Some offers you shouldn't refuse

If you are the gambling type, look out for the 1993 burgundy now being sold en primeur, says Anthony Rose

Now is the first chance you have of buying 1993 burgundy. As enthusiasts know, no other red is capable of capturing the nuances of the pinot noir grape's heady aromas, its compulsive flavours and dreamy textures. A fine burgundy has the power to t ransform the most humdrum of meals into a special occasion. Five wine merchants are running en primeur offers at the moment. Others will also be offering this young, as yet unbottled, wine within the next six months.

Apart from the 1992 whites, 1990 was the last notable burgundy vintage, and there is an expectant buzz over the 1993 red. That year, warm late July and August weather and intermittent rains during September delivered a thick-skinned harvest whose main virtues are deep colours, mouth-watering fruitiness and the concentrated structure for ageing, particularly at premier and grand cru level.

Yet 1993 does not quite have the effortless gloss of the 1990 vintage because in some cases the instant appeal of the fruit is masked by high acidity and extracted tannins. The management of tannins is one of the keys to success in this vintage. Burgundyhas benefited considerably from the strides in quality made in the past decade, especially by a younger generation of growers.

But one of the wine's main problems remains the erratic nature of its release timetable: buyers wanting the best quality find it difficult to know whether to get their burgundy now or wait for further offers. Three London specialists, Morris & Verdin, Justerini & Brooks and Bibendum, have put on tastings in conjunction with early offers of the 1993 vintage. Goedhuis & Co in London and Raeburn Fine Wines in Edinburgh have also issued offers.

There are two reasons, though, to be cautious about these offers of unbottled young wines. Samples drawn from the cask are notoriously seductive, but the wines are unfinished and may yet need fine tuning. Since the futures market took a knock from the demise of the Hungerford Wine Company, customers should do their utmost to get the best guarantee possible that the goods will be delivered. A reassuring feature of the three offers lies in the established credentials of the wine merchants as quality purveyors of burgundy, specialising in growers' wines.

Do not worry unduly if you miss out this time. More is on the way from the likes of Lay & Wheeler and Laytons.

n Morris & Verdin, London SE1 (0171-357 8866)

Morris & Verdin makes no secret of its near single-minded devotion to fine burgundy. Among its star performers, Georges Roumier's village Chambolle Musigny is normally attractive stuff, but his Chambolle Musigny ler cru les Cras, £207 per case, with its intense strawberry fruit underpinned by classy vanilla oak, is an outstanding bet for 2001 and beyond. Rene Engel's smoky, strawberry-like Vosne-Romanee, £131 per case, is a star in the making, but do not think about his extraordinarily concentrated ClosVougeot, £337 per case, unless you have winning lottery numbers. M & V has an expanded customer tasting and offers in March.

Justerini & Brooks, London SW1 (0171 493 8721)

J & B offers a bevy of classy growers: Robert Chevillon; Meo-Camuzet; Tollot Beaut and Eric de Suremain. The aromatic, soft, raspberryish character of Tollot Beaut's rustic, village Chorey-les-Beaune, £78 per case (also at Bibendum, £82), is enhanced with an enticing layer of oak, while Suremain's Rully, Preaux, £102 per case, offers sweet, vivid pinot noir, as does the super-aromatic Tollot Beaut Les Lavieres Premier Cru, £108 per case. Perhaps the best Tollot Beaut for the price is the classy Beaune Greves Premier Cru £150 per case, which is densely packed with essence of pinot noir and raspberry fruitiness. Chevillon's pure, succulently ripe straight Nuits St Georges, £129 per case, is a delight, but the siren-call of his extraordinarily aromatic Nuits St Georges Premier Cru Les Chaignots, £174 per case, with its wanton, lingering flavours of raspberry pinot, is pure luxury.

n Bibendum, London NW1 (0171- 722 5577)

Despite Bibendum's tasting scrum, some of its stars managed to twinkle. At the "basic" level, Henri Prudhon's unassuming strawberry-rustic St Aubin Rouge, £60 per case, offers good, honest red burgundy at an affordable price, while Camus-Brochon's scented and sweetly fruity Savigny-les-Beaune, ler cru Les Lavieres, £99 per case, and the voluptuously spicy Tollot-Beaut Savigny Champs Chevrey, £115 per case, will both make delicious drinking. Jean Chauvenet's Nuits St Georges were excellent, in particularthe ler cru Rue de Chaux, £215 per case, which was smoky, superbly concentrated and intensely fruity. Ghislaine Barthod's Chambolle Musigny ler cru Aux Beaux-Bruns, £190, was delicately scented and expressive Chambolle Musigny ler cru Aux Beaux-Bruns, £190 per case, while Denis Mortet produced a fine Gevrey Chambertin "En Champs", Vieille Vigne, £199 per case. Lottery winners only need apply for Meo-Camuzet's sublime, flashy Vosne Romanee ler cru Au Cros Parantoux, £450 per case.

n Other offers from Goeduis & Co, London SW8 (0171-793 7900); Raeburn Fine Wines, Edinburgh (0131 554 2652). Wines are offered at "in bond" prices, duty and VAT will be payable on delivery in 1995-96. Delivery is sometimes included.

Suggested Topics
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
Sport
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
News
Field of broken dreams: Andy Bell visits Passchendaele
news5 News's Andy Bell visited the killing fields of the Great War, and his ancestor - known only from his compelling war diary - came to life
Travel
travel
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Sales and Office Administrator – Sports Media

    £23,000: Sauce Recruitment: A global leader in sports and entertainment is now...

    C++ Software Engineer - Hounslow, West London - C++ - to £60K +

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Visitor Experience volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary role: Old Royal Naval College: To assist the Visitor Experien...

    Day In a Page

    Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

    Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

    Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
    Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

    Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

    When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
    5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

    In my grandfather's footsteps

    5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
    Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

    Martha Stewart has flying robot

    The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
    Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

    Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

    Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
    A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

    A tale of two presidents

    George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
    Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
    Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

    How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

    As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
    We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

    We will remember them

    Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
    Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
    Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

    Acting in video games gets a makeover

    David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
    Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

    Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

    Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
    Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

    Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

    Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
    Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

    Spanx launches range of jeans

    The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
    10 best over-ear headphones

    Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

    Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel