Burgundy Week, which hit London at the beginning of January, was a treasure trove of great wines for the Burgundophile with 10 tastings occurring on one day alone. For the wine expert it can be quite a challenge getting round as many tastings as possible as well as getting a clear picture of a vintage from largely barrel sample wines. When the vintage is as tricky as 2016 was then that job becomes even harder, as Justin Keay reports from Berry Bros, ABS and Stone & Vine tastings.
Mirror mirror on the wall, how do you compare one sparkling wine or Champagne to another? With great difficulty which is why you need experts in the field to take on the challenge which is what the Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships are all about. This year’s competition is now open for entries as founder, Tom Sevenson, hopes to once again find the very best in class along with fellow judges, Essi Avellan MW and Dr Tony Jordan.
“You think I’m funny? Funny how?” That famous exchange between two gangsters in Goodfellas must have been going through Joe Fattorini’s mind as he was thrown into the deep end and asked to perform a turn as a stand-up comedian whilst filming for the new series of The Wine Show (Friday nights, Channel 5, 7pm). His biggest concern was that he could only make jokes about wine, which proved even harder than you might think…
So if you’ve been in a land far, far away you might have missed that it was Bourgogne Week last week when all the vignerons and negociants hit London with samples of their latest vintage – 2016 in this case. Every day was packed with tastings (ten on Tuesday!) that, after the December lull of the tasting circuit, makes it the equivalent of going from 0-60 in a very fast sports car. 2016 is a problematic vintage for a number of reasons, but one plus side is that it has plenty of bargains to be bought from ‘lesser’ appellations.
After the departure of cellar master Régis Camus, then the death of Thierry Rosset in 2014 aged just 55, it is fair to say that Charles Heidsieck had lost a little of its shine, even though the wines it continued to produce was of the highest order. House director Stephen Leroux was in London yesterday to launch the Blanc des Millénaries 2004, the prestige Blanc de Blancs cuvée that has ‘big shoes to fill’ following the highly praised Blanc des Millénaries 1995. Anne Krebiehl MW was on hand to taste the new range.
It was a surprise in the late summer when the news broke that Paul Schaafsma was to return to the wine industry in the chief executive role at Broadland Wineries. It is even more of a surprise that we find out today that he is leaving his post after only four months to start up his own sales and marketing wine business and taking two of his new Broadland recruits with him. Here’s the exclusive inside line…
The medical profession normally does not want anything to do with wine, but not trained gynaecologist Sorcha Holloway. She has turned her back on stethoscopes to forge a new career as a growing voice for the average wine drinker, who unusually has been able to connect with both the traditional wine trade and wine drinking community on social media with her breakthrough #ukwinehour Twitter chat hashtag that has grown to such an extent that it now has a reach of potentially 350,000 people around the world. Here’s her story…
Freshly retired from the commerce of wine Jasper Morris MW, one of the world’s top experts, if not the top expert on Burgundy, offers a fascinating insight into the unique vintage that is Burgundy 2016. With Burgundy Week having just finished in London, Morris sums up where he sees the strengths and weaknesses of the vintage lie as well as offering buying strategies for the trade and the wine collector.
Today we take on you a trip to the Yarra Valley, Australia, and, specifically to the Payten and Jones winery run by old school mates, Behn Payten, Troy Jones and Behn’s dad, Peter, who are very much part of the raw, minimal intervention style of winemaking that is becoming such a feature of Australian wine. Here Troy Jones shares his thoughts on the wines you can taste at this month’s Wine Australia tasting, and as we are still in Aussie cricket season, his memories of the Ashes.
Although Pignoletto is David to Prosecco’s Goliath, the Colli Bolognesi’s love of Tank Method sparkling wines means that production of Pignoletto is set for an increase of 40%. Not known so well in the UK, David Kermode decided to put that straight and visited Central Italy last autumn to find out more about Pignoletto and see how it stands up to other Italian sparkling wines. Kermode discovers that it is the artisanal producers who could be laying down the foundations for greater worldwide recognition of Pignoletto.