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

View this email in your browser  News 15 Sep 2017

Dear wine lover

My old-fashioned paper diary is well and truly filling up with tastings now that the London tasting season is in full swing. And the commitments shown here are just those planned for me; Richard had a parallel set of tastings (Julia was on a well-deserved holiday). The fruits of our labours will of course be published on

This week had quite a lot of sparkle to it: my impressions of a quick tour of Champagne at the end of last month and the 129 tasting notes that resulted from it, including some absolutely stunning releases current and future. For good measure we republished a 2012 article explaining Krug's ID codes too.

I also published my thoughts on Germany's Pinot Noirs and Michael and I jointly presented our individual tasting notes on no fewer than 269 of this year's Riesling Grosse Gewächse. My friend Hugh Johnson may argue, in today's Mosel Riesling wine of the week chosen by Richard, that Riesling needs sweetness but I love some of these very accomplished dry wines.

Richard was judged this year's online wine writer of the year, no less, in the Louis Roederer Awards announced on Tuesday night – specifically for his admirable Spittoon series. As he puts it, this week's Spittoon column is 'about contemplating your own pitiful insignificance, appropriately enough'. On the day of the awards, occasional contributor Simon Reilly told us the story of how he became a shortlisted part-time wine writer. 

Tickets to our first Barbaresco Night in London on 15 October went on general sale and Walter reported on an exciting initiative designed to rescue Sicily's indigenous vine varieties

Ferran luxuriated in the recently revived fortunes of Xarel-lo, a white wine grape in his native Catalunya, while Julia presented the second half of her profile of the wines of northern Greece, focusing on Gouménissa and Náoussa.

Is that all? I hear you ask. No. Nick told us about a most unexpected part of the world of interest to serious burgundy lovers, Tel Aviv.

Pip pip.


Northern Greece part 2 – Gouménissa and Náoussa (Tasting articles)

Sep 15, 2017 09:00 am | Julia Harding MW

See also Northern Greece part 1 – Amyndeo. The second half of my trip in May this year took me east of Amyndeo to Gouménissa. Although I did not visit wineries in Náoussa this time, I did taste a good number of wines from the region. While it is geographically closer to Amyndeo, as you can see from the World Atlas of Wine's overview map of Greece,…

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von Schubert, Maximin Grünhauser Monopol Riesling 2016 Mosel (Wines of the week)

Sep 15, 2017 09:00 am | Richard Hemming MW

From €9, £12.60  Find this wine If ever there was such a thing as a gateway Riesling, this new cuvée from von Schubert in the Mosel is it. I would defy the most hardened sceptic not to be won over by the purity, fragrance and miraculous balance of this delicious wine. But there’s more to it than that.  Two years ago, at a celebration of…

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Announcing our first Barbaresco Night (Free for all)

Sep 14, 2017 09:00 am | Team JR

14 September 2017  Tickets for Barbaresco Night go on general sale today, although there are currently fewer than 20 remaining. Once sold out, we will create a waiting list for ten people. Please email to add your name to the list, stating how many tickets you would like (maximum four). 6 September 2017  We are delighted…

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A tour of nine major champagne houses (Tasting articles)

Sep 14, 2017 09:00 am | Jancis Robinson

See also 2017 news from Champagne. I grew up within 15 miles of the Scottish border, which meant that our family hardly bothered to explore Scotland, feeling it was always on our doorstep so there was no urgent need. I am guilty of the same sort of feelings about Champagne. Nowadays it is the closest fine-wine region to my home in London (with…

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The 2017 GG tasting – Rieslings (Tasting articles)

Sep 13, 2017 09:00 am | Jancis Robinson & Michael Schmidt

For full details of our coverage of the excellent 2016 vintage in Germany, see this guide.  Michael writes There were 440 wines in total at this year’s preview of the Grosse Gewächse in Wiesbaden at the end of August, a good 250 of them Riesling, so Jancis and I shared the burden or pleasure of tasting them. To be fair to the growers and to…

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What the future holds for wine (possibly) (Hemming's Spittoon)

Sep 13, 2017 09:00 am | Richard Hemming MW

Richard won the online category in last night's Louis Roederer Wine Writers Awards for his Spittoon series. Many congratulations to him and to all the other winners, in bold on this press release. If you fancy being forcibly reminded of your own cosmological insignificance, then I heartily recommend reading The Big Picture by theoretical…

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From retsina to the Roederers (Free for all)

Sep 12, 2017 09:00 am | Guest contributor

Tuesday evening Our Richard fought off strong competition (including one Ms Harding MW) to win the online category for his Spittoon columns. The latest one will be published tomorrow. Below is a picture entitled Losers taken at tonight's Roederer awards and sent by Simon Reilly, third from the left. Tuesday morning Simon Reilly, pictured above…

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Xarel-lo comes into its own (Tasting articles)

Sep 12, 2017 09:00 am | Ferran Centelles

Friedrich Schiller, the eighteenth-century German poet and philosopher, said, ‘There is no causality, what we see as chance arises from a deep source.’ That is how I felt after receiving Jancis’s email suggesting I write an article about the rise of Xarel-lo as a preferred grape to produce still wine in Catalunya. Jancis has found an increasing…

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2017 news from Champagne (Inside information)

Sep 11, 2017 09:00 am | Jancis Robinson

It was a treat recently to whizz round nine of the most renowned champagne houses in 48 hours in blazing late August sunshine. See the resulting tasting notes. The 2017 crop I happened to arrive with the heat after the decidedly mixed August experienced by most French wine regions (see Gavin Quinney on Bordeaux) and before hail fell…

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Rescuing Sicily's ancient grape varieties (Inside information)

Sep 11, 2017 09:00 am | Walter Speller

See our burgeoning guide to this year's coverage of Sicilian wine. In an experimental vineyard in Marsala, 70 ancient Sicilian varieties, most of them previously completely unknown, are being researched. This dispels the myth that Italy’s largest island hasn’t much in the way of indigenous varieties. The vineyard, in the Contrada of Biesina, is…

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German Pinotland (Free for all)

Sep 09, 2017 01:00 am | Jancis Robinson

A shorter version of this article is published by the Financial Times. See also our tasting notes on 81 Spätburgunders (and 15 Lembergers) and this guide to our considerable coverage of Germany's 2015 vintage. Which countries grow most Pinot Noir, the red burgundy grape? Not surprisingly, France wins gold in this particular championship, her…

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Tel Aviv for burgundy – really (Nick on restaurants)

Sep 09, 2017 01:00 am | Nick Lander

My impressions of eating out in Israel during my first visit are still very strong. Falafel, pitta bread and a very cold Coca Cola – all of this dispensed to me by an Arab street vendor in Jerusalem in 1971. The price I cannot quite remember but it was only a few shekels.  My second visit, just completed, took place on an altogether more…

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