Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Writer as a Portrait Artist

Part of the pleasure of being an independent writer is talking with people and telling their stories, and it seems that I have been doing a lot of these pleasurable word portraits recently.
Chef Andy Little (top) of Sheppard Mansion inn and restaurant in Hanover, PA, is profiled in the current issue of Signature Brandywine, as is artist Sarah Lamb, center, with her pug Weezie. To the left is wine importer Peter Weygandt, who looks through a glass lightly in my article in the current issue of The Hunt.
Not all of my recent writing has been about people, however. Just posted to the epicurious.com site are my tips on 5 great, inexpensive summer wines along with matching recipes from the site's Gourmet and Bon Appetit files.
Also a click away is AppellationAmerica.com, where I do my debut article for AA on the Brandywine Valley winegrowing region.
In Drinks magazine's current issue, I talk about Italy's Great White North, which produces most of the Italy's best bianco, and the February issue of Caviar Affair carries my take on the country's best Prosecco region.
More is in the pipeline from my recent visits to the Rhone Valley and Bordeaux. Next up in June: Italy, Cahors and Bordeaux again for VinExpo 2009.
Until next time....
Roger Morris

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Tasting Bordeaux '08 as '09 Budding Starts

Returned from Bordeaux last evening after tasting well over 150 blended barrel samples of the 2008 vintage, including top growths Ausone, Lafite-Rothschild, Latour, Haut-Brion, Mouton Rothschild, Petrus, Margaux, and Cheval Blanc. It was an amazing week, purple teeth and all.

The 2008 vintage is surprisingly good, and will be a great one to buy as futures, as prices are expected to be decreased significantly from the less-impressive '07 due to economic conditions. The overall report on the vintage -- a very long and difficult one in the making -- is excellent fruits and balanced acids producing wines that will be long and velvety as soon as the dusty, chocolate tannins calm down. If there is a knock, it is that not all the tannins are well-integrated in some wines, especially in several second to fourth growths in St. Julian and Pauillac. The dry white Bordeaux were more spotty in their performances.

I'll be writing more on the vintage in a half-dozen publications here and abroad and will give alerts as those appear.

In the meantime, life goes on in the vineyard. Bud break was just beginning at most chateaux during the week of primeurs (Haut-Brion, always early, has young leaves already), and at Chateau Fonplegade (above) farmer Ramone and his horse Ulysse do a shallow turning of the soil on either side of the vine row.

As we celebrate Bordeaux 2008, the 2009 vintage is beginning in the vineyards.

Until next time...

Roger Morris