Anne Krebiehl heralds Veuve Clicquot’s new multi-vintage Champagne, Extra Brut Extra Old, as a triumph and something unusual for Champagne… something actually quite new. At a tasting with Veuve’s chef de cave Dominique Demarville Anne discovers the secret of this bold new blend – it is made purely from reserve wines spanning vintages from 2010 way back to 1988. As well as tasting the new wine she gives full tasting notes on the base wines that make up the blend.
Wines from Portugal have been enjoying impressive growth worldwide thanks to improvements in both the quality and range of wines over recent years. It is the DOC and regional wines that have been driving this growth much more than the entry level wines, and this has also had the effect of delivering a message about Portugal itself – both its regions and its culture. Justin Keay gets the lowdown from Vini Portugal’s Nuno Vale then picks out the highlights from the tasting itself.
Three bottles of Malbec were shipped from Argentina to the middle of rural France where I tasted the wines simultaneously with Graffigna winemaker Nacho Lopez 11,000km away. A fun stunt for Malbec World Day, perhaps, but a giant leap forwards for us digital wine journalists the world over. I have seen the future of modern wine journalism and it is virtual wine tasting.
Hundreds of bottles opened, thousands of samples poured (many spat out again, many not), the annual importer Spring tastings season is over and we’ve learnt a lot. As well as tasting some fantastic wines – new and old – there’s a lot to discover at these tastings and many of the logistical elements of the day give a clue to the mindset and ambitions of the company involved. With this in mind, Chris Wilson takes a critical glance at some points of note from the season’s importer tastings.
As the wine fair Vinitaly opens in Verona, there is no Italian wine more deserving of the attention it is going to get in its home town and indeed a re-appraisal than Soave. But, ironically, it could be events 500 miles away in Northern Burgundy that get the British public to start drinking it again in volume and reinstate it as one of Italy’s flagship white wines.
Anne Krebiehl MW thinks that Dom Pérignon P2 2000 should be made available on prescription. As such we beg Anne to stand for Minister for Health. At an ‘unusual’ tasting with Dom Pérignon oenologist Vincent Chaperon, the P2 2000 was tasted alongside the vintage 2000 and the Rosé 2000 to see how they had changed over time. The difference between them is the difference between ‘ageing and maturation.’
It surely was no coincidence that the annual London tasting of Crémant was held the day before the Champagne Experience, the similar annual shindig of the top producers in Epernay, Reims et al. With sales and value of Champagne falling in the UK last year, and the Prosecco machine proving that us Brits love nothing better than value-for-money fizz are the makers of Crémant sensing that their time has come?
The Bulgarian wine industry is alive and kicking with many new family-owned and boutique wineries challenging the hegemony of the larger industrial producers. Justin Keay reports on how Bulgarian wine has resurfaced after a period in the mid 1980s when it seemed to disappear completely and picks out the wineries that are making exciting wines… including one made from Merlot and raspberries.
Four wineries in Israel’s Judean Hills have joined forces to put this region on the international wine map. Wine has been made here since before Christ but has only recently been recognised as a region that is capable of producing elegant, structured reds and whites that can compete on the world stage. At a landmark tasting The Buyer met The Judean Hills Quartet and was seriously impressed with the wines they had brought to show.
What makes an ex RAF and current captain of Boeing 747s get into the wine industry? Our globetrotting Michelin-starred chef Roger Jones finds out who is behind the goggles and interviews Darren Brogden, founder of South African wine specialist importers Vincisive.