Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Some early thoughts on Bordeaux 2009

Ok so it hasn't even been picked yet, but I managed to grab Adam (C&B, MD) on his first day back in the office yesterday to find out how the vintage was looking. Adam visited Christian Moueix in Bordeaux whilst on holiday last week. It has been a good summer generally in South West France (my two weeks at the end of July/beginning of August were certainly good!) but this has continued and the raw materials (the grapes!!) are looking good. The days have been warm and sunny (light being amazingly important as well as heat), mostly between 26 & 34 degrees. None of the savage heat of 2003 but otherwise ideal. harvesting, at this stage, looks like it will be early (mid september ish). The production/yield/crop levels look good too, despite some hail earlier in the year, so all in all very exciting...all we need now is the exchange rate to sort itself out and it'd be happy days.

As we get new back from our friends in Bordeaux I will update ou all immediatley!

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Peter Sisseck 2008's, rugby, camping & the goss on Bdx 2009

Now this is a real annual highlight...getting to taste the soon to be released 2008 - Pingus, Flor de Pingus and PSi. The offer will be out in late September. My first impressions, wine by wine, below:

Psi 2008 - Only the second Vintage of Peter's new wine from the Ribera, other than Peter's hand in the winemaking there is no direct vineyard link to the Flor and Pingus. The Psi is from different vineyards and growers around the region. The 2008 was rich in colour but also bright. The nose was opulent and generous but in no way OTT. A combination of red and black fruit with a classy layer of creamy toastiness. The palate is full but again with a lightness of touch, almost crisp, fabulous. 17.5-18 out of 20. Drink 2011 - 2015+ (the 2007 is currently available and delicious but this is even better)

Flor de Pingus 2008 - The strength, quality and perception of Flor de Pingus in the fine wine market is finally where it should have been all along. I've always felt it is the wine that actually shows Peter's brilliance. 2008 - Colour, a touch more saturated than Psi but still has a brightness and avoids the boring saturated black colour of over extraction. For such a young wine it has a magnificently complex nose, putting a single fruit to the aroma would be largely pointless. The fruit is more black than red, this isn't supposed to be anything but a "complete" wine and it is already some way to being there. Silky structure and delicious palate that has backbone but is a supportive rather than a "look how big I am" way. This is a serious wine but a fun one too. 18+ Drink 2012 - 2019+ (I think this will be a great wine to try a bottle every year or two from 2012 onwards, the 1999 Flor is delicious now)

Pingus 2008 - The "main man" and a real privilege. Like so often in these scenarios the Flor is easier to judge at this stage, regardless, this is a mighty fine Pingus with a brilliant future ahead of it. A little more viscous than the Flor but otherwise similar in colour. Very serious, complex, dark, dense and brooding nose that combines black fruit with savoury notes. There is chocolate, fruit and spice but not too much of any one characteristic. The initial "hit" on the plate is of redder fruits and a touch of fruity sweetness but then you realise your mouth has been coated in structure, there is no aggression about this but it is clearly a wine for several years time. The palate finishes with a wonderful savoury edge. 18-19+ Drink 2015 - 2020 and well beyond

On other news, life has been busy with the Rugby season not far away and therefore Pre-season training well under way. Anyone interested in playing rugby in London and wanting a club that offers everything from mini rugby to vets (over 35's...not me....yet!!) with a good first and second team and several beers after, then look no further than Finchley RFC anyway enough shameless promotion!!

Off to a meeting now about our Harlequins wine sponsorship for the upcoming there is a club in the news!!

Monday, 17 August 2009

Ok so I think we're the best merchant but....

this makes interesting reading.

I feel we tick most of the boxes certainly for range, passion and much more......the consumer (hate that word) does not like to be "had" and integirty and straightforwardness is key. We've often joked that we should publich a list of the wines we didn't buy! Little to risky possibly!?

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Where's the August tumbleweed?

May be it's because it is my first week back after two weeks holiday camping near Biarritz (more about which later) but the wine market appears not to be as quiet as I would have expected for August in a recession (thank god the phrase "credit crunch" is drying a death). DRC (Domaine de la Romanee Conti) prices on the secondary (post release) market seem to be solid and rising, the "lull" or "dip" in prices of the investment/blue chip wine seems to be over as well - all very welcome news. Quite why the market is decent is never easy to know but I think there is growing confidence in the robustness of wine for investment or a place to keep your money "safe". Anyway August sales figures are a pleasant surprise......long may it continue. Our upcoming offers include the wines of Andrea Franchetti - Tenuta di Trionoro in Tuscany but also from his estate in Sicily.

Holiday was superb, very relaxing, the campsite we go to (this was our 4th visit) is round a lake but only 5mins fro the sea. Days of cycling, swiming, listening to music and chilling, drinks from 6pm (yardarm and all that) lovely food, cards or backgammon, sleep then start again - Heaven! Even managed to fit in some rugby watching (made me feel even less fit for the season ahead) Castres vs Dax....not the greatest game but a decent crowd and lovely atmosphere....the only downside to France this year was the cost, everything the same or more expensive than the UK. As a result the drinking was less exciting than previously when you could get Ok vintages of decent estates for "everyday" money - Tursan and Juracon it was.....

No betting recently (nearly backed Masta Plast at Nottingham, yesterday but managed to resist and a good job too...not a good run) and I've slightly lost track of the racing season...hopefully York next week will get me back on track. Sebastiano (the horse I have a tiny share in) is back in training with a view to a first apperance at the back end of September...more to follow as the season progresses