29 novembre 2018 – Jancis Robinson
The Bunch 2018
Four dozen wines of which some of Britain’s finest independent retailers are most proud.
The Bunch is a group of six smart UK wine merchants founded back in the 1980s as riposte to some dodgy retailers who went but sitting on stocks of en primeur wines which were never delivered to their customers. Members had to sign up to a code of conduct.
They get together regularly to chew the wine trade cud and every autumn hold tasting for wine writers at which each merchant shows a handpicked selection of their wine. This year, the theme was ‘wines which have been made by women, or where a woman has been the driving force behind their production.’ In his introductory notes Robert Boutflower of Tanners, current chairman of the Bunch, admitted, ‘at their heart, of course, there is no difference between the wines created by men and women. However, given that female winemakers continue to operate in a heavily male-dominated world, we are delighted today to provide a platform for their wine.’
I have to admit that I have only just realized that was the theme, so neutral-gendered were the wines. (Though I did not notice that many of the name checks in the accompanying notes were female-doh). But it’s pretty thrilling for me as a woman who has been observing the international wine business for more than four decades to see such an array of female winemaking talent as was on show here.
Observant readers may notice that although The Bunch has six members, wines from only five are presented below. This is because Adams showed only their own-label wines, which are directed presumably strictly at UK-based wine drinkers and I try to concentrate on those wines most likely to be available outside the UK. I did try Corner & Barrow‘s own-label Côtes de Gascogne to see whether a doubly Royal Warranted could manage to find anything really special in this serviceable but usually unthrilling appellation. Not really, I decided, but I take my hat off to Rebecca Palmer who sourced it for sniffing out such a well-priced sparkling wine from Ruca Malen in Argentina. And she promises that subsequent vintages will be even better.
Ch La Tour de l’Evêque, Pétale de Rose 2017 Côtes de Provence
Made by one of Provence’s first female winemarkers, Régine Sumeire. Made from the oldest vines on the estate. She acquired a coquard press via Delmas for the texture.
Pale salmon. Rather strandard low-temperature-fermentation nose. Round and lightly smoky with very positive palate impact and length.
£ 17.95 Corney & Barrow
Ch Barbeyrolles, Pétale de Rose 2017 Côtes de Provence
Very pale salmon. Cool and mineral and nicely dry (compared with Ch La Tour de l’Evêque). Very appesting and sophisticated. Really morcish and convincing.
£ 23 Corney & Barrow