Wine News 3 v2

Fine wine news roundup: 24-30 October


Krug releases 2006 Clos du Mesnil

Champagne house Krug has announced that the 2006 vintage will be the next release for its Clos du Mesnil blanc de blancs brut. It will be the fifth Clos du Mesnil released since 2000.

Just 15,000 bottles and 800 magnums have been produced in total. According to the house, the Champagne boasts an intense golden colour. On the nose, it has, “aromas of citrus, barley sugar, and dried fruits with balance and freshness”, while on the palate it shows, “initial hints of madeleine cake and brioche that give way to notes of pastry, tarte tain, lemon meringue, bitter orange, and some spice”, with a long and intense finish.

The vintage is the product of a hot growing year, with extreme highs and 23 days recorded over 30°C. In August, however, more than two months’ worth of rain fell in just two weeks. The sun’s return at the end of the ripening period subsequently helped to produce grapes with a balance and ‘generosity’ similar to those of 1989 and 2002.

The vintage will also be available in the limited edition hand-crafted oak case comprising three 75cl bottles of Krug’s creations from the year 2006: the Clos du Mesnil, plus the Krug vintage 2006 and Krug Grande Cuvee 162eme Edition.


Zachys to offer world’s first barrel of Burgundy to be sold at auction

Auction house Zachys is set to host its first European multi-vendor sale in London, and has announced that it will include the world’s first barrel of Burgundy to be sold at auction.

The sale has a total estimated value of £2 million and will include names such as Petrus, Cheval Blanc, Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Domaine Leroy and Domaine Armand Rousseau.

The standout lot, however, is a sole barrel of Domaine Fourrier’s 2019 Chambolle Musigny Les Sentiers. The successful bidder will own 100% of the production of the cuvee – Domaine Fourrier makes just one barrel of this wine every year, and does not make it available for public sale. The winning bidder will also have the option to determine the format of bottlings and will be invited to the Domaine for a unique barrel tasting experience. 

The sale – scheduled for 11th November – will take place via live video stream, allowing potential buyers to participate from all over the world via live online bidding, absentee bidding, or phone bidding, said the New York-based wine auction house.


Nyons becomes newest Cotes du Rhone-named village

The region of Nyons in the southern area of the Rhone Valley has been announced as the newest ‘named’ Cotes du Rhone Villages, bringing the total number of Cotes du Rhone Villages with a geographical name to 22.

The promotion has been more than 20 years in the making, with growers making their original application in 1998. President of the appellation, Pierre-Michel More, said “the dossier was presented several times but on each occasion, there was a little detail that we needed to work on”. The main concern was an over-reliance on Grenache, resulting in growers increasing plantings of Syrah in response. The appellation covers still, dry, red wines only.

The growing area is spread over four communes in the Southern Rhone comprising around 300 hectares: Nyons, Mirabel-aux-Baronnies, Piegon and Venterol. Most vineyards are on hillsides, rising to 300m altitude. The soils are predominantly clay-limestone with limestone gravels resulting from hillside erosion. Proximity to the Prealps brings a vibrancy to the wines, as do cool night temperatures, which, says More, “bring a freshness to our wines”, a key characteristic of the appellation.

Winemakers will be permitted to use the appellation from the 2020 vintage, and the first wines will be released onto the market in spring/summer 2021.


US election likely to impact demand for Bordeaux and Burgundy

The result of the US election could shape future demand for Bordeaux and Burgundy, according to fine wine merchant BI Wine & Spirits.

Speaking to Harpers, BI’s head of investment Matthew O’Connell said it’s thought that a Biden government would reverse the European trade tariffs imposed by Trump. “It is our expectation that we could also see a significant uptick in supply of US wines, which has been lower recently, if US collectors (and indeed US-based merchants) see the potential to re-enter the market to purchase French wines, particularly Bordeaux and Burgundy, without tariffs," he said.

He added, “Already noting the impact of a Biden victory, we are also seeing renewed demand from across Asia, with the region seeming to move on from the effects of the pandemic. Asia represented 50% by value of BI’s trading in Q3, significantly above the usual proportion.”

Overall, O’Connell said, the outlook for Bordeaux and Burgundy is “indeed very favourable in our view”.

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