An anonymous Australian investor has bought Château Vieux Paquillon in Montagne-St-Emilion to take advantage of Australia's current 'love affair' with Bordeaux.Vieux Paquillon sold to Australian investor.
Vieux Paquillon has become the latest of several wine estates to change hands on Bordeaux’s Right Bank in the past 15 months.
Estate agency Vineyards-Bordeaux said that the Montagne-St-Emilion château was bought by an Australian buyer keen to purchase quality assets with ‘investment potential’, following an ‘extensive search process across several Bordeaux appellations, including St-Emilion’.
It did not identify the buyer, who was reported to have paid close the asking price of 2.12 million euros for Vieux Paquillon, which has around 12.6 hectares of vineyard. The precise fee was not confirmed.
Vieux Paquillon had previously been owned by Andre Benoist since 2004. Benoist also owns Château La Bergère in AOC Montagne-St-Emilion.
A spokesman for the buyer said, ‘Australia is having a love affair with Bordeaux and its wines at the moment.
‘However, although we will pursue domestic Australian markets, our plan is to maintain many of the existing distribution channels that the Benoist family have established.
‘We believe that the St-Emilion satellite appellations provide a very interesting investment opportunity and we are also excited to be able to work with Camille Benoist to develop wine distribution in the future.’
Camille Benoist, who owns the La Bergère negociant business, has signed a purchase agreement with Vieux Paquillon’s new owner to collaborate on sales for the next four vintages.
More winery deals could be in the pipeline for Bordeaux in general.
Michael Baynes, of Vineyards-Bordeaux, said, ‘This transaction represents the fourth vineyard transaction of 2018 for Vineyards-Bordeaux.
‘With five further vineyards under negotiation with [letters of intent] currently, the interest from French and international investors remains confident in the Bordeaux vineyard market.’
Vineyards-Bordeaux is exclusive affiliate to Christie’s International Real Estate.Coming soon: Jane Anson’s Bordeaux 2017 en primeur notes, exclusively for Premium members
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St George's Day in England marked a further flurry of Port 2016 vintage declarations, with Sandeman plus the Fladgate Partnership's Croft, Fonseca and Taylor's all joining the club.Port cellars at Taylor's, well-known for its vintage and wood-aged Ports.
Fladgate said that all three of its houses had declared the 2016 vintage on 23 April, according to custom.
They were joined by Sandeman, where excitement around the 2016 vintage in the cellar began early.
‘As soon as the grapes arrived at our Quinta do Seixo winery, we knew this was the best we had seen since the last declaration in 2011,’ says Luis Sottomayor, the winemaker responsible for Sandeman and Offley Ports.
The new declarations add to those previously made by Symington Family Estates across all of its houses, including Cockburn’s, Dow’s, Graham’s and Warre’s, plus a declaration by Quinta do Noval.
‘The keynotes of 2016 are purity and refinement,’ said Fladgate’s MD, Adrian Bridge.
But, he warned that below-average yields could tighten supplies.
‘The amount of 2016 Vintage Port offered will be relatively restricted and allocations will be tight,’ he added.
Fladgate said that that 2016 Croft, Fonseca and Taylor’s would be available in most markets by autumn this year.
‘2016 is likely to be only the fourth fully declared vintage since 2000,’ Richard Mayson, Port expert, author and regional chair for Port and Madeira at the Decanter World Wine Awards, told Decanter.com in early April.
The post Croft, Fonseca, Taylor’s, Sandeman join Port 2016 declarations appeared first on Decanter.
The new president of Heitz Cellars, the renowned Napa Valley estate bought by billionaire businessman Gaylon Lawrence Jr, has outlined some of his early priorities at the estate.Heitz Cellar is now owned by Gaylon Lawrence Jr.
The sale of Heitz Cellars, announced last week, marks Gaylon Lawrence Jr’s first foray into wine, although his family has 75 years of experience in the agriculture industry.
Kathleen Heitz Myers, former CEO and President of Heitz, said the family unanimously decided it was time to move on.
‘We sold to the Lawrences because we believe in family businesses and you could see the passion and vision that they had for Heitz Cellars moving forward,’ she said.
Founded in 1961, Heitz is perhaps most well-known for its Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon; Heitz began buying the vineyard’s grapes in 1965 and agreed to put the name on bottle labels from 1966. Ownership of Martha’s Vineyard itself was not part of the Lawrence deal, according to reports.
Robert Boyd, the wine industry veteran who has been appointed by Lawrence to usher in the new era of Heitz, said that the fact this was a family-to-family transaction means there won’t be any immediate or major changes to the Heitz brand.
‘It’s an iconic brand,’ said Boyd, now Heitz president. ‘I think everyone knows and values the wine style and production that’s taken place since day one. There’s nothing that needs to be fixed, nothing that needs drastic attention.’
He added, ‘Half of the people I meet say, “Hey good luck. Don’t mess up”.’
Boyd mentioned that they are looking into producing some new single vineyard Cabernets, but that he mainly he sees room for improvement in two key areas on the sales and marketing side of things, which will be his main focus in the short term.
‘The company doesn’t really have a big direct-to-consumer presence and I think our industry is moving more towards that, so we will look at that more closely,’ he said.
Part of that, he continued, may include expanding upon and elevating the winery’s current tasting and tours offerings, which are available without appointment.
Heitz is one of the last remaining wineries in Napa Valley to still offer complimentary tastings, and it was unclear whether or not that will eventually change.
Editing by Chris MercerFor Premium members: Tasting notes and ratings for Heitz Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet
The post Heitz Cellars sale: New president outlines priorities appeared first on Decanter.
Château Palmer has leapt from the blocks in the Bordeaux en primeur campaign by releasing its 2017 wine at a lower price than the past two vintages, to cautious early optimism from the market.Wines at Decanter's Palmer masterclass at the Fine Wine Encounter in London in November 2016.
- Palmer 2017 released with 20% price drop on 2016
- Coutet and Valandraud also released as primeur campaign gets underway
Palmer 2017 was released today (23 April) at 192 euros ex-Bordeaux. That represents a 20% drop on the equivalent 2016 release price of 240 euros ex-Bordeaux.
It is also down on the 2015 release price of 210 euros ex-Bordeaux, yet still higher than the 2014 release price of 160 euros ex-Bordeaux, according to figures previously reported by Decanter in past en primeur campaigns.
Palmer, certified biodynamic and a third growth that is dubbed a ‘super second’ of Bordeaux’s 1855 classification, saw its 2017 first wine rated 95 points by Jane Anson, who tasted the wine alongside hundreds of others for Decanter’s Bordeaux primeur coverage.See Jane Anson’s full tasting note for Château Palmer 2017
Coming soon: Hundreds of Bordeaux 2017 tasting notes, exclusively for Decanter Premium members
Palmer’s willingness to cut prices was generally welcomed in Bordeaux on Monday, Decanter.com understands.
During Bordeaux en primeur tasting week, Olivier Bernard, head of the UGC union for classified châteaux, told a press dinner, ‘If you are a wine lover, there is no reason to pay the same price [for 2017] as 2015 or 2016. I think most châteaux will price their wines sensibly in order to sell what they put on the market.’
Palmer 2017 was on offer at UK merchant Lay & Wheeler today (23 April) for £196 per bottle and for £1,176 per six-bottle case, in bond.
Millesima UK was selling a case of six bottles in bond for £1,188. In the US, Millesima’s US business was selling a six-bottle case for $1,602.
Liv-ex said that Palmer was, on average, being offered in the UK at £2,350 for a case of 12 bottles at retail price, which is 18% down on the 2016 release price.
The Margaux-based, biodynamic estate was understood to have held back around 50% of its production from the primeur campaign last year.
Palmer Alter Ego, the second wine, was also released at the start of the week, at 48 euros per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down 2% on the 2016 release price.
On the Right Bank, Valandraud 2017 was also released and was being priced by Farr vintners at £600 for a case of six bottles in bond.
Further south in Sauternes, Château Coutet released its Barsac 2017 wine at 27.60 euros per bottle ex-Bordeaux, which is a 4.5% increase on the 2016 release, according to Liv-ex.Back to the main Bordeaux en primeur page on Decanter.com
Try one of these English wines this summer, rated by our tastings team...Camel Valley vineyard.
From St. George’s Day and the arrival of a new royal baby, to the upcoming Royal wedding, there are plenty of reasons to drink English wines for a celebration.
In September 2017, it was reported that English wines make up over half of the UK Government’s cellar purchases.
Originally published in 2016 and updated in April 2018 with new wines. More wines will be added to this page following the Wines of Great Britain trade and press tasting on 26 April.
Andrew Jefford compares 2015 with 2016.Vines in Châteauneuf du Pape.
The question of what constitutes a good or great vintage in a period of global warming is an intriguing one.
Ample warmth and ripeness has always been considered the basic desideratum for a good or great vintage – and the higher a vineyard’s latitude, the truer this was.
Then 2003 thumped down on our doormats: a summer of such ferocity that Chardonnay grapes on leaf-thinned vines in Champagne turned to Bakelite before August was out, while Pomerol and Margaux wines on clayless gravels collapsed like starving camels. That vintage forced a reassessment of the desirability of raw heat. You could, after all, have too much of a good thing.
Producers in lower-latitude regions have always viewed a hot summer more circumspectly, and never more so than today, as criticism of higher alcohol levels has forced entire regions onto the defensive. Some began to think the unthinkable: that a cooler vintage in such regions might in fact be ‘better’ than a warm one.
Although intellectually tempting, the evidence doesn’t bear this out, at least for well-adapted grape varieties growing in long-established sites. Long, atypically cool seasons or stop-go seasons can certainly endow wines with some attractive qualities (freshness, liveliness, moderate alcohol levels), but this often comes with a lack of the inner wealth, drive and core required for optimum bottle maturation (one hallmark of ‘fine’ wine regions).
There may, too, be palpable evidence of mixed ripeness or under-ripeness in such vintages; fruit characters may be constrained and ungracious; tannins overly evanescent. Many lower latitude (‘warm climate’) regions could provide examples of this, but anyone tasting widely among the wines of Southern France in 2013 and 2014 would be able to note these kind of features, for better or worse. The initial high hopes for the cool but dry 2013 vintage in Languedoc, for example, haven’t materialised, and some of the wines now look a little shy, ungenerous and atypical.
Conclusion: even in lower latitudes, and even over a pulse of global warming, a good or great vintage still requires a generous season for optimum engustment (defined by John Gladstones as “the build up and conservation of flavour and aroma compounds in the berries”) and the great, enduring wines which can be fermented from such fruit.
But what kind of ‘warm, generous’ season? That’s the key question – and a comparison of the wines of Châteauneuf du Pape in 2015 and 2016 makes a perfect test case. I recently travelled to the region to take a first look at the two vintages side-by-side. It was instructive.
Both are, unquestionably, good vintages, based on warm and sometimes hot, dry summers. Both have that inner wealth, drive and core which marks them out from 2013 and 2014. But, as I learned from my friend Dirk Niepoort 30 years ago, “the biggest enemy of a good wine is a better one”, and if you taste a range of 2015s alongside their 2016 equivalents, you will inevitably find the 2016s better. The 2016 vintage in Châteauneuf is vivacious, energetic and complete, whereas 2015 in Châteauneuf is more open-pored, luscious and languid.
What were the seasonal differences? Both vintages got off to an early start, but spring was a little moister in 2016, and the Grenache flowered more successfully. In 2015, the three summer months of June, July and August were remorselessly hot, and young or more vulnerable vines suffered from drought stress. Not so in 2016, since the hot summer days were followed by unusually cool nights, and in any case the daytime heat tended to ease back once the mercury reached the mid thirties centigrade. Summer 2016 was punctuated by occasional timely showers, where the refreshment of rain came only at the very end of the growing season in 2015.
Since yields were also unusually generous in 2016, it’s little wonder that many growers describe it as having been (in the words of Julien Barrot of Domaine de la Barroche) “perfect. Perfect for all palates. I love 2015, but everyone will love 2016.” (And, by the way, 2017 isn’t far adrift of 2016 either – but quantities are far, far smaller.)
In order to identify vintage characters most closely, I looked at the ‘tradition’ cuvée of a cross-section of representative domains rather than the sometimes atypical special cuvées; the 2016 wines (and even one 2015) are mostly unfinished and unbottled. Notes on five outstanding pairs of wines follow, but one general point in particular is worth making, since it underlines just how complex a matter is the often controversial question of alcohol in warm-climate wines.
Alcohols, growers assured me, are nearly always higher in 2016 than in 2015 – yet I suspect that the vast majority of tasters would find that the 2015 wines taste ‘more alcoholic’ than the 2016s. That’s because the 2016s have a fresher fruit style, with less palpable sweetness and brisker tannins. They sometimes have slightly higher acidity, but above all have more gathered focus and energy. Even when they reach 16.5% (as some do), they taste balanced, whereas some of the 2015s can taste warm and a little dry at 14.5% or 15%. The question of alcohol can never be assessed in isolation: it’s the whole wine which counts.
Wines compared below are 2015 and 2016 vintages of: Les Cailloux, Clos St Jean, Ch. la Nerthe, Pierre Usseglio et Fils, Le Vieux Donjon.
Notes below are available to Decanter Premium members
Read more Andrew Jefford columns on Decanter.com See Matt Walls’ full report on the Rhône 2016 vintage
The post Jefford on Monday: Châteauneuf – nuancing greatness appeared first on Decanter.
Peter Forrestal considers what makes this region of Western Australia so highly regarded, and recommends great wines for the cellar and for drinking, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Semillon-Sauvignon Blanc and even a Tempranillo.
Margaret River celebrated 50 years of winemaking in style in 2017; the region has never made better wines.
It’s arguably Australia’s premier Cabernet region, its Chardonnays are among the country’s finest, and many of these are world-class wines.
Peter Forrestal is a freelance wine writer, author and wine judge based in Perth, Western Australia. This article first appeared in Decanter magazine’s December 2017 issue.Related content:
Cool-climate Australian Chardonnay: Panel tasting results
Diversity in both terroir and winemaking in Australia’s cool-climate regions is resulting in an exciting spectrum of premium Chardonnays, as…Australia’s finest: Langton’s Top 40
Australia's finest wines, by Sarah Ahmed...Value Australian Shiraz – panel tasting results
Are Aussie producers doing enough in the sub-£20 category? The Australian value Shiraz panel tasting promises to reveal all...
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From quality Pinot Grigio to Spanish Txakoli, pick a wine rated by our experts and get it chilling...Find a great white wine to enjoy in the sun.
When the sun is shining, there are few things more refreshing than a cool glass of white wine, whatever your favourite style.
- Scroll down for our wine recommendations
If you love Pinot Grigio or Gris, we’ve got some quality recommendations for under £30.
For other crisp, dry, fruit-driven whites, try our top Chablis alternatives, our Galician whites panel tasting or our Australian Riesling panel tasting – a great ‘all-rounder’ style for barbecues, according to our guide.
If you enjoy whites with a slightly more weight and oak, check out some of our top rated New Zealand Chardonnays.
Impress your friends with the white wine style to try for 2018 – Txakoli.
If enjoying your wine on a picnic, make sure you remember the essentials: a corkscrew, ice packs or ice and glasses.
Take your pick of the wines below, all tasted and rated by Decanter‘s experts. Then all you have to do is get the bottle in the fridge…Top white wines for summer:
- Should you put ice cubes in wine?
- Which red wines are best for chilling?
- Best wines for a barbecue
- Top rosé wines for summer
London luxury department store Harrods has opened its fine wine and spirits rooms, which include interactive features such as an 'aroma table' and were reportedly a 'multi-million pound' investment for the retailer.
The new Harrods wine rooms were designed by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, taking inspiration from 1920s decor, and include a marble patterned floor.
‘The new rooms will break down barriers and change perceptions on the world of wines and spirits by focusing more on the flavour profile of the product, rather than the specific categories and brands,’ said Alex Dower, director of food and restaurants at Harrods.
The previous Harrods wine room had been in the basement of the department store, but was moved for a restaurant to be built.
In the new fine wines room, wines are categorised by terroir, to help customers explore wines from regions they previously hadn’t considered, according to a statement from Harrods.
There is also an ‘aroma table’ with scents to guide customers through the flavour profiles of different grapes.See also: Tasting notes decoded
Both the Champagne and sparkling wines room, and the spirits room are also arranged by flavour profile.
Cognac producer Louis XIII has opened its first boutique outside of Beijing within the spirits room, Harrods said.
There is also an ‘education’ room, with live streaming to vineyards and winemakers.
Shoppers can also commission personal engravings for bottles, as well as book consultations and discuss bespoke cellar plans.See also: Decanter Retailer Awards 2017 – see the winners
Extreme weather across many wine regions in 2017 may be more than a blip, according to fresh data from one of Europe's leading science agencies that says wildfires, droughts and flooding are becoming more common globally due to man-made climate change.
Frost in Champagne
Weather has become more volatile and more extreme in the past 36 years, said the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council (EASAC) in a recent report.
Flooding ‘events’ have quadrupled globally since 1980, while droughts, forest fires and extreme heatwaves have more than doubled in that time, said the council, which is made up of 27 national science academies in Europe, including the UK’s Royal Aacademy.
Its report, published in March 2018 and which profiles a continuing trend from a previous study published in 2013, adds to evidence that climate change is creating more volatile weather, as well as higher temperatures.
While the potential risks to life are clearly the most pressing concern, the EASAC report also has resonance in a wine world that endured a heady mix of extreme weather events in 2017.
As Decanter columnist Andrew Jefford put it recently, ‘2017 must be regarded as one of the most disaster-strewn years the wine world has endured since the onset of phylloxera.’
Dr Greg Jones, a specialist on climate change and its potential effects on vineyards, told Decanter.com,’For wine regions, there is evidence that varies from region to region but ultimately shows that hail and heavy rain events are more frequent and that heat stress events are more frequent and longer.’
Jones, who is director at the Grace & Ken Evenstad Center for Wine Education at Linfield College in Oregon, added, ‘In the early 1990s when I started looking at climate change and wine it was clear that there were trends in temperatures, but also trends to more variability in temperatures as well (standard deviation increasing).
‘This meant that even though the climate was warming, it was becoming more variable. Or in other words, wider swings in cold extremes and heat extremes. This has been borne out over the years and I continue see it in other work I have done.’
EASAC called for urgent action to mitigate threats posed by man-made climate change.
‘Adaptation and mitigation must remain the cornerstones of tackling climate change,’ said professor Michael Norton, EASAC’s environment programme director.
‘This update is most timely since the European Commission is due to release its evaluation of its climate strategy this year.’
Make the most of the summer sunshine with one of these top rosés, tasted by our experts. Whether you're at a barbecue, heading to the beach or relaxing in the garden - do it with a cool glass of refreshing rosé in hand...
Summer is the season for chilled rosé, to be enjoyed during the heat of the day, or on into the balmy nights. From clear pink quartz to glassy topaz, rosé is as beautiful as it is palatable.
- Scroll down for top rosé wines
These rosés were have been selected by those tasted by Decanter experts, and come from a variety of regions – from Rioja to the Loire, Provence to Portugal.
Rosé wine sales have developed from the bottom up, gaining momentum due to its uncomplicated style and pretty colour. The growth in premium rosé is changing this category, as more complex wines appear.
The best wines tend to show a complex range of fruit characters (strawberry, redcurrant, cherry, peach, rhubarb, pomegranate and floral notes), fresh crunchy, zesty or leafy acidity, and hints of orange peel, garrigue, herbs or a savoury note. Fruit intensity rather than neutrality is also important.
Colour has little correlation with quality, contrary to some popular opinion, and instead more closely colour reflects variety and origin.
At a previous Decanter tasting, some rosés were almost water-white in colour, with little fruit character, suggesting that more effort had gone into appearance than taste.
Price gives a vague indication of quality, with only one of the top 10 wines under £15. But it’s not a guarantee. Best advice: know a good wine merchant.More ideas for summer wines:
Jane Anson considers the mechanics of putting together a tasting note, and what factors she believes are worth considering.
I’ve been thinking a lot about wine notes recently. Bear in mind that this is the period when I am writing up Bordeaux en primeur wine notes, across Left and Right Banks, plus Sauternes – this year for Decanter Premium – and you can start to see why I might be eating, sleeping and dreaming tasting notes.
As I often find, whether researching for a book or writing up vertical tasting reports, one of the tough things is deciding how much technical information to include.
A tasting note about a finished, bottled wine needs to give an accurate reflection of what someone will find when they pull the cork.
En primeur notes are a different kind of challenge, because here it is not so much about what the wine tastes like today, but what it will become.
That means trying to pick apart the different elements of a young wine that is not even bottled yet, to see if it has the necessary quantity, quality and balance to develop over time, and for how long.
You want to suggest when a wine might be ready to drink, and why.How to write your own tasting notes – A guide by Andrew Jefford
In both cases, I tend to think that giving a certain amount of technical information is helpful. But not everyone agrees.
Even alcohol is considered unimportant for most American wine reviewers. I had a discussion with a prominent American wine writer about this recently, and he was very clear that his readers were not interested in alcohol levels and didn’t find them helpful to record in his notes.
In fact he believed that it could be extremely unhelpful, because alcohol is perceived differently according to grapes, regions and styles of wine and/or producer – or even, for different tasters, according to the time of day or what food they pair with it.
I can see his point. There are always wines that remind you that you know nothing. Ausone from St-Emilion is one, with its 100% new oak that melts away into its perfect balance. And there’s Pingus from Ribera del Duero, into which 15% alcohol somehow disappears without a trace.
But I still believe that to make an informed judgement on whether to buy a wine, and to anticipate what you are going to find in the bottle, there are certain facts that are helpful. And all those variables mentioned by my American colleague are exactly why providing readers with some technical information is helpful.
We can’t second-guess how people are interpreting our notes, so it is surely useful to give them the tools with which to read and use a review as they need.
A 15% wine enjoyed with supper at home, for example, is a very different proposition to that same wine at a lunch table when you have a meeting immediately afterwards, never mind how perfectly in balance it is. Our role is to do our best to help buyers make informed choices, so in my opinion these things matter.
If a wine is given a rich vanilla flavour though the addition of oak chips rather than barrel ageing, it might not affect enjoyment in the short term, but it will mean its ageing ability is impaired.
And if a wine is brought to balance through manipulation in the cellar (it’s not unheard of to add sugar to increase alcohol and then tartaric acid to freshen things up), it will rarely age as well as one that reached that natural balance in the vineyard.
Not all technical information is useful, and we might not get it right every time. But thinking about these things forces us to look deeper at a wine and its building blocks – and that seems fair not only to the reader, but also to the winemaker who has spent his year working towards its being in bottle.
This column was originally published in Decanter magazine in 2017 and has been updated for Decanter.com.
Jane Anson’s ratings and tasting notes for hundreds of Bordeaux 2017 en primeur wines will be published online exclusively for Decanter Premium members next weekHow to join Decanter Premium
Château Petrus has confirmed that it will file a counter-appeal against a court ruling allowing a Côtes de Bordeaux wine to carry the name Petrus on its label.Few wines can match the acclaim, and auction prices, achieved by Pomerol's Château Petrus.
The comments by Château Petrus came days after news that CGM Vins had successfully argued for a court to overturn a previous judgement preventing sales of its wine, Petrus Lambertini No 2.
Meanwhile, a wine and intellectual property lawyer, Jean-Baptiste Thial de Bordenave, described the latest court ruling as ‘legalising parasitism’ and warned that it could bode ill for the Bordeaux region.
Château Petrus said that the case against CGM was about the risk of consumers being misled.
‘A procedure was launched in 2011 against CGM because a seller on the internet was trying to sell one of the bottles marketed by this company, pretending it was our second wine,’ Petrus said in an emailed statement. The Pomerol-based Château added that a separate civil case about the use of its name was also underway.
CGM Vins director Stéphane Coureau said in an email that its official trademark, ‘Coureau & Coureau Petrus Lambertini Major Burdegalensis 1208′, has been legally registered since its creation and that he was currently marketing the 2015 vintage.
He did not provide current volume or value figures, but CGM’s website says that it made 20,000 bottles of Petrus Lambertini No. 2 and 12,000 bottles of Petrus Lambertini from the 2011 vintage.
Coureau said the wine was named after the first mayor of Bordeaux – Pierre Lambert, or in Latin, Petrus Lambertini.
‘Lambertini defended the city of Bordeaux against the King of Spain in 1208. For his heroism he was congratulated by the King of England, John Lackland. Our wine, is a piece of the story of Bordeaux and also of the history of England.’
He also said the wines’ background stories are different and suggested that consumers would understand the historical difference. ‘One speaks of the first Mayor of Bordeaux and the other of the first Pope of Catholics. There is no risk of confusion for the average consumer [as] the [appeal] court has fully recognised.’
However, while CGM’s winning appeal judgement argued there are enough differences between the Petrus and Petrus Lambertini labels to avoid confusion, lawyer Thial de Bordenave said that this was only part of the problem.
‘Even if there is no risk of confusion, there is a risk of association for the consumer,’ said Thial de Bordenave, who was not personally involved in the case. ‘They might not think it is Petrus, but they might think it is the second or third wine.’
A six-litre ‘imperial’ bottle of Petrus sold for £45,410 at a Sotheby’s wine auction in London in March 2018.
Just published exclusively on Premium:Jane Anson’s first impressions of Bordeaux 2017
The post Petrus to launch counter-appeal against name ruling appeared first on Decanter.
What are tasters referring to when they assess tannins? And why are they important?What are tannins in wine?What are tannins? – ask Decanter
Tannins are a group of compounds found naturally in grape skins. They can also be found in black tea and traces in some berries.
They contribute importantly to the structure and ageing potential of red wines.
‘They may be flavourless and odourless, but tannins are one of the key constituents in red wine,’ said Matt Walls, regional chair for the Rhône at the DWWA.
‘In grapes, these compounds are found primarily in the skins, seeds and stems, so they tend to be more prevalent in reds.’See also: Tasting notes decoded Structure and texture
‘Tannins are responsible for providing red wine with most of its texture and physical impact in the mouth – more specifically, they produce feelings of astringency and bitterness, which can be pleasing in small amounts,’ said Walls.
‘Over time, tannins can change in the way they feel, often becoming softer and less astringent – this is one of the key reasons wines we age certain types of wines before drinking them.’
When tasting wine, you will often feel the presence of tannins on the gums of your teeth.See also: What is the tannin scale? – ask Decanter Tasting en primeur
Decanter’s Bordeaux correspondent Jane Anson notes that when tasting wines en primeur, you are looking for ‘the amount of tannin in the wine, for structure’, alongside other elements such as acidity and fruit – which will indicate the quality and ageing potential of a wine.
When tasting young wines en primeur, the tannins will feel quite harsh and prominent, as they have not had time to age and soften over time.See more wine questions here
See fresh tasting notes and ratings on the flagship red wine of this Languedoc 'grand cru' from 2010 to 2016, plus a barrel sample of the 2017 vintage, written by Andrew Jefford and available exclusively to Premium members.A view across Mas de Daumas Gassac vineyards.
Tasting notes below by Andrew Jefford. Introduction by Chris Mercer.
Mas de Daumas Gassac has achieved acclaim around the world for its red wine, an intricate blend of grape varieties from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to Nebbiolo, Dolcetto and Pinot Noir.
It is produced on relatively high ground in the hinterland of Languedoc-Roussillon, on sloping vineyards between Aniane and St-Guilhem Le Désert, the medieval village that lies in the steep gorge of the Hérault river and is recognised as one of the most beautiful villages in France.
Founded by the late Aimé Guibert in 1971, with his wife Véronique, Daumas Gassac has spent decades in the vanguard of a movement towards quality in a French region traditionally more associated with cheap table wines.Scroll down to see Andrew Jefford’s new tasting notes for Mas de Daumas Gassac Rouge
The post Mas de Daumas Gassac red wines: Recent vintages tasted appeared first on Decanter.
They can match a multitude of foods, are easy to find, in-expensive, can be chilled yet with enough punch to push through any food that has been above the coals for a length of time. Decanter.com looks at the best wines for a summer barbecue.
Summer is a time to take to the coals, when the sun is shining and the weather is sweet.
Friends and family gather al fresco bringing an array of salads, sides and condiments to accompany the classic, yet varied, barbecue choices.Scroll down for wine recommendations
Wine plays a central and important part in rounding off the perfect barbecue, but are all too often served incorrectly or with completely the wrong food – you should count yourself lucky if you have escaped holding a plate with a burnt item resembling meat holding a plastic cup of warm Chardonnay.What are classic barbecue (BBQ) wine pairings?
Here are some of the top matches for classic barbecue dishes. For ease of use, we’ve overlooked the uses of marinades and sauces.
- Steak – Malbec, Syrah/Shiraz, Zinfandel
- Burgers – Touriga Nacional, Syrah, Zinfandel, and Côtes du Rhone.
- Sausages – Beer, Malbec, Southern French, Tempranillo
- Chicken – Warmer climate Chardonnay
- Pork Chops – Cider, Valpolicella, Barbera, New World Pinot Noir, dry rosé, Riesling
- Salmon – Rosé Champagne or Cava, New World Pinot Noir, Gamay, dry rosé, New World Riesling, Pinot Gris
- Halloumi – Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, Chenin Blanc, Chablis, Friulano, Verdejo, Assyrtiko, New World Riesling, dry rosé, Prosecco
Of course it would be simply impractical to purchase so many different types of wine.
There are some good all-rounders that tick many of the boxes needed for a great barbecue; it can match a multitude of foods, it’s easy to find, in-expensive, can be chilled yet with enough punch to push through any food that has been above the white hot coals for a length of time.
- New World Pinot Noir
- Vins de pays whites and reds
- Dry Rosé
- New world Riesling
- Methode Champenoise sparkling
- See also: 20 Summer wine under £20
A cooler red offset against piping hot, flamed meat, is the only way to serve wine at a barbecue. And avoid plastic cups if possible.Great BBQ wines from Decanter
First published in August 2016. Wines have been updated in April 2018.
Tributes have been paid to Leonildo 'Nino' Pieropan, a pioneer of Soave wine quality in Italy and widely respected winemaker, who has died aged 71.All of Pieropan's 46ha of vineyards were certified organic in 2015
Leonildo Pieropan, known simply as Nino Pieropan, died on 13 April at home and surrounded by his family, according to UK importer Liberty Wines.
He will be remembered as a standard-bearer for wine quality in Italy’s Soave region, and in particular for championing recognition of single vineyard ‘cru’ sites, as well as for the ageing potential of the area’s white wines.
‘What would the Soave be if he had never existed?,’ asked Giancarolo Gariglio in an article for Slow Wine in Italy. ‘It would be a poorer denomination,’ he concluded, describing Pieropan as a ‘monument’ in Italian wine.
David Gleave, managing director of the Liberty Wines merchant in the UK, also paid tribute to Pieropan, who graduated in 1966 from the oenological school in Conegliano and began running his family’s estate a year later.
‘A walk through the vineyards with Nino was always educational, as he would explain in detail why the vines were trained the way they were and why he picked when he did,’ said Gleave in an obituary published on the Liberty website.
‘His first bold experiment was to bottle the 1971 vintage from the Calvarino vineyard (purchased by his grandfather in 1901) as a single vineyard Soave Classico. This was at a time when most Soave was being sold was in two litre bottles, primarily to the North American market.’
Pieropan’s Calvarino remains a highly sought-after wine.
‘Urged by the great Luigi Veronelli to take the high road of quality, Nino started to prove, with that wine, that the best wines of Soave could age beautifully and could, in the right hands, be considered among Italy’s finest white wines,’ said Gleave.
In an article on Soave published in Decanter magazine’s May 2018 issue, author Michael Apstein said, ‘Pieropan consistently makes great wines, from its Soave Classico to its cru, that have precision, reflect their origins and develop marvellously with a decade or more of bottle age.’
He described the 1995 Soave Classico ‘Superiore’ as ‘magnificent, with a Riesling-like nose and a waxy, creamy texture’.
Nino’s sons, Andrea and Dario, eventually joined Nino and wife Teresita in running the winery.
The Pieropan family also began making Valpolicella after buying land in Tregnago, in Val d’Illasi, to plant red grapes in 2002.
Dario Pieropan is today cellarmaster at the family winery and Andrea is vineyard manager.
The Pieropan estate was founded in 1880 and is believed to have been the first to use the ‘Soave’ name on labels, in 1932. The Soave DOC was not born until 1968.
Calabria is one of southern Italy's most exciting wine regions for indigenous grape varieties, says Walter Speller, who picks several wine producers to know about.Ferrocinto vineyards
These producers first appeared in the regional profile of Calabria in the May 2018 issue of Decanter. Decanter Premium subscribers can read the full article here.Six Calabria producers to know ’A Vita
Francesco de Franco is one of a handful of young Cirò producers who strictly adheres to organic protocols. Due to their highly original expressions of the red Gaglioppo grape, these producers have been dubbed ‘Cirò Revolution’. De Franco makes complex, long-lived wines that defy the region’s undeserved label of rustic and tannic – a reputation that led to a controversial change of rules to allow the blending of international varieties. His complex Riserva, which stays on the skins for 40 days, clearly shows the fallacy of that change of rule.Ferrocinto
No newcomer, Ferrocinto (pictured top) was founded in 1658, but the estate’s potential has only been revealed since 2000 with the replanting of its vineyards, located in the Pollino Mountains at 600m above sea level, with a strong focus on indigenous varieties – notably Magliocco Dolce. Research in its experimental vineyard has unearthed a further 20 local varieties that are completely unknown and potentially interesting. Winemaker Stefano Coppola makes blends of Magliocco Dolce and the more rustic Magliocco Canino, while cask samples of pure Magliocco Dolce show huge class.Giuseppe Calabrese
Agricultural college drop-out Giuseppe Calabrese planted his first vines at the age of 10. He took over old vineyards from his grandmother in 2007 and only started to bottle under his own name in 2013. The tiny plots, scattered around the Pollino Mountains – several of which still have alberello-trained vines – have been tended organically, and the approach in the cellar is completely hands-off. Calabrese’s pure Magliocco Dolce is energetic and a little wild, while his finely chiselled tannins call to mind Nebbiolo.Librandi
No one has done more for Cirò than the historic estate of Librandi. The release in 1988 of Gravello, an award-winning Gaglioppo-Cabernet Sauvignon blend, paved the way for wider international recognition of the winery’s Duca Sanfelice Riserva Cirò, which helped shine a spotlight on the denomination. Librandi was also trailblazing in its research into local grape varieties, planted in its experimental vineyard, and was one of the first producers to realise the potential of Magliocco Dolce, evidenced by the release of Magno Megonio back in 1998.Serracavallo
A newcomer to wine, Demetrio Stancati planted French grape varieties on his family’s estate in 1995, because, as he admits, this attracted the attention of journalists at a time when very few people had heard about this wild corner of Calabria. The vineyards of his Serracavallo estate are situated in the windy hills of La Sila, a rugged nature reserve, where large diurnal temperature differences render wonderfully supple wines. Several Serracavallo wines are blends of Magliocco Dolce and Cabernet Sauvignon, but the most original rendition is pure Magliocco Dolce.Terre del Gufo
Eugenio Muzzillo is fast advancing as a Magliocco Dolce specialist. All 5ha of vineyards on his Terre di Gufo estate, which sit at 500m altitude, have been planted with this variety. As one of the very few winemakers located here, the production of Muzzillo’s Magliocco keeps the tiny, historic Donnici denomination alive. So far, he has been unable to label his Magliocco Dolce as such because – due to a bizarre quirk of fate – only the rustic Magliocco Canino has been officially registered in Italy’s national register of grape varieties. Apparently, official correction is underway – not least because of Muzzillo’s work.Premium members can read full Decanter magazine articles online here
Michaela Morris tastes Conti Costanti at the Colle a Matrichese estate, including a 'captivating' 1975 vintage and a piece of history from 1967...The Constanti vineyardsTasting Conti Costanti wines: 1967 – 2013
As soon as I arrive at the Colle a Matrichese estate, Andrea Costanti leads me up the tower with a bird’s eye view over northern Montalcino.
It’s a scorching afternoon at end of August, exacerbated by a hot breeze. This doesn’t seem to bother Costanti.
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