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Bordeaux 2013; Heatwave followed by storms, what’s happening this summer

It is the time of deleafing in the vineyards where leaves are plucked from the Eastern side that is exposing the grapes to the morning sun (but leaving them on the Western side where the afternoon sun might scorch the grapes). The cold wet spring has caused a persisting two week delay in the vineyards, eventual … Continue reading

Bordeaux Yearly Climate (before 2000!)

Climate   data for Bordeaux-Mérignac (1971–2000) Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Record   high °C (°F) 20.2 (68.4) 26.2 (79.2) 29.8 (85.6) 31.1 (88) 35.4 (95.7) 40.0 (104) 39.2 (102.6) 41.9 (107.4) 37.6 (99.7) 32.2 (90) 25.1 (77.2) 22.5 (72.5) 41.9 (107.4) Average   high °C … Continue reading

Bordeaux’s Key Grape Variety Aromas

RED GRAPE VARIETIES Cabernet Sauvignon Blackcurrant, blackberry, violets, spices, cedar, eucaplyptus, green pepper  –  unripeness (green pepper, IBMP), mint, chocolate With Age: Leather, nutty, toast, toffee Characteristics: high tannins due to thick skins, good ageing potential, ‘skeleton’   Cabernet Franc Raspberry, violets, pencil shavings, leafy, earthy, spicy, tobacco With age: musk, nutmeg, sandalwood, savoury Characteristics: … Continue reading

The 13 Different Aroma Families in Wine

Why do wines smell and taste like other natually ocurring substances like fruits or spices? Because they are made up of the same chemical compounds. These come from several sources. Primary aromas – come from the fruit, within the various grape varieties these aromas exist as non odorous elements that are transformed by fermentation. Each … Continue reading

Food and wine matching, 5 SIP (and chew) basic steps to success!

Wine was made to go with food. I believe most wine goes with most foods. The objective is to enhance both the food and the wine. The thing to remember is that to get a winning combination is a memorable achievement but it is all highly individual. There are no rights and wrongs just personal taste. There … Continue reading

2013 Bordeaux already a year of extremes but better for Cabernet – so far

For Merlot the rains that fell in torrents during Vinexpo (18, 20 June) was bad news. It meant that the Merlot grapes, which were in the middle of flowering, have suffered ‘millerandage’ some grapes are developing normally but some are retarded. The dilema with this is that on the same bunch of grapes you have a big difference … Continue reading

Visiting the wine region of Bordeaux? St Emilion is a must

St Emilion is my very favorite place to visit. It is the only one of Bordeaux’s wine regions to have a worthy heart and is well worth dedicating a day to visit its wine region. Its not just its wonderful cloisters, its cobbled streets that wind and turn revealing beautiful old buildings, its old falling … Continue reading

The Forgotten vineyards of the Right Bank are worth a detour

The most beautiful wine régions of Bordeaux (Fronsac, Bourg and Blaye) are often left off the list. The majority of properties here are family-run and visits definitely are animated by very dynamic passionate people that actually make the wine (www.sip-wines.com)! These régions are hilly and many properties have stunning views over rolling hills down onto … Continue reading