2013 a wine review - From our Christmas Gift Guide
Dear friends and wine lovers,
In these times price is such an important factor in what we do that it is easy to forget about hand crafted wines that are made with history, understanding and passion. At Frazier’s we have excellent storage and financial capacity that enables us to buy wines that we will not sell today for consumption tonight, but wines that will sell in future for consumption at that special event that means as much to you as it did to the wine maker when he made them. Whether it is that Friday night, dinner with long lost friends, or just the two of you, or the family at Christmas, we at Frazier’s have the right wines for you.
The world of wine has so much to offer and we bring it to you. Many of our wines are hand selected from our preferred suppliers who have been in the wine business for generations. It is often said that a good producer (who has wine in his soul) will produce a better wine in a bad year than a also-rans will produce in a good year. I feel that we are like that and so we offer a no quibble guarantee to the quality of our wines. If you are not happy you will get a full refund.
Be it a fresh zingy Riesling from Germany, low in alcohol and perfect alfresco, a Chardonnay from Burgundy which attract high prices, but the right wines can, as I am freshly reminded, be so exquisite, with the buttery vanilla and intense finish that roll on and on, that match those creamy dishes so well.
Sauvignons with some oak ageing particularly from Bordeaux are on form in recent years and will bring pleasure to any table and there are good value light ones (unoaked) from the southern hemisphere to the cracking Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs (MSB) from New Zealand that bring a freshness and intensity of aroma that are simply divine, 2013 being a standout vintage for these wines.
Bordeaux reds mainly of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot have made their greatest (ever?) wines in 2009 and 2010 and anything from a reliable source will be great. But here you really need to look for something with eight to ten years in the bottle and the 2003’s and 2004’s are a real treat and the softer (more Merlot) St. Emilion’s of 2005 and 2006 are coming into their own.
Australia has some fantastic and exciting wines. The Shirazs and Cabernets from Coonawarra are world class and we are just buying more and more particularly the outstanding 2010 vintage. They need time but buy now and put them away and you will be more that justly rewarded. Cool climate areas such as Eden Valley are producing some great Rieslings. And the next big thing is going to be Chardonnay from Tasmania!
Wine making in the last decade has come on so many leaps and bounds, with the flow of techniques around the world and the investment of the last decade, that it has never been a better time to be a wine drinker.
Rates of return
As any financial salesman will tell you the key to the success of an investment is the rate of return.
What they don’t tell you is the damage their annual fees have to that rate of return, so much so the government has moved the financial industry to declare their fees upfront and remove the annual commission that erodes the value of the investment.
Storage Charges have a similar effect on the cost of wine ownership as well.
At Frazier’s we have the lowest storage charges by some margin, this is not down to the latest technology, it is simply by using cellars deep underground that require no heating or cooling to keep your and our wines in the perfect environment. Over the course of the maturation of a Claret (10 – 20 Years) or Port (20 – 50 Years) these cost savings are quite enormous.
Cost of ownership for 10 years of 1 case of wine to drink
Cost of ownership for 20 years of 1 case of wine for investment
As you can see from the table above some of our competitors are charging only few pounds more per annum and yet this can lead to an increase in ownership cost of over 10% for a single case of wine while it matures.
So it is as important if not more in wine ownership and investment to pay as good a rate for your storage as you do initially for your wine.
For further details please do not hesitate to contact the team on 0121 704 3415.
Launch of Dom Perignon 2004 @ the Abbey of Hautvillers.
Just on the train back from a tasting of the Dourthe wines in London.
They had some excellent back vintages on taste Y’Quem ‘96 (simply stunning), Cannon ‘07 (Much better than you would expect and already in its drinking window) and Domaine de Chevalier ‘06 ( A cracking wine but keep it in your cellar).
But I was there for a vertical of Essence de Douerthe, a blend of the best parcels of wine from all their estates in a limited production of some 6000 bottles a year.
The wines were great, each an expression of the vintage as they can select wines from the best plots and blend from the finished wines.
The outstanding wine was by far the 2000 which was singing and drinking brilliantly. The 09 as you would expect is outstanding but needs plenty of time.
No wine was made in ‘07 or ‘11 but they will be making one in ‘12 which tells you as much history of the bordeaux vintages as you need to know for the last 5 vintages!
Bordeaux 2012, Why to buy En Primeur
The Bordeaux En Primeur season is upon us and when you read this my father (John Frazier) and I will have been to the left and right banks (as you look out to sea) of the Gironde. We will have slurped and spat for hours to taste the barrel samples before buying our selection of wines for our customers (and ourselves) as they are ‘released’ by the négociants.
Why buy En Primeur at all?
Time. Time is money. Time is all we have. Vintage wines place a stamp on time.
Time. The wines of Bordeaux have two very important characteristics. One, they are food wines that need a little love (decanting and serving at the correct temperature with a little time to breathe). Two, they need time to age when the tannins from the oak barrels have softened and the fruit in the wine has sweetened to produce a heady combination.
Time is money. Traditionally the earlier you buy the wines the less you pay.
Time is all we have. Wine gives pleasure. Wine excites the palate and lifts a meal from the great to the sublime. The waiting for the moments to open a bottle, perhaps to see if the vintage is ready, and upon finding the sweet spot and sharing with friends (or not).
Vintage wines place a stamp on time. Place your stamp by starting a cellar today.
To find out more simply call a member of the team or subscribe to our en primeur email list by emailing us or going to the website.
Chapoutier Marsanne Masterclass 19th February 2013
A horizontal Ermitage De L’orée, Le Méal and L’Ermite 2011 and vertical of Ermitage De L’orée 2011, 2010, 2006, 2001 and 1998.
A great tasting today hosted by Michel, with a glass of vintage Bollinger in hand to freshen the palate!
Michel explained the history of Chapoutier under his ownership and his desire to create wines that represent the terroir not the brand.
Ermitage 50 years ago was the most expensive white wine in the world and the tasting showed why with wines of great finesse. All Michel’s wines are produced organically and bio-dynamically with natural yeasts, try to create ‘The best picture of the terroir’.
Further notes to follow (It’s half term holidays at home).
Burgundy 2011 En Primeur
2011 BURGUNDY - Classy whites, seductive reds
2011 is a delightful, forward vintage with wines full of character and displaying ripe, fruity Chardonnay and Pinot Noir flavours. The growing season got off to a great start with a hot April and an early flowering was completed by the end of May. June continued hot and sunny and it was obvious that 2011 was going to be an early harvest.
Despite the cool, wet summer that ensued the chardonnay in the early ripening sites of the Maconnais and Côte d’Or was ready to be picked at the end of August with the harvest completed by the end of the first week of September. Chablis picked in the second week of September at the same time as most of the pinot noir from the Côte d’Or.
The grapes were fully ripe with good but not excessive sugar levels and acidities that are no more than average. This has resulted in forward, approachable wines with a delicious, succulent texture. The cool summer has given fresh, pure aromas and the typicity of individual sites stands out.
The best reds and whites will be delicious young and in many cases will be best drunkbefore the respective 2010s. However, there are many 2011s which show the less good characteristics of the vintage. The wet summer posed problems for the less committed growers, particularly those relying on organic treatments only. Their wines show more than a trace of oidium and botrytis on the nose and 2011 is the first vintage since 2004 that I’ve found red wines with a distinct herbaceous edge. It is, therefore, a vintage that requires careful selection.
Overall the whites sit comfortably in style between the rich, sunny, opulent wines of 2009 and the classic, mineral 2010s. The reds similarly are fresher than 2009 and more generous than 2010, a delightful combination that will give a huge amount of pleasure in the years to come.
Charles Taylor MW Author of The Great Domaines of Burgundy
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An alarming post from Jancis
Throughout my recent travels tasting the 2011s in Burgundy and the Rhône Valley, in cellars there I encountered worried vignerons. This was not the well-ventilated problem of 2012’s demanding growing season and short crop but something potentially much more serious and long term.
It was my very first stop in the Côte de Nuits, in the well-kept cellars of Denis Bachelet in Gevrey-Chambertin, that first alerted me. He is a mild man who makes delightfully balanced wines and is not given to exaggeration. But he is clearly worried about the health of his vines, and in particular the fact that they seem to be dying off at a rate of between 10 and 20% a year because of esca, a disease that affects the wood of the vine.
Up the road in the world-famous cellars of Domaine Armand Rousseau, Eric Rousseau told me how their revered Pinot Noir vines are dying too. A significant proportion of their 50-year-old Cazetiers Premier Cru vines are now having to be replaced each year, for example. In Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Paul-Vincent Avril’s treasured Clos des Papes vineyards have also been losing about 100 vines per hectare each year to disease. And the worst of it is that there is no known effective cure.