Double decanting is the process of decanting a wine twice; often the first into a decanter, and then back into the original – but now clean – bottle. But why do it? See below...
Stefan Neumann MS, head sommelier at Dinner by Heston in London, and a judge for the Decanter World Wine Awards, says there are three main reasons for double decanting wine:
‘Rich concentrated, full-on reds with high levels of tannins and extract, like young Barolo or Barbarescos, young Napa Cabernets, or young bold Southern Rhône blends or intense youthful Malbec with substantial Oak ageing,’ said Neumann.
‘I wouldn’t generally do it to a fragrant [or] delicate structure wine, like fruit-forward Pinot Noir.’Double decanting wines at the Bordeaux Fine Wine Encounter 2017. Credit: Decanter.
Margaret Rand wrote in Decanter magazine ‘many in Bordeaux double-decant, serving the wine in the original bottle minus the deposit.’
Wines are also often double decanted for masterclasses at Decanter Fine Wine Encounters,...
See William Kelley's ratings from a vertical tasting of Cathy Corison's Napa Cabernet wines conducted exclusively for Decanter Premium members. Plus, read his interview with Corison, originally published in Decanter magazine's May 2016 issue...
When Cathy Corison packed all her possessions into her Volkswagen Beetle and moved to Napa in 1975, the valley was a very different place.
Back then, she recalls, Napa was ‘rural, poor and depressed: just scratching its way out of Prohibition’. But it was also ‘a time of amazing energy’, as new wineries opened their doors and began to reach a global audience.
Only a year later, Steven Spurrier’s Judgement of Paris tasting of 1976 would prove that California’s wines could compete with France’s best. ‘So the industry was just exploding,’ Corison explains, ‘and there were so many opportunities for young winemakers coming out of school.’Continue reading below
Côte-Rôtie, Hermitage and Cornas are Syrah powerhouses, and all three expressed themselves to their utmost in the excellent 2015 vintage in the Northern Rhône. See the results of our recent panel tasting below, and read an introduction by Matt Walls...
This time last year I asked Philippe Guigal, the kingpin of Côte-Rôtie, if he could compare 2015 to another year. He had to reach back well beyond his own winemaking experience. ‘My dad would say 1961,’ Guigal replied, ‘and he also talks about the 1945s and the 1929s.’
Northern Rhône winemakers tend to be self-effacing when describing their wines, but while tasting the 2015s from barrel, superlatives flowed across the region.
See also: Top scoring Rhône 2016 wines
Domaine de la Romanée-Conti's long-standing winemaker and cellarmaster, Bernard Noblet, is to retire at the end of this month.
Bernard Noblet has been winemaker and cellarmaster at Domaine de la Romanée-Conti since the 1986 vintage, having joined the world-renowned Burgundy wine producer in 1978.
Noblet will retire at the end of this month, confirmed DRC’s exclusive importer in the UK, Corney & Barrow – after the news was first reported in French publication Bourgogne Aujourd’hui
He will be replaced by Alexandre Bernier, who has shadowed Noblet in the past few years.
‘It has been planned these last three or four years, with Alexandre Bernier working very closely alongside Bernard Noblet as part of a seamless evolution,’ said Corney & Barrow in a statement.
Noblet took over from his father, André Noblet, who had been head winemaker at DRC since 1946.
Together, they have overseen the rise of DRC as producer of some of the most in-demand wines around the world.
Bernard Noblet, in particular, has witnessed meteoric rises in the price of DRC wines, alongside a broader expansion of the fine wine market to include collectors all over the globe.
For example, DRC Romanée-Conti 1990 has...
Bordeaux second growth Château Cos d'Estournel is set to release a new cuvée this year.
The new wine, named COS100, is made from a parcel of 100 year-old Merlot vines planted at Cos d’Estournel by women during the First World War.
The wine, named ‘COS100’, comes from the Bordeaux 2015 vintage and will only be available in large format bottles.
Only 100 double magnums (3 litres) and 10 balthazars (12 litres) were bottled – by hand – from two barrels.
‘With COS100, I want to pay tribute to the terroir, and to acknowledge the women who, more than a hundred years ago, courageously worked in the vineyard to ensure the continuity of the estate,’ Cos d’Estournel owner and businessman Michel Reybier was quoted as saying in French financial paper Les Echos.
In 1915, most male vineyard workers were fighting or had died on the Western Front during the First World War.
According to Les Echos, two balthazars of the cuvee will be up for grabs at Sotheby’s auctions in New York and Hong Kong on 28 February.
A further two double magnums and elephant scultpures will also be for sale.
We asked Peter Richards MW to scour the New World regions and pick out the best value wines he’s come across of late. The resulting selection reveals some of the most intriguing, exciting and mould-breaking winemaking in the world today.
What defines ‘New World’? And what do we as wine lovers want and expect of it? These two questions merit pondering because the answers aren’t obvious and they challenge a fair few preconceptions.
Of course, on one level, the New World is all those territories outside Europe. But what about China, home to some of the most ancient civilisations on earth? The Middle East would seem to be in some sort of limbo territory.
Parts of South America have been making wine since the mid-16th century, many years longer than the grand châteaux of the Médoc. And then there are areas within the Old World that seem decidedly new wave…
In the end, I decided to keep things simple.
I compiled a shortlist (in reality not far off 200 wines) culled from well over 1,000 potential options tasted recently, and then whittled them down – agonisingly – to end up with this list of delectables. The focus was dry whites and reds under £30 (but the odd fizz and sweet has inevitably crept in) and I’ve tried to cover a range of price points, retailers, geographies and vintages.
For all of these wines I have been subservient...
Giving up the daily grind to make wine in idyllic surroundings sounds like living the dream, but what are the realities? Anne Krebiehl MW meets several 'renegades' who halted other careers to pursue winemaking...
They risked it all in order to make wine; they made sacrifices and struggled through. They are living proof that change is possible.
Each is as different as they come – the only thing they all have in common is energy, imagination and an appetite for risk and hard work.
Ray Nadeson, 52, has a PhD in neuroscience, then tasting countless wines had piqued his interest.
‘But I wasn’t going to be a doctor one moment and then a winemaker, with no transition, so my wife and I got a degree in winemaking [while continuing to work]. Not because you need it to make wine, you don’t, but we wanted to have street cred.’
Nadeson continued in his day job...
Veganism is going mainstream and early signs suggest that wine could be one of the focal points for debate in 2018.
The UK’s Co-op retailer has said it plans to expand its vegan wine range to 100 labels this year and has challenged all of its wine suppliers ‘to make wines vegan where they can’.
Rival retailer Majestic Wine has added vegan and vegetarian symbols to the wine information on its relaunched website.
‘Vegan wines will not have been fined, filtered or come into contact with anything derived from an animal or dairy source,’ a Majestic spokesperson told Decanter.com. There were 32 vegan wines on the retailer’s website, although this varies month-to-month.
There are at least 542,000 people following a vegan diet in the UK, versus 150,000 10 years ago, according to the Vegan Society.
‘Veganuary’ has become one of the buzzwords of the season, backed by celebrities. Oscar-winning filmmaker James Cameron and long-time vegan Pamela Anderson are executive producers on a documentary about plant-based diets called Game Changers, to be released at the Sundance Film Festival on 19 January.
All of this has the potential to stir up debate about the...
Priorat is going for it; Sancerre is holding back. Andrew Jefford considers the two approaches.
Driving licence, passport, voting card: these are the familiar symbols of human adulthood. Might, though, wine regions come of age? If so, what would symbolize that?
If my recent travels are a guide, many wine regions only consider themselves adult when they can boast a cru system of their own. When, in other words, certain zones, villages or vineyards are plucked from the mass for elevation: the badge, it’s felt, of a ‘real region’.
Burgundy’s famous pyramid (regional appellations, village appellations, Premiers Crus and finally Grands Crus) often glimmers, grail-like, as the model to follow, despite the fact that it is too elaborate for most regions. This is, nonetheless, the route that Priorat intends to follow: the first Spanish region to embrace internal classification to that extent. (See the end of this blog for a full description of the proposed system for Priorat.) France’s Sancerre, by contrast, has often considered the institution of a cru system, but so far has held back. Why? What’s at stake? What are the pros and cons?The view from Priorat
The Priorat DOCa regional chairman, Salus Álvarez, gave me a practical justification for the region’s pursuit of its new system. “We have a lot of small cellars producing just 40-50,000 bottles a year,”...
See the top scoring Chablis 2016 wines, rated by William Kelley following his en primeur tastings in Burgundy.Top Chablis 2016 wines
‘The 2016s will be scarce,’ said William Kelley, in his Burgundy 2016 vintage report published on Decanter.com before Christmas for Premium members.
‘Many Chablis wines, especially those from frosted vineyards, are exotic and rather atypical, but some producers have done well.’
The following wines have all scored 93 points and above, tasted en primeur in Burgundy by William Kelley.
See the top scoring Chablis wines below:
Have you tried Amarone della Valpolicella? Find out where and how it is made...What is Amarone wine?
Amarone della Valpolicella is a wine made with partially dried grapes in Valpolicella, Veneto, North-east Italy. There are three geographical sub zones; Classico, Valpantena and ‘Est’, the extended zone.Amarone wine map. Credit: Decanter/ Maggie Nelson
‘Each of the three geographical zones has its own identity,’ said Michael Garner, in the 2018 Decanter Italy supplement.
‘In broad strokes: Amarone from Classico tends to be the most elegant and aromatic, versions from the Valpantena are generally lighter and fruitier, while the so-called ‘extended’ zone (beyond Classico and Valpantena, bordering on the Soave) tends to produce richer, more muscular wines with a higher alcohol level.’
There are a few permitted grape varieties in Amarone wine – the main ones being Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella, plus some lesser known ones.
‘The aromas and flavours of Amarone are determined invariably by Corvina – and to a lesser extent Corvinone,’ said Garner.
‘Elegance and perfume (especially a telltale note of freshly ground black pepper) are hallmarks of the former, while Corvinone has deeper colour, more tannins and tobacco-like aromas.’
‘Some growers talk up...
What makes it a wine legend?Wine Legend: Viñedo Chadwick 2000, Alto Maipo, Chile
Bottles produced 6,000
Composition 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Release price £30
Price today None available, but estimated at £350
Although the Chadwick vineyard close to the Maipo River was only planted in 1992, the wine was an immediate success from its first vintage (1999) onwards. In 2004, Eduardo Chadwick, the sixth generation of his family to run Viña Errazuriz, staged a blind tasting in Berlin of 16 Bordeaux and Bordeaux-style wines, including 2000 vintage Château Lafite and other top-scoring first growths – but it was this wine that received the highest average score. Since then Viñedo Chadwick’s reputation has been assured.Looking back
Eduardo Chadwick wanted to honour his father Alfonso with a top-quality wine originating on the family’s home estate in Alto Maipo. The vines for Viñedo Chadwick were planted on Alfonso’s former polo ground, where he had trained daily to become Chile’s champion at the sport.The vintage
After a wet winter, the spring was cool and the summer months delivered moderate temperatures. More cool weather in the autumn slowed ripening, resulting in a late harvest of balanced grapes with intense flavours. Green-harvesting ensured yields were reduced to a level that maintained fruit concentration and maturity.The terroir
The 15ha vineyard was planted at a height of 650m in Puento Alto in the Alto Maipo valley, right next to one of...
Helen Farrell picks the must-visit restaurants to try when visiting Bolgheri...Top restaurants in Bolgheri to visit
Open all day, every day, this is the nearest that most visitors to Bolgheri get to the legendary Sassicaia. Just off the famous cypress-lined avenue, it boasts prestigious wines and top dishes. www.enotecasanguido.comEnoteca San Guido Bolgheri Green
Opened last year, this plank-striped sustainable hut sits on a lawn along the Via Bolgherese near the Caccia al Piano 1868 winery. Live music, happy hour and organic produce. Tel: +39 348 891 3766Enoteca Tognoni
An institution in Bolgheri town centre (try the wild boar pappardelle pasta). Well-priced local wines and simple home-cooking. www.enotecatognoni.itIo Cucino
Natural wines and seriously good food in this Bibbona outpost, whose centrepiece is an old grindstone. www.facebook.com/iocucinobibbonaLa Pineta La Pineta
Book well in advance for this fish restaurant by the sea. Unusual pairings and sheer simplicity in the three tasting menus. Extensive wine list. www.lapinetadizazzeri.it
Opening a bottle of Amarone is always a treat, but it can be hard to know what you’re getting when you buy. Michael Garner explains what lies behind the varied styles on offer, and picks his favourite wines of the moment...Amarone: a buyer’s guide
It’s rather like indulging a guilty pleasure: that velvety mouthfeel, the head-spinning alcohol, those beguiling sensations of sweetness. Few wines are quite so hedonistic, but that only partly explains a massive surge in popularity recently: Amarone has surprisingly broad appeal. Look below the surface and great examples show uncommon, indeed exquisite, balance and tone beyond the exhilarating aromas and flavours.Best food friendly Amarones to seek out: ...
Helen Farrell picks her top Bolgheri wineries to visit...Travel: Top Bolgheri wineries to visit
Getting there: Fly to Pisa and then the driving time to Bolgheri is about one hour. Book flights from London to to Pisa with British Airways.Wineries to visit and where to find them. Credit: Maggie Nelson / Decanter.
One of the quintessential ‘aias’, Ornellaia, five minutes from Bolgheri by car, stretches at the northern end of the winery lined Via Bolgherese.
Reserve your appointment months in advance to be buzzed through the hallowed gate and down the long driveway flanked with verdant vines.
Either side of the sunken cantina entrance you will see a site-specific artwork: Cairo-born Ghada Amer’s Happily Ever After iron and jasmine garden installation, and Japanese artist Yutaka Sone’s Carrara-inspired marble statue.
The artistic highlight of the cellar tour is Rebecca Horn’s ever-moving sculpture in the barricaia, instilling subtle energy to the precious liquor resting in the French oak barrels. The visit ends with a tasting of Ornellaia’s elegant wines, from the approachable Le Volte dell’ Ornellaia to the terroir-driven cuvée Ornellaia to the terroir-driven cuvée Ornellaia.
Bernard Magrez, owner of several classified Bordeaux wine estates, has been attacked at his home but was physically unhurt and managed to untie himself and call police, according to reports.
Magrez, owner of Château Pape-Clément in Pessac-Léognan and many other wine estates in France and worldwide, was assaulted in the early hours of Friday morning, between 3am and 4am, at his home in downtown Bordeaux, according to French newspaper Sud-Ouest.
Armed with a knife, a screwdriver and possibly a handgun, up to five men burst into the house and surprised the businessman.
Despite being tied up, Magrez was reportedly unhurt – other than being shaken by the ordeal.
In just a few minutes, the intruders took a collection of luxury watches, cash and other items before escaping from the scene in Magrez’s car.
At the age of 81, Magrez managed to escape from his ties at around 7am and call the police, Sud-Ouest reported.
Decanter.com was unable to reach Magrez or his family today (12 January).
According to police, the thieves would have had to follow Magrez for several days and know the area before taking action. Officers were searching the premises for clues and fingerprints.
The break-in brings back memories of French wine collector Michel-Jack Chasseuil being briefly held hostage in his own home in 2014.
Alongside owning several Bordeaux wine estates, Magrez has also invested significantly...
Try a lighter red this January, from Beaujolais to Blaufränkisch – find your favourite in our selection below. All rated by the experts and under £20...Great value wines under £20
Light-bodied red wine styles are typically food-friendly, elegant and lower in alcohol than their full-bodied counterparts.
We’ve collected lighter reds from around the world, choose from from well-known favourites like Pinot Noir and Beaujolais – or try under the radar reds like Austrian Blaufränkisch and Italian Lambrusco…
Find your favourite in the top 10 wines in the collection below…
Each week we bring you new wines, so you can branch out from your usual choices, without breaking the bank – especially if you’re one of the wine drinkers who stick to the same wine for a decade.
Don’t forget to also look at our selection of supermarket wines.
Coravin is planning to release an automated version of its wine preservation gadget together with an app that can match wines with music.
Coravin demonstrated its automated ‘Model Eleven’ at the CES 2018 tech show in Las Vegas this week.
It works exactly the same as earlier models, in terms of its ability to extract wine from the bottle without pulling the cork, Coravin said.
But, the new version, which is set to cost nearly $1,000, has automated features to tell owners when the wine is ready to pour.
Once the needle has been pressed through the cork and into the wine, an LED system on the device will show a green light when the wine is ready to be poured.
Coravin Model Eleven can also connect via Bluetooth to a newly developed Coravin app, named Coravin Moments.
Coravin Eleven is set to cost $999.95 when it is released in September 2018, across the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific regions.
Coravin partnered with Delectable, the app recently acquired by Vinous, to provide information on the wines for Coravin Moments, which will initially be available for download on Apple iOS mobile in September 2018.
The Moments app can also match wines with food and even your favourite song or film, as well as flag up when it is time to order replacement needles and argon gas capsules, Coravin said.
Not sure what they mean? John Stimpfig explains...Difference between tirage and dosage
Ben Jenkins, Sidmouth, asks: What is the difference between tirage and dosage in the production of Champagne?
John Stimpfig replies: Both additions are key elements in the winemaking process for Champagne and all bottle-fermented sparkling wine.
Liqueur de tirage is a liquid solution of yeast, wine and sugar that is added to the still base wine in order to create the secondary fermentation in bottle. The amount of sugar determines the level of dryness in the wine as well as the atmospheric pressure in the bottle.
The dosage is the amount of sugar in the liqueur d’expedition (a mix of sugar and wine), which is added just after disgorgement.
This not only tops up the wine, it also helps balance the acidity and add sweetness – depending on the style (see below).
As all the yeasts have either been consumed or expelled at the point of disgorgement, there is no chance of a third fermentation in bottle.
Some Champagnes are now labelled as non-dosé, zéro dosage or brut nature (the official term), which means that no sugar was added to the liqueur d’expedition.
Brut Nature: no added sugar and less than 3 grams/litre of residual sugars
Extra-Brut: between 0g/l...
Should Brunello be made more like a Burgundy or a Bordeaux? Producers have tried both approaches over the years, says Monty Waldin, but have now acquired the knowledge and confidence to plough their own furrow...
Plucking leaves from around ripening Sangiovese bunches to create Brunellos with exotic, California-style ripeness was in vogue. But it left the vines looking like they’d had an extreme bikini-line wax. And exposing Sangiovese’s sensitive skins to the full glare of the Mediterranean sun risked vaporising its savoury sour cherry flavours into baked jam.