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
Future Publishing Ltd
77,85 kr(Inkl. moms)
441,84 kr(Inkl. moms)
12 Nummer

i detta nummer

5 min
month in wine

Bordeaux optimistic after erratic 2019 The Bordeaux 2019 harvest has been excellent so far, but the rest of the conditions are terrible,’ said Florence Cathiard, of Château Smith Haut Lafitte in Pessac-Léognan, conveying the region’s mood of cautious optimism after a year of contrasts. Winter was warmer than average, which meant an early budburst, followed by a cold spell from mid-April through May, before temperatures rose again in June. Summer saw several heatwaves, with temperatures reaching over 40°C in Mérignac, and drought conditions extended véraison (colour-change) until the end of August. Rainfall was 21% lower than the 30-year average and July heat led to cases of vines shutting down and slowing maturity, particularly in sandier soils. Conditions remained dry through to mid-September, after which point intermittent rainfall caused some disruption to harvest schedules and brought…

1 min
in brief

Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger has hailed the end of an era with the announcement that his daughter Vitalie will replace him as president of the Champagne house from 1 January 2020. As part of the generational handover, his son Clovis will take over the role of general manager from Damien le Sueur. ‘I can hand over the reins, secure in a sense of accomplishment,’ Pierre-Emmanuel said. ‘Exceptionally strong winds’, the aftermath of drought and a ‘serious shortage of manpower’ have led to Santorini’s smallest Assyrtiko crop since 1991. Producer Domaine Argyros said winds destroyed more than 20% of the potential harvest, while Santo Wines reported its 2019 crop was reduced by two-thirds. It will make ‘prices difficult to control’, said wine expert Yiannis Karakasis MW. Fashion house Chanel is to produce Provence…

3 min

JEAN-BERNARD DELMAS 1935-2019 Charming, extraordinary and revolutionary are just some of the words that have been used to describe winemaker Jean-Bernard Delmas, who has died, aged 83. He spent more than 40 years, from 1961 to 2003, as manager and technical director of Château Haut-Brion, also overseeing the other wines of estate owner Domaine Clarence Dillon, including La Mission Haut-Brion. Jean-Bernard succeeded his father Georges at Château Haut-Brion and was subsequently succeeded by his own son, Jean-Philippe. After leaving Château Haut-Brion, Jean-Bernard went on to manage Château Montrose following the Bouygues brothers’ purchase of the estate in 2006. He retired in 2011. Jean-Bernard Delmas ‘was a mentor’ to many. ‘My family has never known Château Haut-Brion without the presence of this great man and extraordinary winemaker,’ said Prince Robert of Luxembourg, CEO and chairman of…

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…