Talking Wine – July 2018

A Dubai airport retailer has just sold two bottles of 1926 The Macallan for $1.2m. each had a unique “artists” label . The last known bottle sold for $75k some 10 years ago so the increase in value is quite staggering. These particular bottles were distilled in 1926 and then aged in sherry casks for 60 years before being bottled and then released in 1986. Only 40 bottles were ever released so have a good look under the stairs as I believe not all have been accounted for !

It seems that predicted climate changes in Bordeaux will radically change the style of wines produced in this region. They will become lighter and fruitier with limited ageing potential.

It is reckoned that with hotter summers the alcohol levels will fall due to the rapid ripening of the grapes which is against the current expectation that a warm climate brings higher levels of alcohol. Interestingly I read recently that by 2080 it is reckoned that the English climate will be too warm for grape growing. This is certainly not a current issue as it is very hard to get hold of decent whites in any quantity due to the late frosts that restricted the crop last year. The reds are still light and the better wines come from the Pinot Noir grape although they still lack much weight and finesse. Incidentally I visited a vineyard in St Mary’s , Isles of Scilly, recently and they were concentrating on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir which judging from my tasting were not looking as if they were going to be madly successful. This surprised me as I would expect the warmer climate there to be beneficial – possible the winds are too damaging – but the owner was fairly monosyllabic so I came away not much the wiser!