Decanter April 2021

Published by TI Media Limited The world’s best wine magazine. It is simply the “wine bible”. Every month it provides recommendations on the world’s finest wines and tells you where you can find them. From top Bordeaux to the best value wine on the shelf, Decanter guides you through a maze of wine to help you find the right wine for you. It also offers interviews with leading wine personalities, in-depth guides to the wine regions and the latest wine news.

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Future Publishing Ltd
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12 Numéros

dans ce numéro

4 min
2018 revisited: bordeaux in bottle

‘St-Emilion in particular stood out for having really delivered on the potential that it showed during en primeur’ As with the en primeur tastings earlier in the year, the Bordeaux 2018 in-bottle assessment coincided with a lockdown in France, during which travelling became complicated. But in the end, between visits to châteaux and home deliveries, I tasted more or less double the number of wines compared to last year’s in-bottle report: close to 600 labels in total. A particularly useful exercise with 2018, where the atypical conditions that were highlighted in our en primeur report (Decanter June 2019 issue) have resulted in some concerns over ageing. This is still a highly successful vintage for red Bordeaux, but there are hesitations over certain wines, and I am revising down my overall rating for…

3 min
andrew jefford

Something strange is going on, at least in France. We’re all beneficiaries. And when we try to account for this strangeness, it’s hard not to think of a blonde-haired girl and three bowls of breakfast porridge. More on Goldilocks later. Heat is the issue, and its effect on vintage quality. It won’t have escaped the attention of Decanter readers that we are into an amazing six-vintage run in most French regions since 2015, with only 2017 letting the side down. It’s early to call 2020, but first signs are encouraging: good to great, let’s provisionally say, with growers in Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Loire, Alsace and northern Rhône all thrilled with results. 2019 looks plausibly great too, and unquestionably very good in every region, with almost no exceptions; both 2019 and 2020 are,…

1 min
in brief

South Africa’s government has partially lifted an alcohol sales ban, imposed due to Covid-19. Trade body Vinpro welcomed the move but said intermittent bans since March 2020 have cost the industry 8 billion rand (£390m) in direct sales. MD Rico Basson said it was ‘too late for some businesses’, while excess supply in some winery cellars would mean ‘tough decisions’ as the 2021 harvest began. Fifth growth Château du Tertre has been sold by the Albada Jelgersma family, which will focus on fellow Margaux estate Giscours and Caiarossa in Tuscany. Alexander van Beek, MD for the wineries, said there is ‘enormous determination to really put Giscours where it belongs’. The Helfrich family bought du Tertre with a ‘French institutional investor’, which acquired the land. Michelin has named 54 new one-star…

1 min
bobal: the facts

Utiel-Requena DO Created 1957. An hour’s drive inland from Valencia city, located on a plateau 600m-900m above sea level. The DO is named after the two towns of Utiel and Requena. Climate favours organic growing. In production terms, Utiel-Requena dominates the Bobal leaderboard. Vineyard area 32,567ha, of which 67% is Bobal. 40% of the vines are older than 40 years. Manchuela DO Created 2004. In Cuenca province, between Utiel-Requena and Ribera del Júcar. 600m-1,100m above sea level. The land is carved out between the rivers Júcar and Cabriel to its north. Vineyard area 11,622ha Total volume 768,400hl, of which 72% is red. Bobal, the leading red variety, accounts for 41% of red production. Ribera del Júcar DO Created 2003. In Cuenca province, at an altitude of 650m-750m. Vineyard area 6,700ha. Bobal accounts for 34%. El Terrerazo…

1 min

Cloves are the dried flower buds of an evergreen tree native to Indonesia, commonly used as an aromatic cooking ingredient. In the festive season you might find them bobbing around in your mulled wine. While cloves are not added during regular winemaking, the impression of their flavour might be created during oak ageing. Clove notes can come from an aroma compound called eugenol, which is found in both oak and cloves. The influence of eugenol on the resultant wine depends on factors such as how the wood has been toasted or seasoned, and how long the wine spends in cask. Because of this oak connection, clove is categorised as a secondary aroma, alongside notes such as sandalwood, vanilla and cedar. In the wine lexicon, these are classified as a sweet, rather than…

1 min

Wine auctions see new growth There has been a buzz around wine auctions as new buyers enter the fray and embrace online bidding. Zachys was bullish after its first 2021 auction fetched HK$24.68m (US$3.19m) in Hong Kong. ‘Prices have been consistently strong,’ Zachys said. ‘So strong actually that we are filling our March and April 2021 auctions in both Hong Kong and New York.’ Burgundy is still topping price charts. It accounted for nine of the top 10 lots in Zachys’ HK sale and 56.3% ($54.7m) of total auction sales at rival firm Acker in 2020. A broader trend, however, is new buyers entering the market. ‘I see it in our numbers and in the questions we are getting,’ Marie Keep, director of fine wines at Skinner auctions in New England, told Decanter. ‘It’s…