London, including some high quality samples from a Rhône growing season described by Chapoutier himself as ‘the seven plagues of Egypt’. See this report, with tasting notes, on the Rhône wines present, available exclusively to Premium members.See which star of the Rhône wine earned a 100-point score... Credit: M Chapoutier Facebook
For over 15 years, Michel Chapoutier has come to London in the spring to host an exclusive tasting of the new vintage of his top single vineyard wines, known as the Sélections Parcellaires.
Chapoutier described the extremely challenging Rhône growing season as ‘the seven plagues of Egypt’.
- Jane Anson’s full Bordeaux 2017 overview and en primeur tasting notes
- Best Rhône 2016 wines: The top scorers – by Matt Walls
The post First taste: Chapoutier single vineyard wines 2017 appeared first on Decanter.
The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) has revamped its flagship diploma qualification as part of several changes to its educational programme that will also see the launch of a level 3 spirits course.Credit: les polders / Alamy
From August 2019, coverage of spirits will be removed from the diploma qualification and from the WSET Level 2 award in wines and spirits, with the WSET introducing a new level 3 award in spirits instead.
The WSET said the changes would allow ‘more in-depth coverage of wine’ in a new Level 4 diploma in wines, with other changes including the introduction of a new research assignment to evaluate current trends in wine.
The changes follow a ‘thorough review’ of the WSET qualifications, and the new courses will benefit from ‘an enhanced, updated specification and learning materials’.
A WSET spokesperson told Decanter.com, ‘Pricing information will not be available until spring 2019 when the dates for the 2019/2020 academic year courses are announced.’
WSET chief executive Ian Harris said, ‘We continually work to ensure that our qualifications remain current and job-relevant, equipping students with the skills and expertise they need.
‘Extensive consultation with key industry stakeholders indicated a clear demand for specialist product education in the categories of wine, spirits and sake; our newly updated suite of qualifications directly addresses this demand, completing the separation of our products into three distinct subject-matter streams.’
The new level 3 award in spirits will cover a broader spectrum of world spirits, including the key Asian categories of baijiu, soju and shochu.
The new exam will include a blind tasting and a written paper with multiple-choice and short written answer questions, similar to the level 3 exam for wines.See also: Take the Decanter.com wine tasting quiz
The post WSET to launch level 3 spirits course and new wine diploma appeared first on Decanter.
See the winning photographs from the Pink Lady Wine Photographer of the Year 2018...Spinning Chardonnay, by Victor PugatschewWine Photographer of the Year 2018: The winners
Photographer Victor Pugatschew was the overall winner of the Errazuriz Wine Photographer of the Year, as part of the Pink Lady Food Photography Awards 2018.
He won for his photograph, Spinning Chardonnay, and it is the second time he has won, the first being in 2015.
The Errazuriz Wine Photography awards are split into three categories: Produce, People and Places.
The winner for People was Thierry Gaudillère, with Worker at Maison Champy.
The winner for Places was George Rose for his Vineyard Flooding photo.
The winners were chosen by a panel of judges, including Decanter content directer, John Stimpfig.
Winning photos were announced at a ceremony with a Champagne Taittinger reception at the Mall Galleries in London, on 23rd April 2018.
Across the whole of the Pink Lady Awards there were more than 8,000 entries from 60 countries.See the 2016 winners here See the Best Wine Photos from the Louis Roederer awards 2017
Read Jane Anson's full and exclusive report on the Bordeaux 2017 vintage after several weeks of tasting barrel samples and speaking to winemakers in the region - now available to Decanter Premium members.Sommeliers pour wine for tasters at Bordeaux's Hangar 14 during en primeur week.
You have gathered by now that Bordeaux 2017 is not the easiest of vintages to describe. It’s a year where technical details count, and where there is a deserved sense of satisfaction in winemakers when they have done a good job, as well as guilty relief in many who were not affected by frost.Search all Bordeaux 2017 ratings and tasting notes published so far
Search by appellation:St-Estèphe 2017 wines | Pauillac 2017 wines | St-Julien 2017 wines Margaux 2017 wines | Pessac-Léognan 2017 wines | St-Emilion 2017 wines
Pomerol 2017 wines | Graves 2017 reds | Graves 2017 whites
Coming soon: Médoc and Haut-Médoc appellations plus Sauternes, Barsac and Right Bank appellations outside of St-Emilion and Pomerol.
As potential drinkers and buyers of these wines, we can feel bad for them, but our main concern is the results in the glass. Overall, I would say 2017 is a bronze to silver year, in the Decanter World Wine Awards ratings, with some clear pockets of gold. There are some wonderful wines, but it is not a vintage to buy blind.
The range of my scores go from 80 (I don’t really bother going below unless there is a clear fault, because I think that is low enough to get the picture without being needlessly unkind) to several at 98 and just two potential 100 pointers, both white wines. It’s a year when 90 and upwards are really worth looking out for – and the ones that have headed over 94 or 95 and upwards are truly exceptional.
If the price reflects this, it’s a year when I would definitely recommend careful buying – there is no reason at all to let the difficulties of the vintage obscure the fact that there is an awful lot of pleasure and success out there.
There were clearly no hard and fast rules about how to deal with a year where there was an early bud burst, an uneven and often devastating frost impact, an exceptionally hot June followed by three days of heavy rain at the end of the month that returned the vines to growth (sometimes a little too much), followed by an extremely dry summer with cool nights, and an early harvest that was on occasion interrupted by September rains.
As a general rule there was less rain in September 2017 than in the same month of 2015 but it fell over more days; so complicated the harvest a little bit more. An early vintage has one huge advantage that has held true this year – generally speaking fermentations seem to have gone easily and quickly and a lot of blends were done and dusted by the end of November.
So although there were rains during the en primeur tasting week, the wines themselves had at least a few more months than normal to get stable.
In terms of drinking, 2017 will be earlier to approach than the 2015s or 2016s, probably coming into play around the same time as the 2014s, so think six to eight years rather than 10 to 12. There is a restraint and savoury quality to the fruit almost across the board, even in the most successful of cases.
Back to the main Bordeaux en primeur page, featuring latest releases
Château Haut-Batailley has issued an apparent statement of intent under new ownership by releasing its 2017 wine at a significantly higher price than its previous en primeur release, the 2015 vintage.Château Haut-Batailley vineyards. The estate was bought by the owners of Pauillac neighbour Lynch-Bages in 2017, but the price was not disclosed.
Château Haut-Batailley released its 2017 wine in this year’s Bordeaux en primeur campaign at 42 euros per bottle ex-Bordeaux, up by 46% on the equivalent 2015 vintage release, which first emerged at 28.8 euros per bottle.
The 2015 was itself released at a 33% higher price than the 2014, but the 2017 hike will be seen as a re-positioning of the estate following its acquisition last year by the Cazes family, of Château Lynch-Bages.
Haut-Batailley’s 2016 vintage was not released en primeur, due to the timing of the acquisition.
Jane Anson rated Haut-Batailley 2017 at 92 points and described it as ‘rich and deep’ and showing ‘real promise’.
She also noted that ‘we can expect big changes [at the estate] over the next few years with an extensive replanting programme planned’.See Jane’s full note on Haut-Batailley 2017
Haut-Batailley joins several estates to release early in the annual primeur campaign, including Château Palmer, Valandraud and Coutet. Palmer cut its price by 20% versus 2016.
Farr Vintners was today (25 April) selling Haut-Batailley 2017 for £248 per six bottles in bond, with Berry Bros & Rudd offering the same amount for £249, or three magnums for £255, also in bond.
‘Collectors of this estate might alternatively find buying opportunities in the newly bottled 2015,’ said Liv-ex analysts.
Wine Lister said that trade confidence in Haut Batailley had risen in the past year.
‘A price increase of 46% on the 2015 release, putting the 2017 well above any vintage currently in the market, sends a strong message that Haut-Batailley’s new owners, the Cazes family, have big plans for the brand,’ Lister said.
For a sense of comparison, Haut-Batailley 2015, which was recently bottled, had a retail price of £550 per 12 bottles on Millesima UK this week, while Fine & Rare Marketplace was offering 12 bottles for £375, also at retail price.
In the US, the 2015 wine was $49.99 per bottle in bond on Wine.com.Search all Bordeaux 2017 ratings and tasting notes published so far on Decanter Premium
The post Bordeaux 2017: Haut-Batailley aims high with sharp price rise appeared first on Decanter.
Ratings and in-depth tasting notes on top Bordeaux 2017 performers in key appellations have today (24 April) been made exclusively available to Decanter Premium members.
See below to find out which wines scored at least 95 points following Jane's tasting of hundreds of en primeur wines.
You have gathered by now that Bordeaux 2017 is not the easiest of vintages to describe. It’s a year where technical details count, and where there is a deserved sense of satisfaction in winemakers when they have done a good job, as well as guilty relief in many who were not affected by frost. As potential drinkers and buyers of these wines, we can feel bad for them, but our main concern is the results in the glass.
Overall, I would say 2017 is a bronze to silver year, in the Decanter World Wine Awards ratings, with some clear pockets of gold.
There are some wonderful wines, but it is not a vintage to buy blind. The range of my scores go from 80 (I don’t really bother going below unless there is a clear fault, because I think that is low enough to get the picture without being needlessly unkind) to several at 98 and just two potential 100 pointers, both white wines.
It’s a year when 90 and upwards are really worth looking out for – and the ones that have headed over 94 or 95 and upwards are truly exceptional. If the price reflects this, it’s a year when I would definitely recommend careful buying – there is no reason at all to let the difficulties of the vintage obscure the fact that there is an awful lot of pleasure and success out there. JAJane’s Bordeaux 2017 wines at 95 points and above:
Premium members can see bod red and dry white wines that scored at least 95 points, plus in-depth tasting notes, attached to this article below. You can find more wines published so far by following the links underneath to see Jane’s Bordeaux 2017 scores for several of the key appellations, from St-Estèphe through to St-Emilion, via Pessac-Léognan. Once you are in the reviews section, click the column header ‘score’ to filter by rating.St-Estèphe 2017 wines | Pauillac 2017 wines | St-Julien 2017 wines | Margaux 2017 wines Pessac-Léognan 2017 wines | St-Emilion 2017 wines | Pomerol 2017 wines
Coming soon: Jane Anson’s full overview of the 2017 vintage and more wines, including Médoc and Haut-Médoc appellations plus Sauternes, Barsac and Right Bank appellations outside of St-Emilion and Pomerol.
Search all Bordeaux 2017 ratings here
Paz Levinson is Acting Regional Chair for Argentina & South America at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards.
Paz Levinson works between Argentina and France as Sommelier, Consultant and Educator. In 2015 she has won the A.S.I. & APAS Best Sommelier of Americas. She came 4th at the A.S.I. Best Sommelier in the World competition held in Mendoza in 2016.
She has worked at the three Michelin star restaurant of the Hotel Le Bristol with Marco Pelletier and now she is head Sommelier at Virtus in Paris. Levinson commenced her wine career in her native Argentina, where she worked as head sommelier for a number of top-end restaurants, including Restó.
She taught at the Centro Argentino de Vinos y Espirituosas (CAVE) for five years and achieved her professional sommelier diploma from CAVE in 2006. At the same time, she completed a BA in literature, and she became the first Argentinean to pass the Court of Master Sommeliers’ Advanced sommelier certificate.
Levinson was named Best Sommelier of Argentina 2014 and 2010 by the Argentinean Association of Sommeliers. She has written for a number of magazines and sites including GuildSomm.
Levinson was first a DWWA judge in 2014.
Follow Paz on Twitter @pazlevinsonWines to drink with Rabbit – Paz Levinson
Matching wines for the Rabbit Pâté en Croute Domaine Valette, Réserve Particuliére Clos Reyssié, Pouilly-Fuissé, France 2006 There are many…
The post DWWA Regional Chair for Argentina & South America: Paz Levinson appeared first on Decanter.
See Jane Anson's Margaux 2017 en primeur scores and tasting notes, exclusive to Decanter Premium members.
More appellations to follow.
Partly because of the notorious frost, 2017 is a vintage where the technical details really do count, said Jane Anson.See the top scoring Margaux 2017 wines below See all Margaux 2017 scores and tasting notes here. See Jane’s top scorers across the Bordeaux 2017 vintage here
The following wines have scored 91 points and above. For all Margaux 2017 wines, click on the above link.