Not to be one always looking back, whenever I start a new year I try and think about all the great times of last year and it helps me get really up for all the challenges and possibilites for 2020.
So whilst most of you are doing Dry January or something equally as healthy to overcome the post-Christmas and New Year booze/chocolate/meat comas, I thought I’d start the year with a quick recap of the wines that meant a lot to me in 2019…
Just over ten years ago, in 2007, the Cru Bourgeois ranking system was in tatters. The system brought in to give consumers a better view of the great and the good of the red wines of the Médoc (outside the 1855 classifications) was at breaking point. Legal battles, rumours of nepotism by ruling councils, and even bribery had some Châteaux crying foul and walking away. How did it get to that?
I’m doing a little bit of work at the minute on rosé from Provence and thought it’d be a good idea, if I’m going to do a half decent job, to do a shed load of background reading on the subject. It’s incredible how often this happens in wine, but it was another occasion of reading around a subject you assumed would be a bit samey and being completely bloody wrong. Not only that, but I’ve stumbled across my new favourite wine region.
2017 was not a happy time for a huge swathe of Bordeaux grape growers. An early flowering of the vines due to warmer temperatures at the start of the year was followed by a devastating frost in April, wiping out an entire year’s crop for the unlucky ones.
Would fate be cruel enough to have another go in 2018?
Photos coming out of Bordeaux following recent storms are gut wrenching. Hailstones the size of golf balls wrecked merry havoc on vines in areas like Blaye and Bourg in the north, Entre Deux Mers to the east of the city, and the famous Médoc region to the west.