Friday, 5 August 2011

Where to go and what to make next?

By Emma Roberts, Buying Director

Emma in Minervois
From concept to launch Project Winemaker takes a surprisingly long time. Recognising which growers and vineyards will give us the best fruit and working with the winemaker on harvest dates, vinification process and how we plan to age the wine is the first stage. Following harvest we re assess and then anywhere between 3- 12 months later we finalise the blend and at this stage can confirm when we will bottle and ship the wine to the UK – which in itself can take anywhere between 2-8 weeks.

You’ll by now be familiar with the different projects from France and Australia but I thought I’d whet your appetite with a few that are still on the horizon.  In the vintage of 2010 I started a project in Chile with Casa Silva, who better to work on Carmenere with? I’ve just finished the final blend and this perfumed, rich red will arrive at the end of November – perfect for Christmas drinking.  Again in Chile but from 2011 vintage I’ve selected a couple of Syrah vineyards from my friend Horatio Vicente’s estate in Aconcagua, for me an outstanding valley for Syrah. This particular gem is currently in barrel and the plan is to bottle towards the end of the year and ship in the Spring.

As I write this I’m packing my bags for a week in California and Washington State to see what is looking promising there – I’m hoping to bag some great Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon before it gets picked!

When I get back  it’s a quick dash to see Matthew Copeland at Vondeling in South Africa to blend the new vintage of his fantastic Mourvedre and to see the new baby – an old vine white Grenache that has been fermented and sat on its lees in old French Oak 500 litre barrels which we intend to blend with some of the estate’s delicious Chardonnay.

September will bring a trip to Vincent at Abbots to look at the harvest in the South of France, as well as two to Spain – I have an idea for Rioja and one with my old friend Daniel Castano in Yecla.

Next stop ?.....

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