Bordeaux 2014 in barrel: Bored of the dough?

Cru Bourgeois and Haut Médoc: More bang for you euro, yuan, ruble, pound or buck

By Panos Kakaviatos for wine-chronicles

16 May 2015

Faves? They include Cantemerle, Chasse Spleen, Fourcas Dupré and Lanessan

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Twice in the last two years I have co-hosted master classes for Bordeaux’s cru bourgeois wines. Wines in this price category – rarely surpassing $30 per bottle – can constitute the best bargains for #winelovers sick and tired of ever higher prices for Bordeaux en primeur. Although 2014 futures prices have gone down – and you can for example purchase an excellent Lynch Bages or Haut Bailly for much less than certain in-bottle offerings – there remains a justified bad taste among many consumers with Bordeaux futures campaigns, with too many wines available off the shelf for the same price that they were offered from barrel thus having defeated the entire futures raison d’être. Read More

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Greek Alpha, that’s top notch wine from Angelos Iatridis

By Panos Kakaviatos for wine-chronicles

14 May 2015

After interviewing Angelos Iatridis for wine-searcher.com it took me some time to finally post notes on the wines I tasted at his gorgeous estate in northern Greece. Many thanks to him for welcoming me with such an amazing array of wines while I was in Thessalonika to judge at the International Wine & Spirits Competition. I am in the midst of penning an article on Greek white wines for Decanter but let me just say this: he is making some of the best wines from Greece that I have tasted. OK, I did not like all of them – you can read about that in the enclosed tasting notes – but generally speaking, Angelos and vine grower Makis Mavridis are kicking ass and taking wine names. It is no wonder that his winery was selected to be part of Robert Parker’s unique Matter of Taste Saatchi gallery “Icon Wines of the World” tasting in London this past February. Read More

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2014 Bordeaux in barrel: smoking Graves

By Panos Kakaviatos for wine-chronicles.com

MAIN BORDEAUX 2014 BARREL TASTING PAGE

15 May 2015

My faves: Among reds, Haut Brion rather rules the roost, but watch out for an excellent and (hopefully) well-priced Domaine de Chevalier red and the usually fine Haut Bailly. Pape Clement has more linearity than I can ever recall – and that’s a good thing and Smith Haut Lafitte continues its welcome path towards more classicism. As for whites, Domaine de Chevalier and Haut Brion Blanc are tops, but La Mission Haut Brion Blanc is also great (if expensive) – and I like Smith Haut Lafitte a lot, too…

It is often said that the wines of Graves impart intriguing smoky aromatics after evolution in bottle. Barrel samples do not. So the title is more a play on words as “smoking” also can mean “doing very well” and I would say that based on 2014 barrel samples I tried, many of the Graves – both red and white – were smoking. Read More

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Bordeaux 2014 in barrel: Widen the critical scope

No use relying on a single palate

14 May 2015

By Panos Kakaviatos for wine-chronicles.com

MAIN BORDEAUX 2014 BARREL TASTING PAGE

Have you heard of Miguel Lecuona’s City Wine Journal?

Miguel has an excellent palate and takes some of the best pictures I have ever seen. We taste together on many occasions during the Bordeaux barrel tasting period. This year, we enjoyed a lovely dinner one evening and Miguel brought a fantastic Pomerol from 1970 that tasted fresh and still structured, with plenty of life and excitement. Low alcohol and perfumed aromatics. Lovely wine from another era. We dined chez Jane Anson, the famous English wine author and friend who is a superlative source of information – and influence.

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With Miguel Lecuona and a lovely 1970 Pomerol chez Jane Anson

For over 10 years, Jane has been decanter.com’s official Bordeaux news source and more recently covers Graves for the magazine. Her entertaining, informative and substantial book on the First Growths – Bordeaux Legends – is a reference for all #winelovers. Not only has Jane earned a diploma in wine tasting from Bordeaux, she also pens weekly wine columns worldwide, and her website, New Bordeaux, is fantastic. Read More

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Dining at Château Haut Brion with Prince Robert of Luxembourg

By Panos Kakaviatos for wine-chronicles.com 

13 May 2014

Prince Robert of Luxembourg – owner of Château Haut Brion – loves history.

Last year, the estate awarded several cases of Haut Brion 1989 to art historian Laurent Chavier, who won a contest to find the earliest mention of Haut Brion as a wine.

“I launched the competition, as Haut Brion is famous for being the oldest, if you will, of the great names of Bordeaux, and, until last year, the oldest written mention was 1660,” he said as we sipped on Bollinger Champagne in a supremely elegant living room, not far from a just as elegant and elaborate dining room, where I later enjoyed dinner with employees of Alain Ducasse restaurants from around the world.

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Sipping Bollinger Grande Annee 2005. Not quite as vivacious as the 2004 vintage but very well made and has a real vinous quality. What a great treat as I interviewed Prince Robert!

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