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DecanterDecanter

Decanter Aug-2018

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.

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United Kingdom
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English
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TI-Media
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seadragon, hemel-en-aarde

The Seadragon vineyard is located on South Africa’s Western Cape in the region of Hemel-en-Aarde, which is Afrikaans for ‘heaven and earth’. It was one of the first vineyards planted by the Newton Johnson family when they bought the land in 2000. Less than a hectare of Pinot Noir vines grow in clay soils topped with quartz and granite dating back 550 million years. They produce a wine that’s typically deep ruby in colour, with fine-grained tannins and floral aromas. Winemaker Gordon Newton Johnson decided on the vineyard’s name as a variation on the winery’s emblem of two seahorses. Beyond the vines is a forest of Scandinavian pines, planted by the first European settlers. Looming in the distance are the cloud-dappled Babylon’s Toring (‘Babylon’s tower’) mountains, which trap cool…

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john stimpf ig

JULY AND AUGUST in the northern hemisphere are when Decanter readers’ fancies rightly turn to refreshing fizz, cool rosés and crisp whites, which is why we have devoted much of this issue to these classic summer styles. So why am I using my column to talk about vintage Port, in the midst of a UK heatwave (at least, at the time of writing)?The answer is the declaration of the stupendously good 2016 Ports this spring (see Marketwatch, p104). I tasted them on a sweltering afternoon in London and was utterly transfixed by their aromatic expression, freshness, balance, vivacity, charm and finesse – not descriptors which normally attach themselves to vintage Port.Since then, the offers have quietly come to market. And according to several UK merchants, savvy eagle-eyed customers have…

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amonth in wine

hail damage in Côtes de Bourg Hail devastates vineyards in Bordeaux ONE OF THE worst hailstorms in recent memory struck Bordeaux vineyards on the night of Saturday 26 May. A total of 7,100ha were affected by two storms in succession, including 3,400ha that were 80% destroyed. The Bourg and Blaye regions were the most heavily damaged, followed by Médoc, Entre-Deux-Mers and Pessac-Léognan.Almost the entire vineyard of Château Smith Haut Lafitte was hit by the hail. ‘We were hit pretty hard, more on the white grapes than on the red,’ Fabien Teitgen, technical director at Smith Haut Lafitte, told Decanter. ‘Around 80% of the vineyard is affected. We do not yet know the consequences for the grapes,’ he continued. ‘We’re not going to prune again because we have vegetative…

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around the wine world

Members of the Prosecco DOC Consorzio have backed a proposal to devise rules for making rosé by permitting red wine in the blend. Currently Prosecco DOC wines can be produced with a maximum of 15% Pinot Noir, on the condition that it is used solely for white wine production.If the proposal is given final approval, winemakers would be allowed to mix the signature Prosecco grape, Glera, with Pinot Noir to create Prosecco rosé within the DOC. This move acknowledges two of the fastest-growing trends of the wine world, especially in the key UK market.‘Today is the right time to produce Prosecco rosé,’ said Stefano Zanette, president of Prosecco DOC. ‘Pinot Noir is a noble grape and the new category will be reserved for the best quality spumante, not fizzy…

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in brief

Fine wine collector and alleged fraudster Hardy Rodenstock died in May at the age of 76 after a long illness, according to reports in the German press. Rodenstock will largely be remembered for the controversial ‘Jefferson bottles’. Doubts around their provenance led to a legal battle, though Rodenstock maintained their authenticity. The 38th Auction Napa Valley raised $13.6m for local community charities, with some lots sold at over $1m. The auction was chaired by the fourth-generation Mondavi sisters. The top lot, raising $1.4m, included imperials of Opus One and tickets to a ball at the Palace of Versailles. Family-owned Champagne house Billecart-Salmon has launched a new cuvée to celebrate its 200th anniversary. It is a blend of wines from the 2000, 2003, 2008 and 2012 vintages. In a…

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letters

are all winemakers motivated by love of the art rather than money? One reader thinks not ... (Cartoon: robertthompsoncartoons.com) Cork comeback? WELL, THE CORK industry is on a mission. An ad on the front cover (July 2018) and full promotional interview in Decanter highlighted this – and inadvertently revealed why. Proudly stating that 69% of DWWA medal-winners this year were sealed under cork; this must reflect a historically low number. I can’t imagine that almost a third of all medal-winners were sealed using different closures 20 years ago. Cork is not in the ascendancy.In some ways, that is a shame. It is great to see the strides that cork producers are making to create a closure that doesn’t ruin my wine. The historic cork forests are a fascinating…

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