Fine Wines Outlook – Aug 2014

Welcome to the inaugural WEA Wines Fine Wines Outlook. It has been a busy couple of months as we expanded our coverage to include a broader range of fine wines. The response has been tremendously encouraging and we would like to thank you, our valued clients for your support. It is our hope that we will continue to share our vinous recommendations with you.
Some background for those who are new to us. First and foremost, we at WEA Wines are wine lovers and drinkers ourselves. The beauty of our setup is that we are not pressured to sell wines which we are not enamored of. When I procure wines for our portfolio, the first question I ask myself: “Is this what I would want to have in my own cellar?” We stick to producers we know well (whose wine we have tasted both in bottle and barrel), and occasionally some who we believe are rising stars (from our extensive market research). From time to time we might wander off briefly when there are irresistible offers from Italy and Spain. But our allegiance will always remain with French and Germans.
In July, our focus has undoubtedly been on German Rieslings. This was in-line with the “31 days of Riesling” campaign that is taking the US and UK by storm. Riesling is gradually becoming a contender to Rose as the tipple of choice in summer. We are aware that Rieslings are currently the domain of wine geeks and sommeliers, so it was indeed heartening to see good responses for our offers. I guess it doesn’t hurt that the Germans won the World Cup too. Some excellent literature on Rieslings this month include My Great White Hope – Jancis Robinson and the book Best White Wine on Earth – Stuart Pigott.
In mid-August, we will take delivery of a new batch of wines. As most, if not all, of these wines come in very limited quantities, we will be doing pre-arrival offers for them in the coming days. Of course, Burgundy will form a good portion of the wines but we have some very interesting Italians and Bordeaux in the pipeline as well. Some to tempt even the most devoted Burg-drinker.
Moving back to Burgundy, many would have read about the hail devastating the Cote-de-Beaune and parts of Cote-de-Nuits in late June. Since 2010, weather impact has resulted in smaller than average harvests. After the lovely weather earlier this year, it looks like production will take a hit again in the 2014 vintage. We have news of harvest starting in the second week of September and we will be making our trip down to Burgundy after that to taste the 2013 vintage and to tie up with some new agency wines. Exciting times ahead!

Our wine glass of choice: Zalto

Universal, Bordeaux, Burgundy (L to R).

I would like to share with you our wine glasses of choice. These Zaltos are mouth-blown, lead-free and made in Austria. But what really rocks our boat is how thin (and light!) they are. It’s almost like feeling nothing between the wine and your lips. A true vinous pleasure.

Zaltos have long been advocated by wine bloggers such as Mad About Wine and enthusiasts in forums such as Wine Berserkers. These glasses tend to be wildly critical of wines so any flaws in lesser wines will be amplified. But pair it with a top tier wine and all the nuances will be revealed. A detailed side-by-side comparison of Riedels and Zaltos can be found in this Winehog article.

We can offer these amazing glasses in packs of 6s. Email us for details.

 What WEA have been drinking…

We started off the month with the 2012 Keller Kirchspiel Grosses Gewächs. With the wines from Klaus-Peter, minerality and intensity always takes the center-stage. The acidity was high in this vintage but it worked well with the sweet and savoury dim sum from Wah Lok. Great potential with a few more years of aging.

I couldn’t resist bringing a bottle of 2006 Louis Jadot 1er Les Beaux Monts for another lunch. This wine is constantly my go-to bottle to poison those who haven’t been seduced yet by the charms of Burgundy. Many often associate Jadot with “supermarket” wines, but this is the real stuff. Opened 3 hours before drinking, the nose was blooming with exotic spices, soil and sweet dark fruits. Very seductive. This was all silk leading to a persistent finish without any noticeable oak influence. Truly I could see my guests falling into the Burgundy abyss when the bottle was finished in a jiffy and we popped the 2012 Jean Tardy Vosne-Romanee “Vigneaux” next. This was a different beast altogether. The Vigneaux was all about youthful exuberant poise. Very juicy and stuffed full of crunchy blue fruits. This was definitely a crowd-pleaser. Clearly infanticide but oh so delicious to drink now. A producer to watch out for.
We ended the month with a 2008 Jean Grivot Nuits-St.-Georges 1er Les Boudots. The Boudots is a Vosne 1er Cru in everything but name as this was brimming with Vosne spices and velvety tannins. Sheer pleasure. Grivot can do no wrong in recent vintages. An underrated knock-out.
We had clients trying the 2011 Keller Frauenberg Spätburgunder Großes Gewächs, where it showed none of the artificial grape flavor one finds in lesser German Pinots. The 2012 Gerard Mugneret Vosne-Romanee meanwhile, was a serious wine but reticent at this point in time.