This year, New Zealand is celebrating 200 years since the country’s first vines took root. In September 1819, Yorkshire man and Christian missionary Samuel Marsden planted 100 vines in New Zealand’s far north but it would take a long time for a true wine industry to flourish.
The superb 2018 vintage in Bordeaux was very much the result of two diametrically opposed periods – a very wet first half of the season, with just enough dry weather to allow flowering to happen smoothly, which on the one hand lead to the loss of part of the crop through mildew but, crucially, replenished water tables.
As the wines of Bordeaux and Burgundy compete for the title of most in-demand fine wines in the world, with ever-increasing prices the result of this rivalry, there is still a classic region in France where one can find outstanding value for money at every rung of the quality ladder– the Rhône Valley.
As 2019 continues apace, Mr.Wheeler’s fine wine department has continued to grow and indeed, flourish since the turn of the year. The worldwide release of 2017 Burgundy was met with keen demand from Merchants and private buyers alike. The vintage offered a sensationally supple, modern classic of a year and was equally successful for both pinot noir and chardonnay across the length of the Côte d’Or and Chablis.
Dry White Bordeaux is one of the wine world’s most exciting, yet regularly overlooked wine styles. Having been blessed with the opportunity to taste extensively in the region on numerous occasions, the Mr.Wheeler team always returns to the UK full of excitement about the Sauvignon Blanc and Semillion blends enjoyed during their travels.
At the end of January the Mr.Wheeler team were treated to an extensive blind tasting of Red Bordeaux with an upper budget of £15 a bottle from our current portfolio. The aim? To understand the true value of our wines in the glass, to spot strengths, weaknesses and to understand the true depth of our offering. Unbeknownst to us, our Buyer, Ben Godfrey, introduced a “ringer” to the tasting. We’re extremely pleased he did!