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Showing posts from August, 2009

King Barolo and his friends

Dwayne Perreault - Ah, Barolo. As they like to say here, "the King of wines, and the wine of Kings." If you want to appreciate it, you need to have patience, and let's face it, few people possess this trait nowadays. Really, a good Barolo should not be drunk until it's 10 years old, but if you want to purchase one of these finer old specimens in a shop here, count on spending between 50 to 100 Euros for a bottle. You can buy them for about a third or a quarter of the price when they're young, but you need to have a cellar and you need to have patience.

The rolling hillside vineyards of Barolo

Barolo the place is eye-candy: rolling land stretches out from the foothills (Piedmont literally translated) of the Alps where medieval castle towns sit perched on the tops of escarpments, looking over geometrically aligned terraces where virtually every square meter is planted with a Nebbiolo vine. I came here in a used VW Polo and on a budget, but what I found was winemakers…

Bordeaux 2009: Jane Anson's video update

Wine journalist Jane Anson, based in Bordeaux, is one of my favourite information sources for the wines from Bordeaux. These days she is talking to producers to hear about the development of the new vintage, Bordeaux 2009.

Only after the harvest something more or less definite can be said about the potential of the new vintage, in this stage it is just... an update on the development so far.

Recently Jane interviewed Lafite's director Charles Chevallier, in a sunny Lafite vineyard. Let me summarise the main points on the development of the Bordeaux 2009 vintage (most points taken from the video):

- The start of the growing season in April was in good conditions; there was no frost. To compare: in 2008, there was the Graves region was hit by spring frost, which - more or less - diminished the crop.
- Pauillac was not affected by the hailstorms that hit large parts of Bordeaux in early May. Damage, sometimes severe, was recorded in Saint-Emilion, Pomerol, Entre-Deux-Mers, Graves and the…

Back to Ticino: Werner Stucky

Dwayne Perreault - As I noted in the first posting I made for this blog, few Swiss wines will ever find a public outside of Switzerland, because they are practically all consumed in their home country. There are two major reasons for this, and they are both economical in nature. Swiss wines are expensive to export, given that land is costly in this tiny mountainous country and production costs are high. Secondly, foreign wines are heavily taxed in Switzerland, which gives local wines an advantage for the Swiss consumer.

But the Swiss know a good wine when they drink it, and there is little doubt that Ticino is the country’s rising star. When Hugh Johnson compiled his Wine Companion in 1983, he listed no more than five producers. But there has been a renaissance happening here in the last 20 years, and the region is now producing some outstanding Merlots, some of which can rival St. Emilion and Pomerol, both in quality and price.

Werner Stucky in his "garage" in Rivera, Ticino

O…

Bolomey Wijnimport new Dutch importer for Domaine Arnaud Ente

In my blog posting of 29 June I briefly mentioned our visit to Domaine Arnaud Ente in Meursault. We tasted all Ente's whites, and our undivided conclusion was that these wines are of extraordinary quality. Jan van Roekel wrote a summary of this tasting on his website Burgoholic.

The current state of affairs: Bolomey Wijnimport has just become Ente's exclusive importer for The Netherlands. Certainly worth mentioning I would say. But what makes Ente's wines so special?

Arnaud Ente Meursault Clos des Ambres 2006

First: a ruthlessly ambitious winemaker is working at one of the finest terroirs for white wines on the face of earth - the appellation Meursault. Ente is uncompromisingly dedicated (all year round there are four people for just over four hectares!) to make the very best wine, according to his own ideas. Ente produces a harmonious, natural style of wine, which can in fact be found between the thick-oaky-style on the one side, and the lean-mineral-approach on the other si…