Yesterday Véronique Sanders of Ch Haut-Bailly in the Graves region of Bordeaux was in London, showing all of her 21st century vintages and some notable late 20th century ones. (I will of course be reporting on these, which included some unexpected stars.) She confirmed the reports we have been publishing here that the 2011 growing season has been incredibly demanding (though she seemed almost relieved that its shortcomings might help justify the record prices of those 2010s). It all makes me feel even more delighted to be a wine writer rather than a wine producer.
Not that we don't work our socks off too at JancisRobinson.com. We've been as busy as usual, with 79 new articles and 1,675 new wine reviews published in September alone. If you're a fan of appetising, well-balanced reds, the tasting notes that may be of most interest to you are our reviews of 190 Crus Bourgeois 2009 which I am convinced represents the best value red bordeaux. Ever. I'm planning to re-taste the 2009 classed growths later this month and will publish a free overview of how these expensive wines are looking now that they are in bottle.
Our members-only Purple pages are home to my recent comprehensive survey of classed growths from the 1996 Bordeaux vintage, a real classic for current drinking. But we certainly haven't been Bordeaux-centric. Michael Schmidt has reviewed the tricky 2010 Grosses Gewächs from Germany; Walter Speller has thoroughly researched Gavi and curiously underperforming Trentino in Italy; and I went all the way to Washington DC and Paris respectively on your behalf to review the current state of the Virginia wine industry and to taste Penfolds Grange back to the blissful 1953. Our members' forum seems to have busier than ever, with one thread, on alcohol in wine, notching up its 200th post and more than 6,000 views.
And we have a new feature which may be of interest to you. Every month we publish a round-up of the wines scored most enthusiastically during the previous month. Apart from providing you with a fast track summary, this means that the best of the many tasting notes we continue to add to our almost 60,000-strong database of wine reviews that are not published as part of a tasting article are not overlooked.
Should you wish to join our Purple pages - and remember that you can now take out a monthly membership, which can be cancelled at any time, for just £6.99 (approximately $10.85, €8.12, Aus$11.26) - just follow this link.