The closest link between the people that make wine and the people that drink it
The 2011 Rhône En Primeur Tasting was our largest ever, with 30 producers in attendance and several more sending over samples especially for the event. It was a struggle, indeed, to find enough room for all the wines and their ( usually ) eponymous pourers……no mean feat given the Edwardian grandeur of the Great Hall of 1 Great George Street, home to the Institute of Civil Engineers and occasional film set for oeuvres as diverse as Spooks, Bridget Jones and Kavanagh QC…….Plenty of stars evidenced here on the night, mostly of the vinous variety of course, and it all proved to be a more than satisfactorily hors d’oeuvre to our En Primeur Offer, which is now in full flow.
The consensus from our multiple visits to the region over the last year has been that 2011 is to be a charming, relatively accessible vintage, its fruits being wines of breeding and harmony, but with a stylistic heterogeneity born out of the challenges ( and opportunities) of a relatively long growing season. As so it was to prove on the night; a fascinating tasting in so many different respects. The white wines were uniformly impressive, from Condrieu to Châteauneuf, with several agreeable stops en route. As for the reds, if diversity engenders interest and the pleasure of anticipation, then there seemed to be a lot of pleased customers come eight o’clock and, always the acid test, a good number of orders by the end of the tasting. And plenty more the day after. It is hard, perhaps unfair, to select at random, but let’s just say that it was a particularly good night for Domaines Janasse, Combier, Gerin and La Nerthe………I could go on……..All in all, a very good start for a campaign for a very good vintage; one which strikes the same chords as 2006 and maybe 2000 to me, both of which are providing great pleasure and satisfaction now.