High quality was also combined with the rarest of Burgundian traits; good volume. Highlights for me included the addition of Chablis’s Samuel Billaud and Gevrey superstar Sylvie Esmonin to our offer for the first time, together with another dizzying performance from the irrepressible Domaine Heresztyn-Mazzini also from Gevrey-Chambertin. If you have not already, I urge you to consider tucking a case or two away here as the wines in 2017 are simply, divine.
As we move ever nearer to closing the book on Burgundy for another year, our focus moves like a flash to the forthcoming vintage releases from Bordeaux. At the time of writing the Mr.Wheeler team are preparing to pack their overnight bags for a swift sojourn to this most noble of regions. Following what can only be described as a stunning summer across Europe, our hopes are extremely high for a vintage of great quality within the major communes of Bordeaux. If the rumblings making their way through social media are anything to go by, we have an amazing vintage on our hands. To put 2018 Bordeaux into context at this point in time; in the words of Oliver Bernard, owner of Classed Growth Domaine de Chevalier in Pessac-Léognan, “This year is the best vintage of my life”. Some praise indeed, and the bar has very much been set. We look forward to communicating our view of this exciting vintage over the coming weeks and months.
For those of you looking for a little sparkle in your wine collections, 2019 has also delivered a handful of truly exceptional vintage Champagne releases from the otherworldly 2008 vintage. Occasionally, when perfect growing conditions permit, vintages such as this transcend the potential of a region and realign your perspective of greatness. Universally declared as the greatest release since the legendary vintages of 1990, 1996 and 2002; 2008 delivers fruit intensity and acid balance of the very highest level. The resultant wines will remain tightly coiled for several years before starting to unfurl. With dynamic poise and significant aging potential allied to exceptional worldwide demand, these are wines which any serious wine lover should own. Mr.Wheeler have had notable success offering 2008 Bollinger Grande Année, 2008 Dom Pérignon and the simply stunning 2008 Winston Churchill from Pol Roger. Whether purchased for early drinking, with a view to let them mature longer, or even with investment in mind, these singular 2008s will reward at every single turn. Put simply, this is a vintage not to miss and with allocations already dwindling, an early expression of interest on any upcoming releases is highly recommended.
Looking beyond En Primeur, Mr.Wheeler have had a great deal of success travelling around the country assessing and valuing private customer’s wine cellars. From vintage Port to flights of Grange Hermitage, d’Yquem and Mouton-Rothschild we have been busily adding great bottles to our Dedham shop and website for our customers to enjoy. It seems remiss not to take this opportunity to remind our readers that we are always on the lookout for well cared for, expertly cellared wines in great condition. Whether offered by the case or loose bottle, under bond or duty paid, please do feel free to drop me a line to discuss your holdings and I would be very happy to give you an idea of their value and talk you through the process. For me there are few more exciting moments in the wine trade than pulling the cork on a fully mature bottle from a great vintage. It is with this thought in mind that we are growing our fine wine bottle list, with specific parcels due to be offered on their own merit over the coming weeks and months.
We will be working with a number of key growers in the Rhône Valley, both North and South, to put together our selection of wines from the sensational 2015, 2016 and 2017 vintages. Of all the wine producing regions in France it is the Southern Rhône where I have always felt most at home, where I feel more myself and where I seem to connect more readily with my surroundings. The landscape, garrigue in the air and an honesty and ambition amongst the growers which does not, and perhaps cannot, exist in many of the other major wine producing regions is here in abundance. Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre rule in and around the communes of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas and Vacqueyras, whereas Syrah rules supreme on Côte-Rôtie, Hermitage or Cornas. Some of the wine world’s greatest value is to be found in this region, and we can’t wait to offer a range of these stars to you to enjoy over the coming months!