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

View this email in your browser  News 03 Feb 2017

Dear wine lover

Pinot Noir NZ 2017 has just finished. More than 600 wine lovers from all over the world converged on the famously windy capital city of New Zealand, which is supposed to be experiencing high summer but I found myself deeply grateful that I had packed my windproof raincoat. Our Elaine Chukan Brown (now blonde) is pictured here giving a moving final speech at the event - without notes. I was thrilled to update myself on the increasing confidence of Kiwi wine producers and I will of course be publishing myriad tasting notes on these southern-hemisphere alternatives to red burgundy (as discussed recently on our members' forum).

Not quite coincidentally, today's wine of the week is a Kiwi Syrah, one of the wines I reviewed on Monday in my report on the 2014 vintage in the Gimblett Gravels of Hawke's Bay on the east coast of the North Island.

The most heart-rending article we published this week was Derek Mossman Knapp's eyewitness account of the fires that have ravaged southern Chile (where Nick and I will be next week).

And our most substantial tasting article is Walter's detailed report on Brunello di Montalcino 2012, a vintage we will be showing off in London at our second Brunello Night on 5 March. Earlybird tickets to this, and to our Sherry Night on 23 April, are currently being offered to members of Purple Pages and will be generally available from 7 February.

We also published two tasting articles on the fine table wines of the Douro in northern Portugal and, perhaps most unexpectedly, wines currently being produced in... Poland. Max Allen's latest report from Australia highlighted the growing enthusiasm for Grenache in the Yarra Valley, I tied up my coverage of the exciting 2015 vintage in the Rhône and Nick reported on a cheap and cheerful basement restaurant in north London.

The 180 wine lovers who sent us two articles as entries in our wine writing competition may be glad to know that I have finally managed to read them all and we will be publishing our favourites over the coming weeks. No final decisions have been made about the winner(s), I'm afraid, but we hope you are enjoying all this creativity as much as we have been.

Off to Martinborough today, hoping to see a bit of sunshine in both sky and glass,


​Vidal Reserve Syrah 2014 Gimblett Gravels (Wines of the week)

Feb 03, 2017 09:00 am | Jancis Robinson

From NZ$19.99, £18.60, 340 yuan Find this wine Every year I taste a dozen of the best wines grown in the particularly gravelly subdistrict of Hawke's Bay in New Zealand cleverly dubbed the Gimblett Gravels that have been selected by my fellow MW Andrew Caillard (who was, like me, an attendee at this week's Pinot NZ event in unbelievably windy and…

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Wines with real Polish (Tasting articles)

Feb 03, 2017 09:00 am | Jancis Robinson

I made my first trip to Poland last October, partly to receive an award from the Polish wine magazine Czas Wina (fetching hat involved shown in my FT article on Saturday) and partly to observe at first hand the burgeoning wine scene there.I was taken straight from Krakow airport to the world-famous salt mine outside the city where I was amazed to…

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New Douro continued (Tasting articles)

Feb 02, 2017 09:00 am | Jancis Robinson

For the background to the magical Douro Valley and the recent wine revolution within it, see Julia's article yesterday on Finessing the new Douro. Most of the 24 wines below were tasted in the Douro one sunny Sunday last September with their makers just after all those Reminders of the greatness of port although one or two were tasted subsequently…

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From the frontline of Chile's fires (Free for all)

Feb 02, 2017 08:45 am | Guest contributor

2 February Encouraged by Purple Pager Wink Lorch, we are today republishing free Derek Mossman Knapp’s account of the terrible fires that have been devastating Chile’s Maule, Itata and Bío-Bío regions, an account which raises important questions about the causes of the fires. 30 January Central Chile is currently suffering an unprecedented number…

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WWC 21 - Simon Woolf (Free for all)

Feb 01, 2017 09:00 am | Guest contributor

Number 21 in our ongoing series of entries to our wine writing competition comes from Simon Woolf, who tells us: Were it not for a previous writing competition judged by Jancis, I would never have started writing about wine, let alone entertain thoughts of doing it professionally. The Morning Claret, aka The World's Least Influential Wine Blog,…

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Finessing the New Douro (Tasting articles)

Feb 01, 2017 09:00 am | Julia Harding MW

It may no longer be brand new but the New Douro is still a young movement compared with the Douro’s longer-established tradition of fortified wines. As I outlined in my review of last year’s London tasting, What’s new in the New Douro?, winemakers are still working assiduously to understand and best express the varietal, climatic and topographical…

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Brunello 2012 - a five-star dilemma (Tasting articles)

Jan 31, 2017 09:00 am | Walter Speller

We thought that those Purple Pagers wondering whether to take advantage of our earlybird ticket offer for Brunello Night in London on 5 March deserved Walter's impressions from his earlybird look at the latest vintage as soon as we could possibly supply them. (Poor Tam has gone straight from book review overload, to burgundy overload to Brunello…

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​Grenache in the Yarra - a warming trend (Max on Oz)

Jan 31, 2017 09:00 am | Max Allen

Ten years ago, in an article about climate change, I predicted that the Yarra Valley, traditionally famous for cool-climate grape varieties such as Pinot Noir, could soon be known for warm-climate varieties such as Grenache. At that time there was, as far as I was aware, only one vineyard in the Yarra growing Grenache - and it had been planted for…

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WWC 20 - Jonathan Bates (Free for all)

Jan 30, 2017 09:00 am | Guest contributor

Number 20 in our series of entries from our wine writing competition comprises two entertaining entries from Jonathan Bates, who describes himself in the following terms:  Male, sixty-ish, recently retired (and thus, wonderfully, with time to write) after spending most of my life managing scientists and scientific research. Now based in Brixham,…

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Gimblett Gravels 2014s (Tasting articles)

Jan 30, 2017 09:00 am | Jancis Robinson

After a disappointing 2012 vintage, Hawke's Bay winemakers have been rewarded with some really very impressive wines in both 2013 (see this New Zealand compilation, this August 2015 wine of the week and this December 2015 wine of the week) and 2014, which was even more successful in some cases. Whereas 2013 was characterised by drought, which…

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Southern Rhône 2015 reds - the plums (Free for all)

Jan 28, 2017 01:00 am | Jancis Robinson

A version of this article is published by the Financial Times. See this guide to our extensive coverage of 2015 Rhône. Burgundy 2015 may be in relatively short supply, but the southern Rhône – home of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas and the many villages of the Côtes-du-Rhône overlooked by Mont Ventoux seen here last October - is one of France’s most…

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A bargain basement near Euston (Nick on restaurants)

Jan 28, 2017 01:00 am | Nick Lander

No sooner had the Trump entourage turned their backs to the camera than they headed down to what the announcer described as their inaugural lunch. At the same time, I left the room – leaving a strangely transfixed Jancis watching on her own – muttering that this would be one meal I would be very happy not to attend. Subsequent details of the menu…

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