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Decanter July 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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United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
12 Issues

in this issue

8 min
undervalued médoc

Drive the D2 route 35 miles north of Bordeaux through the Médoc region, and you pass the stone gateposts, seas of vines and noble buildings of the Left Bank’s most celebrated châteaux. In the Margaux appellation, a colonnade of trees leads to Palladian-style Château Margaux. Further north in St-Julien, waving flags fly atop Château Ducru-Beaucaillou. A domed stone pigeon house amid the vines signals Château Latour in Pauillac, while Château Lafite Rothschild appears just before the road curves towards St-Estèphe and the pagoda-like turrets of Château Cos d’Estournel. Famous estates give the Médoc’s four most important appellations their reputation for great wines sold at astronomical prices. But lurking in the same postcodes are less well-known properties whose wines cost less than they should, based on their quality. For those estates, prices and…

8 min
friuli-venezia giulia’s native whites

Back in the 1970s, Friuli-Venezia Giulia was hailed as ‘the promised land’ for Italy’s burgeoning fine white wine scene. Winemakers such as Silvio Jermann and Mario Schiopetto, having embraced modern winemaking philosophy and new technology, became legends. Such privileged status continues today, at least at national level; for now, the area’s wines remain less well known further afield. About 75% of production here is white, and while Friuli might be best known for its excellent and distinctive Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon, the region’s talented winemakers are now gaining a reputation for varieties regarded as native. Four in particular stand out: Friulano, Malvasia Istriana, Ribolla Gialla and Vitovska. Across the region’s four DOCG and 12 DOC areas, these account for about 14% of vineyard plantings. Friulano (Sauvignonasse in Chile, Sauvignon…

30 min
brunello di montalcino 2015

Brunello di Montalcino is renowned for its elegant fruit expression and long ageability, but the 2015 vintage marks a different approach for the wines of this esteemed Tuscan DOCG. Though our judges were extremely positive, rating 10 wines Outstanding (see ‘The scores’, below), Michael Garner noted that there were no wines rated Exceptional. A few outliers were marked down for lacking balance or showing signs of accelerated maturity. ‘One of the great things about Brunello in terms of its reputation is its potential longevity, and I do not see that with this vintage,’ said Garner. ‘Most of the wines are very forward – they’re beautiful but they’re very drinkable already, and even the best of them I do not see lasting for too long.’ Andrea Briccarello explained that 2015 ‘represents a change…

1 min
room with a view: the best chateâu stays in bordeaux

‘More and more wine properties are opening up their château bedrooms to guests,’ says Martin Hurst, who often sends his clients to Château Beauregard (www.chateau-beauregard.com) in Pomerol, where the historic charterhouse has been restored with five private rooms, and Château Le Pape (www.haut-bailly.com), which has also refurbished its elegant property to receive guests in an intimate setting just outside the Bordeaux city limits. On the Right Bank, Château Troplong Mondot (www.troplong-mondot.com) gets top marks from all of our experts. With the postcard-perfect view (right) of the village of St-Emilion (a 20-minute stroll through the vines) and impeccable wine-country art de vivre, you can’t go wrong choosing one of the charmingly decorated rooms in the main property or the private two-bedroom cottage in the midst of the vineyard. Our experts also recommend Château…

6 min
beyond claret and lamb

Red wines from Bordeaux have long enjoyed their share of classic pairings: roast lamb, venison, duck breast or beef-based dishes. Yet there are plenty of alternative options for the more adventurous Bordeaux lover. Decanter enlisted the help of chefs, sommeliers and team members from renowned Bordeaux estates to gather inventive food matches for their classic grands vins. Seafood & fish GRILLED RED MULLET & PROVENCAL POTATOES Benjamin Camy, sommelier at Château Pape Clément, suggests enjoying a recent vintage of the estate’s grand vin with grilled red mullet and Provençal potatoes. A youthful wine will not overload the taste buds, he says, and the potatoes help support the suppleness of this particular bottling, which also pairs beautifully with the meaty texture and juiciness of the fish. The red flesh of the grilled mullet makes…

3 min
10 years on: bordeaux left bank 2011

Last year, I wrote during the incredible 2010 retrospective that it’s easy to forget that Bordeaux doesn’t always taste like this – and here, in the 2011s, we have a return to a more classical style. Overall, I rate 2011 as a 3/5 vintage. There are some excellent wines, without question – I scored 14 of these Left Bank classifieds at 95pts or higher, which means Outstanding in Decanter terms – but none at the Exceptional level of 98pts or more, and none warranting 100pts, unlike last year’s five, or the four I gave for the 2009s. My 97pts all went to first growths: Châteaux Haut-Brion, Latour and Mouton Rothschild. I also gave nine estates 94pts, which is always one of my sweet-spot scores as it suggests wines that should be…