Bordeaux 2016 – the largest harvest since 2006

2016 was the biggest Bordeaux harvest in over a decade, according to official figures. The production of 577.2 million litres – the equivalent of a staggering 770 million bottles – was the largest since 2006, when there was 10% more vineyard area. Strong harvest figures for Bordeaux are, of course, in stark contrast to many less fortunate regions across France in 2016.

(If this piece looks familiar, it was also published on JancisRobinson.com and Liv-ex.)

At an average of 52 hectolitres per hectare (hl/ha), 2016 saw the highest yield per hectare since the largest crop of the century to date in 2004, which came in at 54 hl/ha. “The yield on the Merlot,” I wrote in Bordeaux 2016 – quality and quantity last October, “is the biggest I’ve seen since 2004 and the quality is far superior to that attractive but uneven vintage. As Bordeaux is 89% red and Merlot accounts for two thirds of that 89%, it’ll be a big crop out in the sticks.” Keep reading

January review – a tough month to stay off wine

It’s been a tough month to stay off the booze. Angela nearly made it all the way through Dry January but succumbed with just a few days to go. At least from now on it won’t mean a whole bottle between one. (Thank heavens for screwcaps.)

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MWs write to MPs over Article 50

According to the Wine and Spirit Association in the UK, 90% of their members were in favour of remaining in the EU. We all know that it’s pretty clear that Parliament will give the go ahead to the Theresa May to trigger Article 50 but that hasn’t stopped people in the trade writing to their MPs before the vote on Article 50 – notably in constituencies which voted Remain. Here are some of them, including a couple from Masters of Wine, and a reply from an MP.

1. Tim Atkin MW to his Tory MP in Putney, the cabinet minister Justine Greening. Keep reading

Why UK wine prices are set to rise 5% to 10%

005225_bottles_6_twitHere’s a snapshot of how wine prices in general are likely to increase in the UK, given the fall in Sterling since June. As UK duty is a fixed £2.08 plus VAT per bottle for still wine, expect 5% on a £5 bottle – because the cost of the wine itself is relatively small – and up to 10% on bottles that sell for £10 or more. Beware the likely Toblerone effect in some cases (less spent on the wine inside, for the same consumer price) and note that these numbers don’t include any increases from producers. Keep reading