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DecanterDecanter

Decanter February 2019

Published by Time Inc. (UK) Ltd 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.

Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
TI-Media
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12 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

access_time2 min.
john stimpfig

JANCIS ROBINSON MW recently pointed out on social media that the word ‘passion’ is one of the most over-used in the wine lexicon. She’s right. Too many winemakers, journalists, vintners and merchants trot it out far too frequently, heaping praise on unworthy bottles. Yet I’d also argue that there are legions of producers, young and old, whose virtuous passion literally knows no bounds. You can see it in their faces, hear it in their voices and taste it in their wines. My advice is to always seek out wines such as these. So here are three such producers I’ve recently encountered, who epitomise the ‘P’ word. Jay Boberg is a hugely successful music executive whose love of wine inspired him to create the boutique Nicolas-Jay winery in Oregon. (The ‘Nicolas’ refers to…

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a month in wine

Tributes for Albert Frère of Cheval Blanc ALBERT FRÈRE, THE billionaire Belgian businessman who became co-owner of Château Cheval Blanc, has died aged 92. His death was announced on 3 December by Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (GBL). He was honorary chairman and co-controlling shareholder of the firm. ‘His professional and human qualities have deeply marked our group,’ commented GBL in its statement. In the wine world, Frère was best known as the co-owner of Château Cheval Blanc, alongside Bernard Arnault, CEO and chairman of LVMH. The two businessmen acquired Cheval Blanc in 1998. No fee was disclosed at the time; however, French newspaper Le Figaro reported in 2012 that the deal was worth around €150 million. In 2008, the pair bought another St-Émilion estate, Château Quinault, from Dr Alain Raynaud. ‘Albert Frère was a great…

access_time2 min.
around the wine world

A record year for the 158th Hospices de Beaune auction Wine sales at the Hospices de Beaune 2018 reached nearly €14.2 million, smashing last year’s total of €13.5m, according to Christie’s, which hosted the auction. One barrel of Bâtard-Montrachet grand cru sold for €135,000, setting a new record price for a single barrel sold at the Hospices auction. The 2018 sale featured the highest number of barrels since 2009, and 41 more than last year, with 631 barrels of red and 197 barrels of white going under the hammer. Around 69% of the lots went to merchants and 31% to private buyers, reported Agathe de Saint Céran, who was in charge of the sale. There was some disappointment around the charity lot, ‘Pièce des Présidents’, which featured two barrels: Corton Grand Cru ‘Clos…

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in brief

The Government Hospitality Wine Cellar Annual Report 2017-2018 revealed that 64% of the wine purchased by the government in the year to March 2018 was English or Welsh. It also stated that 57% of the wine consumed at official receptions in the same period came from the UK. Overall alcohol consumption was up by 20%, due to ‘an increased number of larger events’. Leading Albariño producer, Mar de Frades has launched its first 100% coastal Godello wine from Rías Baixas. ‘Galician Godellos are produced inland, not by the sea, so I thought it would be something special,’ said winemaker Paula Fandiño. Traditionally, Albariño dominates the area, accounting for 96% of all plantings. Only 2,100 bottles have been produced of the inaugural Godello 2016 vintage. Plumpton College, the UK’s centre for…

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letters

Calculated risk A RECENT CELLAR reorganisation provided a worryingly thorough tour through the world of wine faults, both closure related and beyond. A weekend of opening suspect bottles revealed a Puglian red that opened like Champagne, a fine 2005 Douro that had a crack in the glass the entire length of the bottle, and a pale 1983 Hermitage that was probably a decade past its best. On the closures I found two Sicilian screwcapped whites which, despite only being 2010s, had both turned brown and undrinkable. This led me to panic that maybe screwcapped wines can’t age, and I decided to check another wine, a Dr Loosen Riesling Beerenauslese 2006. This was fantastic: balanced and mouthwatering, and full of citrus and tropical fruit. It was the perfect reminder of why the…

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fuel for thought

WHY DID COMMUNITIES protest against the Mosel Bridge, the building of the A62 motorway through the Sauternes appellation, and now protest the proposed building of a tar production plant within the Chablis appellation? It cannot be just the ‘blot on the landscape’ factor. Important though that is, I think that airborne pollution from construction dust and emissions, and then the relentless burden of future vehicle exhaust particulates that comes with them, are more serious issues. It is well known that smoke taint from a forest fire can be present in a finished wine. I have tasted this at well above (at least my) sensory threshold in, for example, a DOP Cariñena. My query is, if wood smoke, or for that matter eucalyptus oil in some Australian cuvées, can enter the final…

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