If we've got an offer on the go then why not sign up to get first dibs? We look after our customers and those with a registered interest first and foremost before any offer hits the website. Put your email address into the box on the top right hand corner of this page and, if the computer says "Yes" (and you are over 18, of course), we'll put you on the list.
Our wine ends up on special offer for a number of reasons. The most common situation resulting from our bonded warehouses accidentally breaking our stock, leaving us with half-empty cases which the trade simply won't buy. So, if you don't need OWC and fancy a good deal, look out for these in our sales. Or occasionally Mark & Rupert just feel generous and go a bit mad on a Friday afternoon...so they might send out an email with a bargain.
We might have been offered the opportunity to clear a private cellar (something which we relish!) and if you're a registered customer you'll get first dibs. Recent gems have included Cheval Blanc '61 and Lafite '45.
Finally, we've got the limited offerings which come out annually for the top Bordeaux, Burgundy and Côte du Rhône Vintages. We may be a small business but our allocations are surprisingly impressive.
BURGUNDY 2016 REVIEW - DAY 1
Well, you probably thought you were safe from a Decvin blog (or two) until next April…sorry about that…but we thought “well, if we send out missives on the subject of Bordeaux, when we’re digging around the latest vintage, left bank here, right bank there, why on earth have we never done the same with Bourgogne?”. Arguably a much more fascinating, compelling, and intricate region. And, most obviously, a wine area about which we have been banging on since the repeal of the Corn Laws.
Furthermore, there is currently an absolute sea of change afoot in the Cote d’Or. So although (typically) we’re a bit late in the game for a state of the union address, we could argue mitigation in light of the fact that our opening salvo could not have been better timed.
Firstly, the big cash has started to move in – and we mean LARGE. For example, the past 18 months have seen Stan Kroenke buy Bonneau du Martray in Corton-Charlemagne (Gunners’ fans left at the back of the queue once more, Spurs’ fans rejoice), LVMH purchase the Clos des Lambrays estate in Morey-Saint-Denis, and, most recently, Francois Pinault pocketing one of THE great Grand Cru monopoles, all 7.5 hectares of the Clos de Tart (thereby adding to his Rene Engel holdings, now re-named as Domaine d’Eugenie).
Secondly, the polarisation of Burgundy’s vinous produce to the consumer has never been more acute. Bottles that are labelled ‘Domaine de la Romanee-Conti’, ‘Musigny’, or ‘2010’, well, stand back and watch a stampede that reminds one of the crowd scene out of ‘Ben Hur’. And check out the prices for the top cuvees at the recent Hospices de Beaune auctions (just in case you’re not getting out much). However, it’s a completely different dynamic if one’s talking ‘2011’, ‘Auxey-Duresses’, or ‘Poulleau Pere et Fils’. Sure, these wines will always move, they always have, but then why has one been hearing the phrase ‘le clef sous la porte’ over the last couple of years? For many domaines, the flow of cash has been so treacle-esque that the option to cut and run has appeared rather an attractive one.
Which brings us to a third, crucial, point, that of recent yields. Vintage after vintage (since 2009), they have frequently been on the cusp of tiny, an average of 50% down on, well, the average. And in 2016? Nature, alas, has yet again not been generous, owing to a swathe of frost that hit the vines in late April, killing off the young buds. Wham? Bam.
But hold on, hold on, we must stop there! Despite all the various challenges, the vignerons from Marsannay through to Santenay are as tough as the proverbial, they bat on and on, right down the order (if only we could fly a few out in time for a certain sporting occasion taking place soon at the Adelaide Oval, South Australia…).
And, like ALL things Bourgogne, nothing is ever cut and dried. Size of crop? Scratch beneath the surface, and the odd silver lining appears.
Take our visit to Fontaine-Gagnard in Chassagne-Montrachet: the village white was down from 9,000 bottles to 4,000, but the result was a depth and concentration that gave it a 1er Cru quality; and talking of 1er Crus, those of Boudriotte, Caillerets, and Romanée, all were 50% down in quantity (Chenevottes and Vergers even harder hit), yet the Chardonnay cores were sublime.
Meanwhile, at Thierry Matrot, the crop had given up 11 barrels of (excellent) village Meursault, as opposed to a regular 100 . Yes, you read that right, a 90% shortfall. However, the 1er Cru parcels of Meursault-Blagny, Meursault-Perrieres (textbook drop), and Puligny 1er Cru Chalumeaux were largely unaffected. A similar contrast at Boyer-Martenot: village wine down to 10 barrels from 35, but their classic set of ‘lieux-dits’, En l’Ormeau, Tillets, and Narvaux, not nearly so bad.
Doom and gloom was being lifted! There was wine…not buckets and buckets, but nor was it a Gobi desert.
We then headed north to Chambolle-Musigny, arriving in the cellars of Anne Sigaut. We’d had a tip-off that her ‘16s were possibly better than her awesome ‘15s. Frost? Yes of course, and there was not one single drop of 1er Cru Chatelots in the house. Zero. But what a tasting. Truly great Chambolle, brought into focus by choosing an under-priced bottle of a Roumier 1er Cru Cras at the preceding restaurant lunch…there was a seamless transition, we reckon Sigaut now plays in the same team as Monsieur R, her Fuees and Sentiers were every bit as classy. And they will be available. And less expensive. Considerably.
Now, if you’ve read this far, we should really reward you with news of one of the finest ‘oeufs en meurette’ ever experienced…but since we’ve obviously got you, it would be foolish to cough our trump card so early in the game. Patience required.
Tomorrow, we hit Gevrey, Morey, and Vosne, plus a dab of Volnay.