Food & Wine

Decanter December 2019

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.

United Kingdom
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12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
your letters

Trust your palate Last Sunday after lunch I opened a half-bottle of Château Rieussec 2001, part of a mixed case bought from Morris & Verdin on release. My impressions were the same as the last time I had the wine: a very serviceable Sauternes with massive barley sugar sweetness and just enough acidity and good length. But hang on a minute, this is supposed to be a 99-point wine – serviceable? This led me to wonder how can you possibly score wines on release so far ahead of their drinking windows and, even if you do so, make no allowance for the format? On further investigation, I noted that several leading critics suggest this particular wine has failed to live up to its initial, near-perfect billing, but this doesn’t seem to stop some…

1 min.
daunting prospect

When I first became interested in wine – in the early to mid-1960s – there was a limited range available in the UK and few wine writers to consult. In terms of the range, there was France, largely Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Loire (Alsace being largely unknown) and Germany, mainly Rheingau and Rheinhessen. Apart from Sherry, Spain was barely on the horizon, Portugal was basically Port, Italy was largely Chianti. Beyond Europe was terra incognita. Book authors and column writers were few until Hugh Johnson’s Wine and then his World Atlas of Wine presaged a blossoming in the number of writers and TV personalities who started to push lesser-known regions and to commodify wine as an everyday drink. What then followed was the exposure of drinkers to the less well-known…

3 min.
andrew jefford

Twice a year, I judge wine lists from leading global restaurants. It’s in those establishments that many of the world’s greatest bottles are lying, stacked up in dark, windowless, air-conditioned rooms or in wine refrigerators under lock and key. When the moment comes, they’ll be marched importantly out to a table and sold (at three times market cost) to an amply resourced customer who, 20 minutes earlier, had no idea that he or she was going to buy and drink this wine, and who simply wants something that looks right, tastes nice and will make the kind of splash the occasion requires. To those of us who struggle to buy just a few great bottles a year, then treasure them like babies for another decade before the great day of opening…

3 min.
steven spurrier

This summer I was guest speaker at the 33rd International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC) in Oregon, my theme being ‘Chalonnaise, the third Côte’. Having been viewed over the years by the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune as a sort of distant cousin, extensive replanting with selected clones, better attention in the cellar and total attention to quality has brought the Côte Chalonnaise firmly back into the Burgundy family. Apart from the Chalonnaise masterclass and two smaller events, my time was spent focusing on Oregon’s own wines, especially the Pinots. The success of the region is clear from the increase in plantings – in 1987, 59 estates/wineries made wine from 1,804ha; 30 years later this had mushroomed to 12,548ha planted and 769 estates/wineries. The grape varieties planted in 2017 were:…

2 min.
champagne jacquart

Champagne Jacquart has long been on hand to elevate and provide a touch of laidback luxury to life’s milestones, be they momentous or seemingly inconsequential, and with the dawn of the indulgent festive season, Champagne will be increasingly providing the soundtrack of choice to countless such events. This year Champagne Jacquart is raising the celebratory mood even higher, for now its cuvée Mosaique Signature can be savoured in magnum, offering a distinctly-measured, refined sense of occasion. The aesthetically minded are of course immediately rewarded by dint of the larger format bottle, but aside from such immediate allure - albeit at the opposite end of the scale in terms of romance -magnums have long been the vessel of choice due to the optimum oxygen-to-air ratio which over the years allows the wine to…

1 min.
decanter bordeaux fine wine encounter

Don’t miss Decanter’s next Fine Wine Encounter, featuring more than 350 top wines from Spain & Portugal, at The Landmark Hotel, London NW1, Saturday 29 February 2020. (See p133 for details)…