Tag: Napa Valley

There are 6 posts tagged as Napa Valley.

Never mind the weather: a sunny outlook for 2015

The Bordeaux harvest is entirely in, and while it’s still early to pronounce, the outlook is distinctly sunny: the red grapes have weathered the week of late September rain that made wine lovers fear for the vintage. It won’t be the vintage of the century – but it does follow the Rule of Five that has held, for the last 30 years, that every vintage ending in a 0 or a 5 is worthy of attention.

In northern Burgundy, the bad weather came earlier: hailstorms at the very start of September meant Chablis winemakers lost fruit, but even those worst hit are unfazed: the grapes that remain are good, they say, the acidity excellent, and this should be a first-rate Chablis vintage.

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Bordeaux in bloom: the best harvest for several years

Bordelais winemakers will be whistling while they work as they bring in what looks to be the best harvest since 2010. There is still a bit of uncertainty with the red grapes, which are still on the vines and will be for a few more weeks, but the whites are looking marvelous. Olivier Bernard of Domaine de Chevalier and president of the Union des Grands Cru says he hasn’t seen such an early, even véraison since 2009; “We are quietly confident” he writes exuberantly on Jancis Robinson’s website, that “this will be a great year!!!”

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Rarity Is Still Worth Paying For

The chatter swirling around this year’s Bordeaux en primeur releases was, if it’s possible, even more about price than usual: much of it focussed on the need for new releases to discount, possibly as much as 25%, on the current market price of vintages such as 2008 or 2006, if the wines are to sell. Some have done so; others, riding high on generous scores from the most influential critics, have chosen not to. Montrose, the last release, was one of the latter; the proof, as they say, will be in the pudding…

And price is a hot topic in Burgundy, too, as figures show that the amount a Grand Cru vineyard can command, on the rare occasion that an owner chooses to sell, is still rising: a single hectare now costs, on average, €4.35million. read more

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Bordeaux 2014: Saved by the Sun

The châteaux doors have creaked open, the world’s wine buyers and press have tasted hundreds of young Bordeaux wines from the 2014 vintage, and the doors have duly clanged shut behind them again, as the Bordelais get back to the business at hand: making some of the world’s greatest wines. And the verdict? This was a good year, in Sauternes in particular. Whites are looking promising, reds are garnering adjectives such as ‘fresh’ and ‘delicate’. The cabernet sauvignon did well but it’s the cabernet franc that really shines, according to several winemakers, meaning lovely aromatics although the wines may not be long players. It was an unusual vintage, according to Gavin Quinney, with a wet, mild winter and largely damp summer rescued by a bright and sunny September that lasted into October, allowing the grapes to ripen, although mid-October rain came a little earlier than the Bordelais would ideally have liked. read more

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The Price of Bubbles Just Keeps Rising

There is never a bad time to drink Champagne – particularly if you own vineyards within the appellation. At the recent auction for La Paulée de New York, a rare vertical of Krug Clos du Mesnil 1979-2003 sold for US$81,550, surely a figure worth celebrating with a bottle or two, while the upcoming Sotheby’s Hong Kong sale will feature over 1,000 bottles of Champagne including 341 bottles and 46 magnums of Krug ranging from 1979 to 1996, and just under 400 bottles of Dom Pérignon plus a few magnums. No matter how many competitors bubble up around the world – and the latest news is the UK’s push for a ‘Sussex’ appellation – the original sparkling wine has lost none of its fizz when it comes to investment potential. read more

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Beautiful Sunset over a vineyard in French Provence

A bright outlook for 2015

The year begins, as always, with Burgundy, as producers and importers offer samples of 2013 for the en primeur tastings. The Burgundians have not had an easy time for the past few years – the weather seems determined to prove that ever-advancing technology is still the servant, not the master – and 2013 was no exception, with a cool, wet spring, summer hailstorms (again) and a humid September. Still, Jancis Robinson suggests that while this vintage is far from opulent, it is fresh and focused’ – so with expert guidance, we should all be able to keep ourselves in fine Burgundy for the next few years.

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