The Napa Valley is a surprisingly small wine region, just one eighth of the size of Bordeaux, but it is extremely well-endowed in the terroir department. Its varied soils and topography are vital to the valley’s greatness, whether it be the famous Rutherford dust, its red rock terraces or the deep, volcanic hillside soils of Stag’s Leap. Yet the most important influence on the place isn’t the land at all. It’s not even Stephen Spurrier, though his 1976 Paris tasting did put Napa on the map. It’s actually the sea.
Posts Tagged ‘Tim Atkin MW’
Brooding skies, torrential rain, leaky roofs gave Vinexpo 2013, Bordeaux’s biannual wine fair, a distinctly wet vibe the week before last. The dreadful weather further pointed up the difficulties that vignerons are already facing this year in Bordeaux. Vineyards are three weeks to a month behind usual growth cycles, with the gossip from some that these early season conditions have been the worst since 1984. Despite the brave faces worn by chateaux owners at the various dinners coinciding with Vinexpo, there is no doubt that the forthcoming vintage will be a late one, whatever the outcome. Fine weather in July, August and September may turn things around, so it’s far too early to pronounce on the vintage yet. Still the Bordelais must have been hoping for a much better start to the year than they’ve had. They could do without another mediocre vintage to try and flog.