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DecanterDecanter

Decanter September 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.

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United Kingdom
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English
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month in wine

France reacts to effects of climate change A potential landmark vote has seen seven new grape varieties approved for Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur appellation wines, with the aim of meeting the challenges of climate change. Winemakers voted in favour of the seven grape varieties – including Marselan, Touriga Nacional, Albariño and Petit Manseng – according to a statement from the Syndicat of AP Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur. France’s national appellation authority, INAO, must still give final approval to the plan; however, it marks a groundbreaking move from winemakers against the negative impacts of climate change. Benefits of the proposed grapes range from strong natural resistance to diseases, such as grey rot and mildew, to an ability to thrive in warmer conditions. If approved, they could constitute up to 10% of the final blend…

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in brief

French Michelin-starred restaurant Maison Rostang has confirmed that thieves stole €400,000 worth of fine wine between 30 June and 1 July. Maison Rostang said that ‘irreplaceable’ vintages produced by Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Petrus, Latour and Lafite were stolen via a hole that had been cut into the wall of the cellars under the streets of Paris. The heavy Burgundy frosts of 2016 have resulted in a ‘one-off’ blend from seven Montrachet grand cru vineyard owners, including Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and Domaine Leflaive. Low yields led to the producers putting their harvests together to create just under 700 bottles of wine, titled ‘L’Exceptionnelle Vendange des 7 Domaines’ and priced at €5,550 each. Researchers have found wine residue on pottery fragments salvaged from a Celtic settlement at Vix-Mont Lassois, northwest…

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your letters

History lesson I am sure all Decanter readers will wish John Stimpfig well on his retirement from your columns. His reflections on three decades of wine made fascinating reading. It would be great to see more on the history of wine in the magazine. The August issue also mentioned the rapid expansion in UK land under vine. It would be interesting to see a global chart of the changes this century. I assume the trend has generally been upwards, but it would be fascinating to see the details. And what about the ups and downs of the price of a bottle of wine in relation to incomes? Were fine clarets and Burgundies always out of reach for anyone not in the top 1%? And how has the pattern of wine drinking…

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memories of torres

The ‘Wine Legends’ focus on Torres’ Gran Coronas Reserva (August 2019 issue) evoked special memories. Back in the early 1970s, my father organised family tours in the Catalonia area – it was no coincidence that this would give him an opportunity to visit the Torres vineyards near Vilafranca del Penedès. There was always room in the car for a case of wine! After our first visit, I recall my father’s disappointment when he couldn’t find any Gran Coronas ‘Black Label’ in the cellar shop. His lack of Spanish made for an interesting exchange of words and gestures, until the assistant finally twigged. A case duly appeared from the back, much to the delight of both my father the shop staff. This is one of my enduring memories in my introduction to…

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andrew jefford

It was dark crimson: only a little redder and more translucent than human blood. Pungent, ripe raspberry fruits filled the air, even before I sniffed; the wine was structured, vivacious and arresting in the mouth. ‘This is absolutely,’ said Frédéric Barnier, the technical director for Louis Jadot, ‘not the colour we are looking for. But it is like that.’ The wine was the unfinished 2018 Volnay 1er Cru Chanlin. Five more reds from this great infant vintage followed, climaxing with the best young Volnay 1er Cru Clos des Chênes I have ever tried: scents of vaulting loveliness, and flavours of commanding intensity and drive. No wonder everyone in the region is so happy with last year’s harvest. ‘In 20 years of making wine in Burgundy, this is the first time I…

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hugh johnson

What’s changed?’ is the first question I’m asked. Changed, that is, in the six years between the seventh and eighth (just out) editions of The World Atlas of Wine – or sometimes between this joint Jancis/Johnson number and my first edition, 48 years ago. Yes, I’ve been writing the same book for almost half a century. ‘Everything’ is the glib answer. ‘The climate’ is another. Big changes: yes, of course. New Zealand had a postage-stamp slot in 1971, and China, of course, no slot at all. Burgundy? Bordeaux? It’s not mappable physical changes so much as details, techniques, attitudes and atmosphere. And certainly extensions: into the Bordeaux Côtes (Castillon, Francs, Cadillac), where the wine now is at least as good as some of the stars of the 1970s. Southwards in Burgundy.…

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