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

View this email in your browser  News 02 Jun 2017

Dear wine lover

I expected to be writing to you from a beautiful villa on the Greek island of Paxos, surrounded by our three grandchildren on a week's half-term holiday with their parents. But at 4 am last Sunday morning, four hours before assumed take-off, I got a text telling me our British Airways flight to Corfu had been cancelled - all part of BA's recent IT meltdown.

There followed, online in the middle of the night, a frantic scramble to secure alternative seats. Nick and I managed to fly out on Wednesday for the wedding tonight that provided the initial impetus for this jaunt, but we failed to find enough seats for the rest of the family, who have had to spend their half-term holiday at home in London. Grrr. I do think that BA have lost the plot, which is why I resigned as wine consultant for them back in 2010. But apparently we are just seven of the 75,000 potential passengers affected by the mysterious failure of all their systems. 

Anyway, enough of this whinging and more of the goodies shared on this week. As in Britain in this pre-election week, Brexit rather dominated things, with my report on how people much better-informed than me see the likely effects on global wine markets.

As for wines themselves, Walter reported on the hot new Italian wine region, Alto Piemonte, while Julia gave a progress report on English still wines. We resume retail specialist Andy Howard MW's occasional series on big UK retailers today with his rather enthusiastic report on Morrisons.

I provided many a tasting note on O W Loeb's 'drinking' burgundies and a few on McLaren Vale Grenaches, as well as today's wine of the week, a delicious Pinot Noir from surprisingly close to the equator, and a plea for the virtues of a needlessly neglected classic wine made nearby, sherry. My syndicated article was about another unexpected source of Pinot Noir, very far from the equator in Chilean Patagonia. One of the most beautiful vineyard locations I have ever visited.

Gavin Quinney continued his report on frost damage in Bordeaux, with a map and many more pictures, and Nick described two restaurants worth seeking out on the beautiful coast of Croatia  - not that far from Paxos, now I come to think of it.

Yours in retsina,


​Morrisons spring 2017 - points of difference (Don't quote me)

Jun 02, 2017 09:00 am | Guest contributor

Andy Howard MW continues his series of tasting reports on the spring offerings from the UK's major supermarkets. Morrisons continues to surprise. Against a backdrop of slowing retail expenditure in the UK high street, the impact of a weaker sterling exchange rate, uncertainty over Brexit and the growth of aggressive and successful competitors, the…

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​Cortijo los Aguilares Pinot Noir 2015 Sierras de Málaga (Wines of the week)

Jun 02, 2017 09:00 am | Jancis Robinson

From €24.90, £22.40 Find this wine This was my find of the recent London Wine Fair, although before tasting this gem I was intrigued by a couple of wines from Ecuador, a Chardonnay and a Cabernet/Malbec blend that did taste vaguely of those varieties, the produce of two harvests a year and made by Vinos Dos Hemisferios. It seemed so unlikely to be…

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UK wine trade faces up to Brexit (Free for all)

Jun 01, 2017 09:00 am | Jancis Robinson

1 June While the British media are flooded with coverage of next week’s general election, so intimately entwined with Brexit, we are today republishing free this article that considers what Brexit may mean for wine and wine lovers. 31 May In the last 10 days I have attended two briefings about the likely effects on the world of wine of Brexit,…

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Grenache - McLaren Vale's own grape (Tasting articles)

Jun 01, 2017 09:00 am | Jancis Robinson

As attentive readers will have discerned, all over the world there is an increasing head of steam behind Grenache nowadays. See, for example, Max Allen on Grenache in the Yarra - a warming trend?, Ferran on Garnacha - now the height of fashion and A new way ahead for Grenache. Not to mention last week's wine of the week chosen by Ferran. The…

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Alto Piemonte rediscovered (Tasting articles)

May 31, 2017 09:00 am | Walter Speller

See this guide to all Walter's articles this year on major tastings of Piemonte wines. Few wine regions in Italy attract as much attention as Etna but, as I pointed out in my wildly oversubscribed masterclass at last week's London Wine Fair, it is about to be joined by another, less obvious one. It may lack the active, sizzling volcano that appeals…

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Bordeaux 2017 - mapping the frost (Free for all)

May 30, 2017 09:00 am | Guest contributor

As a follow-up to his Frosted Bordeaux - a damage assessment, Gavin Quinney of Ch Bauduc in the Entre-Deux-Mers has produced this excellent map that shows the areas worst hit, although the full extent of the crop loss cannot be fully assessed until later in the season. Just look, however, at that huge swathe of black on the right bank, particularly…

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Loeb's 'drinking' burgundies (Tasting articles)

May 30, 2017 09:00 am | Jancis Robinson

O W Loeb is an important UK wine importer. Begun by German Jewish refugee Otto Loeb (see this fascinating new entry on Jewish heritage in German wine culture in the latest Oxford Companion), it used to specialise in top-quality German wine but today is better known for its selection of fine burgundies. Their speciality has long been supplying…

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The world's most southerly vineyard? (Free for all)

May 29, 2017 09:00 am | Jancis Robinson

This article has been syndicated. For those of us responsible for The World Atlas of Wine, Chile is a nightmare. Every time a new edition is needed, the extent of viticulture in this, the longest and thinnest country on earth, has grown. For the first six editions we could – just – squeeze the Chilean wine map on to one page with our usual north…

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English still wines - a progress report (Tasting articles)

May 29, 2017 09:00 am | Julia Harding MW

With English Wine Week starting last Saturday, this seems a good time to look at the Cinderallas of English wine, those without CO2. English fizz is on a roll. For evidence, look no further than Nyetimber takes on Krug or English fizz trumps champagne in blind tasting. The mission I chose to accept was to taste a range of still wines, bravely…

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Sherry - undiscovered treasure (Free for all)

May 27, 2017 01:00 am | Jancis Robinson

A shorter version of this is published by the Financial Times. I had lunch with my old friend and co-author of The World Atlas of Wine Hugh Johnson the other day. He’d recently revisited the sherry town of Jerez for the first time in decades and was still in shock, rocked by the transformation of the landscape surrounding it. The vineyards that…

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Delicious Dalmatia (Nick on restaurants)

May 27, 2017 01:00 am | Nick Lander

According to Daniel Boulud, the French-born, New York-based but peripatetic chef, the preparation of first courses is a far more attractive proposition than main courses for both customer and chef as well as for the enjoyment of the wine. His theory is based on the following observations. First courses are served when the customer is hungriest and…

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