Burgundy – Filling In
Dear Wine Lover,
Nick and I are currently in a rather rainy Burgundy, masks and hand sanitizer at the ready, with me getting a fix on the 2019 vintage to be offered early next year, hoping this may be particularly useful to wine lovers. Frédéric Lafarge always kindly constructs the temporary ‘desk’ pictured here for me and my laptop. All the producers I have encountered so far report that their diaries are unusually empty, with practically no visitors from either Asia or America and not many Europeans during what is usually the region’s busiest time for tastings. A 2021 version of London’s annual Burgundy Week in January, with its plethora of tastings in tightly packed rooms, looks highly uncertain.
We will of course, as UK citizens returning from France, have to quarantine ourselves for 14 days when we get back. Thank goodness for our children, all of whom live quite close to us in London and have a fine record of ensuring their parents don’t starve.
JancisRobinson.com this week was dominated by German wine and Champagne. Our German specialist Michael Schmidt shared his tasting notes on this year’s Grosse Gewächse with some revealing observations on the styles he encountered in Wiesbaden. Mosel and Nahe on Monday and Rheingau and Rheinhessen today. On Saturday I wondered whether the 2019 German vintage might not represent a breakthrough for dry German Rieslings.
Tim Hall of Scala Wine has provided us with a three-part, detailed survey of the current febrile situation in Champagne: first the battle between growers and houses over controlling yields in a shrinking market; then how this plays out financially, including the dominant role of the Moët group; and finally, a detailed look at the COVID-affected 2020 vintage.
Sam Cole-Johnson reported from Napa under fire – although the good news is that the predicted hot, dry winds did not in fact eventuate and things are now a little cooler and damper there, as both Alder and Elaine confirmed in our Members’ forum.
Ferran Centelles presented a great report on the special qualities of the Montilla-Moriles region and its wines – so often, wrongly, viewed as simply an adjunct to sherry. Tam reported in great detail on the Hungarian Eger region, which produces so much more than Bull’s Blood. And I shared a review of an array of truly exciting wines from South Africa.
Nick contributed two articles this week: one, as suggested by Purple Pager Andrew McKinna, a review of his 20 best restaurant experiences (a foretaste of our 20th-anniversary celebrations); and a howl of pain on behalf of the UK hospitality industry over the current 10 pm curfew.
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