Dear wine lover, here are links to some of the articles that were published on this week.

View this email in your browser  News 07 Jul 2017

Dear wine lover

This week I have been in the Languedoc, and so absorbed in unpacking 120 packing cases and working out which bit of wood or metal belongs to which bit of furniture that I almost forgot to write this despatch - most unusual.

This is not to say that I am not extremely proud of what we have published on the fiercely independent this week (I refer tangentially to the recent news that Michelin have taken a 40% stake in Robert Parker's Wine Advocate). 

On Wednesday we published Ferran Centelles' detailed report on the bullish red wines of Toro, an article that shows just how lucky we are to have Ferran as our Spanish specialist.

On Monday, Walter reported in his usual abrasive style on the grand Italians imported into the UK by Armit and I followed this up next day with a collection of Italian tasting notes from a new group of up and coming UK Italian wine importers, both of these articles featuring many a wine you should be able to find from a retailer near you, wherever you are in the world.

I also reported on the amazing longevity of Pessac-Léognan dry whites while Richard writes today about the latest finds at Lea & Sandeman. Earlier in the week Richard wrote about a new gizmo that measures your blood alcohol level (could be useful) while Julia today recommends a top quality Portuguese Muscat going for a song. 

Recent winner of our wine writing competition Hrishi Poola wrote about how he felt on his first visit to the Douro, a special experience for anyone, let alone a wine lover. In less celebratory vein, Nick's article last week sounds a decidedly cautious note about prospects for the London restaurant scene.

Last Saturday I wrote about the recent think tank in the southern Rhône and this was followed up by a detailed submission there by champagne marketeer Christian Holthausen who ponders some fascinating paradoxes in today's wine (and food) market. 

Many congratulations to him, Julia, Richard and our occasional contributor Simon Reilly for being included on the shortlist for this year's Louis Roederer International Wine Writers' Awards published this week. The winners will be announced in September and I'm sure all visitors to this site wish them the very best of luck.

Talking of luck, note that today is the seventh of the seventh 2017. My fingers are crossed that there will be no horrible reprisal of the London bombings exactly 12 years ago. London has suffered enough. 


Lea & Sandeman's ampersand (Tasting articles)

Jul 07, 2017 09:00 am | Richard Hemming MW

The humble ampersand can be curiously irritating. Our own Julia Harding is no fan of it, for example – no doubt there are sound editorial and typographical reasons. Others, such as this blogger, seem to have a far more irrational reaction. Anyway, one British wine merchant have rather championed the ampersand, as their logo illustrates. The…

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SIVIPA Moscatel 2015 Setúbal (Wines of the week)

Jul 07, 2017 09:00 am | Julia Harding MW

From €7.99, £13, $12 Find this wine This is an LOL wine (take your pick between laugh-out-loud and lots of love) – just because the apricot and orange aromas and flavours are so wonderfully intense and extreme they provoke simple, spontaneous joy. It’s the sort of wine that will grab your attention and brighten your day thanks to its sweetly…

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Getting André Lurton out of the closet (Tasting articles)

Jul 06, 2017 09:00 am | Jancis Robinson

The team at London retailer Theatre of Wine were intrigued to find, on a visit to André Lurton’s Bordeaux operation, unusually copious stocks of old vintages of dry white Pessac-Léognan, back to 2004 in some cases. The reason became clear when they examined the tops of the bottles: screwcaps. By the turn of the century André Lurton, owner of Chx…

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Beyond bling - whither fine wine? (Free for all)

Jul 06, 2017 06:40 am | Guest contributor

6 July We're republishing this free today as part of our Throwback Thursday series.  4 July To celebrate Independence Day, we invite a well-placed American in France to contribute to At the recent Fine Minds 4 Fine Wines think tank I described on Saturday, I was most impressed by the contribution of Christian Holthausen…

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Toro - some real finds (Tasting articles)

Jul 05, 2017 09:00 am | Ferran Centelles

Toro obtained official DO status in 1987 and has boomed since 1999 when there were just nine wineries in the region. Today there are 63 and they export up to 35% of their wines. However, the region was also famous in Roman times, as some vestiges found in the region demonstrate. It was also a well-known wine production centre in the Middle Ages…

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Fool Proof? New wearable technology monitors inebriation (Don't quote me)

Jul 05, 2017 09:00 am | Richard Hemming MW

In 2015, I mentioned a prize being offered to the first company that could create a wearable device that continuously monitors your blood alcohol concentration. Less than two years later, it's now possible to buy one – although the first tranche of devices has already sold out via the Indiegogo page set up by its creators BACtrack. For those of us…

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Il Collettivo (Tasting articles)

Jul 04, 2017 09:00 am | Jancis Robinson

In his article yesterday, Walter bemoaned the demise of the annual tasting known as the Definitive Italian, one that became less and less definitive. I recently attended its successor, a much livelier, edgier event called Il Collettivo. It was designed to showcase the Italian wines of importers Flint, FortyFive10, SWIG and Sommelier's Choice and…

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Futurism, fine wine and Armit (Tasting articles)

Jul 03, 2017 09:00 am | Walter Speller

Italian fine wine is taken so seriously these days in the UK that it has led to the demise of the Definitive Italian Wine Tasting. Once a permanent fixture on the London wine-trade calendar, this joint effort of UK importers showing their Italian portfolios together in one single event has ceased to exist because importers feel confident enough to…

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Summiting the Douro (Inside information)

Jul 03, 2017 09:00 am | Hrishi Poola

There's a delicious irony in the Douro's magic. Just when you and the vines are seeking relief from the heat with shade and a cool, evening aperitif, the surrounding sun-baked schist exhales and warms the air back up. I call this tough love. For much of the three decades since Portugal's entry into the EU, broader recognition of Portuguese white…

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Fine wines, fine minds (Free for all)

Jul 01, 2017 01:00 am | Jancis Robinson

A version of this article is published by the Financial Times. Get-togethers for wine professionals tend to follow a pattern. We meet, we taste, we sometimes eat, and then we disperse, usually feeling more well-disposed towards the world than when we arrived. But two weekends ago Nick and I were invited to what sounded like a more cerebral…

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London restaurants – at tipping point? (Nick on restaurants)

Jul 01, 2017 01:00 am | Jancis Robinson

I can still recall the details of a conversation 15 years ago with my friend Danny Meyer, the successful New York restaurateur, photographed above at his restaurant Maialino by Melissa Hom. He was explaining his role, and in particular one aspect of its many different challenges. ‘I have to point out to many of my younger colleagues who have joined…

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