High class, with Léoville Las Cases

By Panos Kakaviatos for wine-chronicles.com 

27 April 2017

Wines made by Domaines Delon count among the classiest in Bordeaux – and that applies to their moderately priced Médoc Château Potensac, once correctly classified as a Crus Bourgeois Exceptionnel, to the grand vin, Château Léoville Las Cases.

You know top-flight wines are involved when you assess them in terms of Audrey Hepburn or Rita Hayworth or Lauren Bacall: actresses that live on as legends.

And such were the wines last night at Ripple, a restaurant of class itself, whose chef Ryan Ratino proved yet again his many talents. Aside from a too spicy harissa for otherwise fabulous lamb tartar in the first course, everything was utterly splendid. Kudos in particular to his foie gras consumé over delectably delicious tortellini of duck confit: a culinary paradise. I could have stayed with that course all evening… Read More


Bordeaux 2016

The mysterious vintage

By Panos Kakaviatos for wine-chronicles.com 

14 April 2017

While tasting barrel samples in late March and early April this year, vintners called the wines “unusual” or “unique”.

2016 was not an easy vintage, given the roller coaster suspense in what I had called a yin-yang vintage in Harpers Wine & Spirit.

But 2016 turned out to be darn good from barrel.

Not as predictable as 2005 or 2010 or 2015, but in some ways better than all three, at least when it comes to some wines.

Vintners were at pains to compare 2016 to any single previous vintage, and this riddle can be explained in how 2016 Bordeaux combines positive aspects from other fine to great years.

Assessing some very well priced 2016s at the negociant Joanne. Sociando Mallet, for example, was excellent from barrel.

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Current gold indeed

Zind-Humbrecht 2015

By Panos Kakaviatos for wine-chronicles.com

16 March 2017

In 2015, I reported for Decanter on the Alsace harvest as being warmer than usual. The Alsatian Wine Council (CIVA), for example, had allowed acidification in Alsace for the first time since 2003, because acidities were lower than in previous years. But, acidity is above 2003 in general, thanks to cool evenings in August and September.

So I do admit to having felt just a bit of trepidation before tasting the just-bottled 2015 vintage wines of Domaine Zind-Humbrecht earlier this week.

Some wine professionals judge Zind-Humbrecht as too rich, especially in warmer vintages. But as Eric Asimov noted in the New York Times, way back in 2011, the style has changed, for some time already. By the time I wrote an article in Decanter Magazine, in 2014, about a focus on making dryer wines in Alsace, the pace had only increased.

Getting set to taste the just bottled 2015 vintage from Zind-Humbrecht

How did I find the 2015s? My third year in row to taste the latest vintage to be offered from bottle at Zind-Humbrecht? Remarkably balanced, pristine and, for the most part, rather brisk. There is a Hermes-like quality, a velvety smoothness, to many of the wines, and much underlying power in the more prestigious brands like Brand and Rangen de Thann, coming from particularly advantageous terroirs and older vines. Read More

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Wine sales expected to make further gains in 2017: Live-Ex

Industry report via Live-Ex 

11 March 2017

Merchants are predicting further gains for the industry benchmark Liv-ex 100 index, which gained 25% in 2016.

Liv-ex members are expecting the fine wine market to rise further in 2017, according to the results of a survey conducted in February.

 On average, respondents expect the industry benchmark Liv-ex 100 index to increase by 7.8% this year to close on 320.6. This would represent a second year of strong gains for the market. Read More

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Petrus for over $30k a bottle

Prestige fine wine market is alive and kicking, especially driven by American and Asian buyers

From Sotheby’s 

25 February 2017

A Wednesday fine wine sale in London featuring a private collection totalled £1,716,922 (over $2.1m), exceeding the £1.5 million top estimate.

Lots found buyers across 21 countries, led by the UK, Hong Kong and Russia.

An Imperial (6 litre) of Petrus 1989 achieved £28,200, the highest price of the sale. There was keen competition for both mature and young Bordeaux and sought-after Burgundy producers such as Armand Rousseau and Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair. Read More

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