Just back from a brief visit to Dominio Atauta and Atalayas de Golban in the wonderful and unspoilt Atauta Valley, the most easternly district of Ribera del Duero, an hour and a half drive from Madrid. Here the relative high altitude, the unique quality of the terroir, the very old Tempranillo (tinto fino) vines (over 100 years for some of them) and the exceptional talent of Chinon native winemaker Bertrand Sourdais contribute to the making of some of Spain`s greatest wines. Many, many thanks to Emma, Rafael and Bertrand and all the local vignerons we met for their kind welcome.
Trade and press tasting: Organised at Fallon and Byrne for the third year running, our annual trade and press tasting went quite well and many thanks to those who attended as well as to Charles Hours and his daughter Marie, all the way from Moneim (Jurancon), Dario (behind our new Italian selection!) and Frank (Clos de l`Amandaie). Many thanks to the team at Fallon and Byrne too!
London for Italian wines… A gathering of the most impressive wines from the four corners of Italy took place in Il Bottaccio, London on April 14th and 15th. Very eager for a long time to build a portfolio of Italian estates as impressive as our French one, we jumped on the occasion. As a result, you will see very soon 18 very interesting new wines from Italy, all from dedicated, authentic and utterly skilled producers.
Burgundy again… Is it an excuse to visit home as often as I can or is it because lots is happening in Burgundy? A bit of both I think. The fact is that we have visited Burgundy 5 times over the last 24 months. This time, our four day trip brought us to Laurent Parize (Givry), Louis Boillot, Ghislaine Barthod, Vincent Girardin, Olivier Leflaive, Hubert Chauvenet and Bruno Clair (what a line up of addresses!).
On the last day, we visited Michel Couvreur in Bouze les Beaune to sample his magnificent whiskies. Surprising to hear that Burgundy also produce top whiskies. In fact, the carefully chosen distillate and the water are imported from Scotland and the barrels come from the best producers of Sherry in Andalousia. Burgundy happens to be half-way. Michel Couvreur, 80 years of age, enthusiastic and deeply knowledgeable clashroyaleboom.com was a great host. His cellar, 140 metres of galleries dug under the limestone mountain is quite impressive and the whiskies were an absolute revelation. A labour of of love started some 35 years ago.