2017, the harvest from Ay, Dizy, Hautvillers (66%) Avize and Oiry (34%). Winter and Spring were exceptionally dry; the beginning of Spring was mild but, in April, destructive frosts ravaged the vineyards, especially in the Côte des Blancs. Temperatures then rose and the weather was good until July. The end of the growing season was hot but very wet. The...
For the 2018 harvest in Aÿ, Dizy, Hautvillers (68%), Avize and Oiry (32%), the previous winter was exceptionally rainy, this was followed by a mild, stormy spring. The weather changed from June onwards, becoming fine and dry, resulting in a particularly early harvest: we started picking on 30 August and finished on 11 September. The vines were in perfect...
Producer: Jurij Fiore & Figlia
The 2021 Chianti Classico Sonocosì is fresh and light in body, all of which make it a good choice for drinking now and over the next decade or so. This north-facing site at 550 meters in altitude yields a lithe, aromatically expressive Classico loaded with character. Vinification and aging in oak keeps the flavors vibrant.
Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is one of the most important Super Second, in the best years, it is one of the most exotic and voluptuously scented wines of Mèdoc.
Deep ruby-purple. Closed but extremely pure and penetrating on the nose, offering delicate aromas of crushed blackcurrant, flint and graphite lifted by a pertumed violet topnote. Very refined and clean on the palate, with concentrated cassis, violet, ink and cedar flavors that are archetypal Lafite. Finishes with the hint of astringency that I find in a...
When I tasted the 2018 Pontet-Canet in barrel I described it as a "freak of nature." The 2018 is more than that, it is a freak of nature. Made from yields of just ten hectoliters per hectare, the 2018 possesses off the charts richness, phenomenal balance and head-spinning intensity. Put in another way, if Lalou Bize-Leroy made Bordeaux, it would taste...
Ruby-red color. Dark plum, graphite, minerals and mint on the nose. Offers a subtle sweetness leavened by lively acidity and nicely framed by a firm tannic spine. A wine of modest flesh but considerable suavity. Very well balanced and persistent, with the mineral notes repeating on the back. Very Pauillac.
Producer: St Julien
Medium-deep red with an amber edge. Earthy nuances complicate ripe red fruit aromas on the rather woodsy nose. Then fresh and clean on the palate, with a very juicy quality to the ripe red fruit, truffle and scorched earth flavors. Not the most complex or longest Branaire-Ducru ever made, but very nicely balanced and drinking splendidly right now.
The 1988 Pichon Lalande has a fragrant, woodland, earthy, pinecone-tinged bouquet, a little rustic in style but charming, maybe a little ephemeral compared to other vintages. The palate is well balanced with fine boned tannin, crisp acidity but the fruit seems to have ebbed away in recent years.
Producer: St Estephe
The 2017 Montrose is a very pretty, polished wine that speaks much more to finesse than power. Expressive floral and spices notes add an attractive inner sweetness to a Montrose that in 2017 leans more into the red fruit spectrum. Gracious yet deep, with terrific overall balance, the 2017 Montrose is a total winner.
Bright red-ruby. Knockout nose features boysenberry, currant, cedar, graphite and mocha. Suave, gentle and sweet, already displaying ineffable inner-mouth perfume. The 17% merlot component injects a silky component, and the oak element adds a complementary sweetness.
Producer: St Julien
The 2009 Ducru-Beaucaillou has a killer bouquet with wonderful definition: blackberry, wild hedgerow, minerals and touches of pressed flower. This has just lost some of its puppy fat in recent years. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grain tannin, taut and quite linear, lightly spiced with a firm grip but plenty of elegance towards the finish. This is...