Wine News v9

Fine wine news roundup: 26 September – 2 October


Palmer releases 2010 vintage with high mark-up

Chateau Palmer released the final tranche of its 2010 vintage this week, marking the start of its new ex-cellar release programme, ‘N-10’.

The Margaux estate has been holding back half of its stock every year in anticipation of the new initiative, which will see a 10-year-old vintage of the grand vin released from its cellars every September from this year onwards.

The ex-cellar 2010 was released at €275 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, representing an increase of 28% on the original release price. Critic Neil Martin awarded it 96 points, calling it “quintessential Margaux”.

Collectors will no doubt move quickly secure to secure an allocation, given the limited supply of the vintage on the market. However, with the international trade offering a case of 12 for £3,516, the release is considerably higher than the going market price for the original stock. The 2009, 2015, 2016 and 2018 vintages, meanwhile, all scored a higher 98 points from The Wine Advocate and are available from as much as £1,000 less per dozen.


Rare DRC on offer at Tokyo auction

Tokyo-based fine wine auction house Kaigai is set to host its 29th Fine Wine Auction online from 5th-12th October this year, with an impressive selection of gems on offer.

The 179-lot sale will include mini-verticals of Roumier Bonnes Mares, numerous bottles of René Engel grand cru (Grand Echezeaux, Clos Vougeot and Echezeaux), plus rare and exceptional bottles of 1923 and 1969 Romanee-Conti from an ‘impeccable’ Japanese collector.

Other highlights will include mature bottles such as 1977 Armand Rousseau Chambertin Clos-de-Beze, 1966 Leroy Musigny, 1982 Mouton Rothschild, 1978 Chave Hermitage, and 1976 Roumier Morey-St-Denis Clos de la Bussiere.


Austria welcomes critic-pleasing 2019 vintage

Austria’s newly-released 2019 vintage has been met with widespread acclaim, with critics commenting on its quality and ‘personality’.

Hopes were already high for the vintage, which was born of a favourable growing season marked by a warm summer, mild autumn and healthy crop conditions. Jancis Robinson MW said the wines’ “quality – intensity with freshness and personality – has really shone out”. Meanwhile, Riesling expert Stuart Pigott ranked the 2019 “alongside 2011, 2009 and 1999 as one of [Austria’s] three best vintages of the modern period”.

Chris Yorke, managing director of the Austrian Wine Marketing Board, said: “With the Austrian 2019 vintage, wine lovers are fortunate in all categories – but shouldn’t wait too long to buy, since the harvest volume was slightly below average.”


Soave announces 33 new ‘crus’

After more than 15 years of painstaking research, the Italian region of Soave has approved the creation of 33 new single vineyard units, accounting for 38% of the total surface area of the DO.

The new ‘Unita Geografica Aggiuntiva’ or ‘Additional Geographical Units’ (AGA) are the Italian equivalent of a ‘cru’, and denote a particular vineyard within an appellation. The AGAs cover all of the region’s major soil types, from limestone to volcanic rock. All 33 are positioned on hillsides.

The new sites are: Castelcerino, Colombara, Frosca, Fitta, Foscarino, Volpare, Tremenalto, Carbonare, Tenda, Corte Durlo, Rugate, Croce, Costalunga, Coste, Zoppega, Menini, Monte Grande, Ca’ del Vento, Castellaro, Pressoni, Broia, Brognoligo, Costalta, Paradiso, Costeggiola, Casarsa, Monte di Colognola, Campagnola, Pigno, Duello, Sengialta, Ponsara and Ronca- Monte Calvarina.

Growers will be able to label their wines accordingly from the 2019 vintage.


Taittinger releases 2008 Comtes

Champagne house Taittinger has finally released its 2008 vintage of prestige cuvee Comtes de Champagne, several months after the originally-planned release date in June.

The wine has received high acclaim from critics, with Antonio Galloni awarding it 98+ points, and The Wine Advocate’s William Kelley giving it 98.

The 2008 is widely-regarded as a very strong year for Champagne overall – certainly one of the best of the early 200s and one with excellent ageing potential.

It’s been released at £89 per bottle, representing a 26% increase on the current market price of the 2007 and 22% increase on the 2006.


Royal Tokaji to release single vineyard azsu wines

Royal Tokaji has announced plans to release aszu wines from the 2016 vintage this autumn, marking just the eighth release of the winery’s sweet wines since 2000.

The estate says that the quality of the 2016 vintage is so high that it’s been able to produce its full range of single vineyard wines: Mezes Maly, Betsek, Nyulaszo and Szt Tamas. The last time this happened was 2008. The estate’s famed Blue Label 5 Puttonyos and Gold Label 6 Puttonyos will also be released.

However, with the high quality came low yields, and just a single barrel of aszu was obtained from the Szt Tamas vineyard.

The Betsek, Mezes Malya and Nyulaszo wines will be offered in cases of six (500ml) while a limited edition box containing a 500ml bottle of each single vineyard wine and the Blue and Gold Label Puttonyos wines will also be on offer.

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