See photos of Decanter 40th anniversary lunch at Le Gavroche

See photos of Decanter 40th anniversary lunch at Le GavrocheSee the highlights from the Decanter 40th anniversary lunch at Le Gavroche, the first of the anniversary celebrations. Peter Gago of Penfolds with Angelo GajaClick the icon in the bottom right hand corner to see the images full screen.
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Jane Anson: Bordeaux 1975 tasting

Jane Anson: Bordeaux 1975 tastingThere is real charm in re-tasting what was arguably the last excellent vintage made in the ancient style, and Bordeaux 1975 is not as hard as you would reckon to get hold of, says Jane Anson. Chateau Lynch Bages vineyardThis Bordeaux 1975 tasting, done to coincide with Decanter’s 40th anniversary, is a look at how classic ancient school Bordeaux can age. I suggest opening the bottles just a small time previous to drinking to preserve the delicate aromas.
Château Gloria AOC Saint Julien 1975 – 88 points, Drink now. Read more

10 top Argentina Syrah

10 top Argentina SyrahArgentina Syrah is being made into a fresher, lighter style, that would please any Rhône lover - especially from the high altitude vineyards. Patricio Tapia picks the top wines to try.Argentina and Syrah
Malbec is not the only variety in Argentina now being made in a fresher, lighter style that is less biased with alcohol and less influenced by new oak. Syrah is also getting this treatment. Long offering very ripe and sweet wines, it is slowly delivering a fruitier and fresher face; Syrahs that are now more enjoyable for fans of the northern Rhône.
Of the more than 200,000 hectares of vineyards planted across Argentina, only 12,809ha are given over to Syrah, and more than 90% of these grow below the intense sun in Mendoza and San Juan. In lower (and therefore warmer) zones, the wines will usually feel too rich and sweet for Rhône lovers: there’s ample ripeness and juiciness but also a lack of acidity. For the best and most elegant examples you must climb the mountains.
In high-altitude vineyards, the warmth drops and the poorest soils allocate for more structured wines. The foothills of the Andes in San Juan, as well as in the Uco Valley or some parts of luján de Cuyo, are home to some of the best Syrahs in Argentina – more precise in their fruit and more vibrant in their acidity, sometimes with those spicy, mineral and savoury charcuterie or bacon stout tones that one tends to associate with northern Rhône examples. Read more

Italy wine harvest 2015 looking good, say producers

Italy wine harvest 2015 looking good, say producersWinemakers across Italy appear confident about the 2015 wine harvest, despite a summer heatwave that forced some to use emergency irrigation. Some Trentino vineyards needed irrigation against dry heat of 2015Italy wine harvest conditions ‘favourable’
The Unione Italiana Vini, which represents wine producers throughout Italy, reported ‘more or less negligible’ disease thanks to a ‘favourable climate throughout the season’, but reported ‘amongst highest July temperatures’ in the last few years.
An absence of rainfall also burned or dehydrated bunches in some vineyards, ‘requiring emergency irrigation operations.’
At Castello di Fonterutoli in Chianti, where the 2015 wine harvest is expected to end in two weeks, co-owner Marchese Francesco Mazzei said three weeks of heat provoked a halt to the vegetative cycle of his Sangiovese vines, but the sun and relieving rain at the end of August and September improved things.
‘We subdue have a link of weeks to go… but it looks to be like a pretty excellent vintage,’ said Mazzei of the harvest, which started on 7 September. Read more

New Accolade CEO says Australian wine must remember its roots

New Accolade CEO says Australian wine must remember its rootsAustralian wine should never forget where it came from while pursuing a more upmarket strategy, according to the newly appointed CEO of Hardys owner Accolade Wines. Paul Schaafsma, Accolade Wines CEOPaul Schaafsma, who takes over as Accolade CEO from John Ratcliffe this Thursday, praised Australia’s renewed focus on regionality and premium wines.
But he added: ‘I’ve always said it’s about balance: we need the engine room of the Australian wine industry to work. Our rationale for being in the UK started with being consistent in terms of flavour.
‘We can never forget where we came from. Having commercial wines that deliver that flavour and value is essential. But, there’s much more to Australia than that.’ Read more

Top Italian varieties from California

Top Italian varieties from CaliforniaCalifornian producers are finally building a selection of quality Italian grape variety wines. See Decanter expert Jon Bonne's top picks.The description of Italian grapes in California has been, to be candid, a near-total failure. Its greatest success was found in the mid-20th century, when jugs of not-quite-Chianti were made from Carignan, Zinfandel and many additional varieites California had inherited.
But the Californians success has changed when they thought less about copying Italy and more about incorporating the right grapes into its Pacific culture.
Jon Bonne gives us his top 10 picks of the best Italian varieties in California: Read more

Gordon Ramsay lists English sparkling wines at Bordeaux restaurant

Gordon Ramsay lists English sparkling wines at Bordeaux restaurantGordon Ramsay’s new restaurant, Le Pressoir d’Argent, will feature a selection of English sparkling wines, including Gusbourne Estate, Coates & Seely, Camel Valley and Ridgeview. Le Pressoir d'Argent in Bordeaux will include English wines on the menuLe Pressoir d’Argent, at Bordeaux’s Grand Hotel, will officially open its doors to the public on Friday September 25.
For the initial opening period, Ramsay will be present in Bordeaux on alternate weeks with Clare Smyth, chef patron at his Michelin three-star Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London. Full time executive chef is Gilad Peled, earlier from Les Sources des Alpes in Switzerland.
‘The challenge in Bordeaux is ensuring the food is at the same quality level as the wine,’ Ramsay told ‘This restaurant needs to draw on the exceptional local knowledge and produce… and then draw on our experience to get creative with it.
‘We are working with several local winemakers, but it’s hard to single out a particular progression or wine; this is an oasis of magical growers that can’t be matched anywhere in the world. My objective is to have the wine to become our epicentre’.
The wine list has been developed by the team in Bordeaux, led by sommelier and buying director Frederic Rouglan, with input from Ramsay and his wine buying team in London.
‘The wine list will be mainly from Bordeaux, but we have gone outside the province also. And we had to include English sparkling wine,’ Ramsay said, who has just bought a property in Cornwall in the Camel Valley. ‘We haven’t had a riot yet’.
Le Pressoir d’Argent is Ramsay’s second restaurant in France following the Trianon Palace in Versailles and both hotels are owned by Michel Ohayon.
Ramsay is the third huge name chef to open in the city over the past few months, following Joël Robuchon and Philippe Etchebest. Alain Ducasse is reportedly in talks to finalise a location.
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