Grapevine Archive for March, 2010
Andrew Neather looks at Lebanese wines and says that:
In a Rhône style, the syrah based LE381 Château Ksara Reserve du Couvent 2007 is highly enjoyable, full of sweet, baked fruit underpinned with firm tannins.
Jane MacQuitty’s top five Champagnes include:
CH1871 2000 Bollinger Grande Année, The Wine Society (01438 740222) £59 A great vintage year and Bollinger is one of the great Champagne houses, so tuck into this rich, dreamy, beefy, nutty Champagne while you still can.
Todays news is that the world’s oldest Speyside malt whisky has gone on sale for up to £10,000 a bottle. It is Mortlach 70 year old which was filled into cask 15th October 1938 and bottled exactly 70 years later.
Wine Society members may not be able to lay their hands on a bottle, but we do currently offer an 18 year old 40% Mortlach and a 19 year old natural strength 55% Mortlach at £21 and £29 respectively. What a bargain!!
It is snowing in the southern Rhône today. These are pics from Mas du Libian in the Ardèche, a half hour’s drive or so from Avignon and Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
Fortunately it is still too early to cause damage. In very cold weather snow protects plants from frost which is good and brings nutrients to the soil which is also good. If there is a problem, it is more in the cellars where the cold can be a problem when bottling.
SA6051 2009 The Foundry Grenache Blanc
The white wines coming out of South Africa just keep getting more and more exciting. Chris Williams makes a terrific Viognier, but this is the first time I’ve tasted his Grenache Blanc. It’s fairly full-bodied and has a smidgen of Viognier, which gives a perfumed apricot edge to the apple, pepper and mineral flavours, but it’s a less showy wine than the Viognier, as you’d expect. There’s a little bit of oak to round it out and round it off and the finish is clean and dry. 13.5% abv £7.95, The Wine Society
SP5531 2008 Cruz de Piedra Garnacha
Ebullient, young Spanish red made from 60-100 year old garnacha growing high up in the Calatayud mountains southeast of Rioja. Juicy, sweet-tomato and red-berry fruit spiced up with lots of earthy white-pepper flavours; medium-full, dry and fresh. 13.5% abv. £5.25, The Wine Society; £5.99, Adnams Cellar & Kitchen
We send our condolences to all victims of the earthquake. The epicentre of Chile’s powerful earthquake was close to Concepción, Chile’s second city. The wine regions most severely affected will be Bío-Bío and Maule, those closest to the epicentre, and we are still awaiting news of the damage in these regions.
We can happily report that there has been no loss of life amongst the employees of the companies we deal with. Our supplier closest to the earthquake, Valdivieso in Lontué, has survived reasonably well; it has no water but has its own generator for power.
However, there has been significant damage to many wineries even around Santiago, 235km from the epicentre, which is still being assessed. The estimated damage to the wine sector is 125 million litres (including bulk, bottled, and aging wine), valued at US $250 million, (or about 12.5% of the estimated 2009 vintage). The total damage of the earthquake to the country has been estimated as US $30 billion. Modern buildings are constructed to survive earthquakes, but the old buildings made from adobe are likely to be damaged.
The earthquake occurred during the 2010 harvest, which takes place between February and April, and will obviously be severely affected.
Regarding infrastructure it appears that the main ports and Santiago’s international airport are now open again, but not at full capacity. Some bridges and roads have been destroyed. However Chile’s economy is heavily dependent on exports so it will be doing all it can to recover quickly.