Once again another example of the great cork lottery: two bottles of 1999 Les Cormiers, Saumur Blanc from Jean-Pierre's Château de Villeneuve on Wednesday night to celebrate a nephew's birthday. The first was deep gold and noticeably oxidative, although this became considerably less marked with a little time in glass. In contrast the second bottle was sublime with all the qualities of the first – the honeyed nose, mouthfilling palate and lovely balance – without the oxidative character and all in all greater precision. A wonderful reminder of the magical quality of Jean-Pierre's 1999 Les Cormiers. This was the first year that JP shaped his grapes in July – matching sure that the bunches were well spread out and that each was as perfectly shaped as possible.
Also on Jamie's blog is a report on the Semillon used in the crucial AWRI closure trial.