Andrew Jefford goes out on a limb (and might even lose one) in defence of Bordeaux Read More >

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Bordeaux 2009? Lambs to the Slaughter

The Wandering Palate shares his profound insight on the cabalistic 2009 Bordeaux (pronounced BORED-Dough) vintage and compares it to the other vintage of Century, 2005.

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Dinner with Jancis Robinson and Nicolas Lander (London)

Also, empirical proof that cabernet sauvignon under screwcap can age well – but will the Bordelaise embrace change

The highlight of a trip to London a few months back was an invitation to dinner from Jancis Robinson MW and Nicolas Lander, moreover the meridian for a wine and food writer; to be breaking bread with the world’s doyen of wine and the most influential food writer and restaurant critic of our time, all very humbling.

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Singapore: May 18th – The Allure of Sugar

Our small wine group got together the other night for a horizontal of sweet wines from the 2002 vintage, primarily from Sauternes and Barsac, along with a couple of Australian stickies, two Tokaj and one German Beereenauslese.

It was actually put together by Jeremy, our sole vigneron amongst the group, who as it happens has an incurable fetish for Chateau D’Yquem and wanted to corroborate his penchant for the said nectar by tasting it in a masked line-up amongst the main Sauternes-Barsac pack, verified by the dexterous and multifarious palates of our group.

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Bordeaux or bust
Caroline Frey, oenologist and winemaker at Chateau La Lagune

The 2005 vintage is being hailed as among best of the past century but there is always plenty of spin involved.

Wine merchants throughout the world are ubiquitously fixated with en premeur sales of 2005 Bordeaux, blamelessly riding the wave of a frenzied market chasing a dream vintage. The Bordelaise propensity to embellish necessitates some recalibration after the vintage has sold out, the adage being “the finest Bordeaux vintage appears to be the one that Chateau owners and merchants are currently selling or have the most of in their cellars.”

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Chateau Leoville Las Case 1978, 1981 & 2001
1978 Chateau Leoville Las Cases, France

Our Wandering Palate wanders down to the cellar – the merits of off-vintages from top Bordeaux Chateau.

A Chateau Leoville Las Case wine dinner held recently by the Singapore wine merchant Hermitage wines highlights the virtues and intrinsic worth of less-exalted vintages from a producer with impeccable standards.

As some of my readers will know, I am not exactly enamoured with Bordeaux. I concur with James Laube in his assessment and commentary in his latest column in Wine Spectator, 30 Sept, “A Farewell to Bordeaux.”, who said that “I have enjoyed Bordeaux, but I’ve been driven away both by prices and a style of wine that no longer holds the same allure for me that it once did. I moved on a long time ago. There are simply so many other enticing wine experiences to discover and enjoy.”

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Must Have Wines | Related to: , , |
One hell of a wine workout
Vinexpo logo

Taste testing the best 2003 Bordeaux at Vinexpo had its pain and its pleasures… Curtis Marsh confesses all.

I recently spent three grueling days tasting at the world’s largest and most significant wine show, Vinexpo, with leading vintners from all over the globe massed at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Vinexpo has been held bi- annually in Bordeaux since 1981, with overseas exhibitions in the Asia-Pacific region organized in alternate years.

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On with the inquisition
Bordeaux Wines, France

Choosing the best out of Bordeaux from 2003.

Continuing with my 2003 Bordeaux inquisition the following days tasting held by the Union de Grands Crus de Bordeaux here at Vinexpo was a more comprehensive representation of the Bordeaux communes with an impressive turnout from the northern Medoc appellation St- Julien.

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The Great Pretender
Hermitage in the Northern Rhone Valley slopes

Many wine lovers consider the 1961 Paul Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle Rouge to be one of the great wines; unfortunately it is very scarce. So is there an equivalent in the offing?

In conversation at a recent wine dinner, the subject turned to the staggering price that a case of 1961 Paul Jaboulet La Chapelle fetched at Christie’s Fine and Rare Wine Auction in London, a staggering GBP123,750 (HK$945187.00) inclusive of taxes and premiums, a European record for a single case of wine. The conversation then turned to the vintages of La Chapelle that might potentially be the equal of the enduring 1961. According to the vintage charts, the 1978 and 1990 are the obvious candidates.

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Rebirth in Bordeaux
Chateau Branaire Ducru, built in 1824

The French region is enjoying an extraordinary period of prosperity for a variety of reasons, writes Curtis Marsh.

While I continue to refer to regions such as Bordeaux in France and Coonawarra in Australia as “old” and “new world”, I sometimes wonder which is more abreast of pertinent technology and how to best balance it with tradition and nature. There have been exponential advancements in viticulture and winemaking over the past 20 years. Many timeless methodologies have also been maintained. However, advances in the science of chemistry and botany, alongside mechanical ingenuity, has interjected to a point where we are in danger of artificially synthesizing an otherwise purely natural beverage.

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Buying Wine, Profiled Wineries | Related to: , | 5 comments