August 31, 2009
Thanks for stopping by to read my first blog entry. This is a blog about wine; how wine fits into the world and how I fit into the world of wine.
There are a lot of people writing about wine, many of whom I admire greatly and would dearly love to emulate. I hope you will find something of interest along the way.
One of the reasons I wanted to start this was to document what may turn out to be of the great vintages in France, Bordeaux in particular. Not so long ago the speed of information that emanated from the vineyards there was slow at best. Of course the internet has changed that and almost before a grape has been picked this year has being seized upon as something extraordinary by voices that echo across blogs and rss feeds around the world.
I have my own little contribution to the chatter to make tonight. My girlfriend has spent today escorting a group of her work colleagues around Bordeaux during which time she has visited Chateau Latour in Pauillac and Chateau d’Yquem in Sauternes. She reports back that the staff at Yquem are bracing themselves for a superb vintage providing the rain holds off. There is already botrytis setting in on the grapes. Surely this must be some of the earliest botrytis in Yquem’s history?
At Latour the vines are healthy and unaffected by hail that hit other areas around Bordeaux back in May. Picking could begin as early as next week for the Merlot.
For friends who have had babies this year (and there’s a lot of them judging by my facebook news feed) this could be a vintage well worthy of laying down for their nippers 18th and 21st birthdays. I’ll be 57 when those new-borns are turning 21. I can envisage myself as the jolly ‘uncle-who-knows-about-wine’ pontificating at length about the beauty of the 09s. (I’m probably scowling at their lack or restraint in draining their glasses as quickly as possible as well).
My bank account won’t allow for many cases of Latour or Yquem unless something truly amazing happens between now and Spring 2010 when the en primeur sales begin. A case of Chasse Spleen, d’Angludet or Sociando Mallet if I’m lucky will have to do. Fortunately, while Bordeaux was my first point of entry into wine, I am not so smitten with it that I can’t buy elsewhere. This week Jim Budd has placed encouraging reports from the Loire vignoble. I adore the Chenin Blancs and Cabernet Francs from Anjou and Touraine and will certainly look to put some away if the vintage is as good as promised.
In Alsace Domaine Albert Mann have reported via facebook that the vineyards are looking great, wonderful riesling is a hard to resist thing!
Clive Coates reports on his website that everything is pointing towards a great vintage along the Cote d’Or too. No doubt if all goes well over the next month we’ll hear reports about the re-awakening of the investment wine markets as a sure sign of economic recovery.
My girlfriend is back tomorrow with photos of botrytis at Yquem. I will endeavour to publish as quickly as I can thereafter.