The Factory House is the name of the British Port Wine shippers club, located in the Portuguese town of Oporto. There is a long tradition of holding a Wednesday lunch for members, where they come to eat, talk about the business, and share some Port.
Last night I opened a bottle of 1996 Mouton Rothschild for Giacomo Neri, the famous producer of Brunello di Montalcino. His 2001 Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova was Wine of the Year a few years back.
Have I lived in Italy too long or something? I am still suffering a little from the aftermath of a long wine tasting/dinner last night with some winemakers from Bolgheri, the Tuscan coastal region known for such great wine names as Masseto, Ornellaia, Messorio, and, of course, Sassicaia.
It’s a courageous thing to do, and I can’t think of many wine producers who would do the same. I was at the 80th birthday of Bruno Giacosa , the legendary winemaker of Piedmont , about a week ago and he told me that he wasn’t going to bottle his 2006 Barolos or Barbarescos.
The dream is a reality—first-growths for just under $200 a bottle. This is a new world for wine lovers. I still remember years back when a first-growth owner told me that they made a "luxury product" and that real wine lovers didn’t matter to them anymore.
I got Frédéric Engerer on the phone from Taipei this afternoon from my house in Italy. He had more than 50 e-mails to answer regarding the release of his 2008 Latour to the global wine trade. The president of the famous first-growth released his wine at 110 euros to the Bordeaux wine trade, who in turn are selling it to customers around the world for about 126 euros to 132 euros.
I started thinking of the wine that I wanted to drink for lunch about 15 minutes into the Easter service at York Minster in England. I know that this is not at all the Easter spirit, or pious. But I couldn’t help it.
I tasted slightly more than 300 barrel samples this year from Bordeaux's 2008 vintage. This is slightly less than in great vintages such as 2000 and 2005, but I think it is a pretty good study of the region’s newest vintage.
I always consider each Bordeaux futures tasting, or en primeur campaign, to be a race among the first-growths. It’s fascinating to see which of the five first-growth châteaus come out on top in my tastings: Latour , Margaux , Haut-Brion , Mouton-Rothschild or Lafite Rothschild.
The 2008s are a pleasure to taste. I reviewed wines on the Left Bank today and visited a handful of wineries, including Margaux , Palmer , Malescot-St.-Exupéry , Rauzan-Ségla , Leoville Barton , Ducru-Beaucaillou , Branaire-Ducru and Gloria.
Just a quick word between château stops in Bordeaux about a development in my family that nobody in the world knows about. And I think it is time to tell you and everyone else who frequents my blog. The terrier family of dogs never ceases to amaze me.
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