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 Ducru-Beaucaillou 1989, 75cl
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.
- Bordeaux 2eme Grand Cru Classe
- Alcohol vol.
The 2001 Lafite is a damn impressive follow-up to the 2000. It has a healthy garnet core, showing little sign of maturity. The bouquet offers blackberry, melted tar, cedar, and pinch of dried herbs. The palate is medium-bodied, with supple tannins and a mélange of red and black fruit.
Producer: St Emilion
Château La Gaffelière is one of the oldest properties in the appellation, and is one of Saint Emilion's great classics. The wine releases intense aromas of blackcurrants, leather and wood. On the palate, it reveals fine concentration with long, elegant tannins.
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.
The 2001 Mouton-Rothschild contains 20% vin de presse and 12.6° alcohol. It has a vibrant, captivating bouquet that explodes from the glass with precocious black cherries, sous-bois, mint and a touch of Seville oranges, displaying precision and class.
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.
Producer: St Emilion
The 2008 Ausone has a really showstopping bouquet, to wit, one of the most seductive you will find in 2008: pure red cherries, crushed strawberry and vanilla pod scents, later rose petal and an almost honeyed aroma. The palate is medium-bodied with sensual, ripe tannin that feel lavish, luxuriant.
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...
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.
The 2000 Lafite-Rothschild is deep in color. It has a beautifully defined bouquet of blackberry, cedar and mint, still quite closed but very focused. There is a lot of power here, but maybe not the same level of elegance as other vintages. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, firm grip, very nicely judged acidity and good density on the finish.
The 1995 Petrus is one of the finest vintages of the decade, a silver medal behind the brilliant 1998. It has a beautiful, focused nose with hints of game and humidor infusing the black fruit. The palate is supremely well balanced, slightly gamey and with impressive grip.