JWL Issue #097: What is 'Freshness' in Wine?

May 26, 2020

My phone reminds me that this week it's London Wine Week. Or what would have been. London Wine Week 2018 was quite a special week for me. I was fresh off the back of doing my WSET, and suddenly I was discovering the world of generosity and exploration that wine has to offer. It has since become a favourite on the calendar.

When this is all over (feel that should be trademarked), we want events to very much be part of our Wine List experience. And I want some type of consumer-focused wine event to be at the centre of our calendar: a chance to meet customers, readers, and randoms alike and share the generosity I have so often found in wine.  A party. A mini-festival of wine. Come learn, come be merry, come me others on their journeys.

We are currently putting the June box together. It is a real joy to put this one together. Our Case Edition (six bottles for £99) allows us to send even more wine to you each month. June looks set to be rarer parcels of land, and rarer wines.

We've been overwhelmed with applicants for our marketing role. In all my years of hiring marketing teams, this has been the busiest. Thank you to all of you who have applied.  

As we're down to our final half-case of rosé special, we're thinking ahead to the next specials. Current contenders are: English wines, petnats & col fondos, and sherries. What do you fancy? Get in touch.

From July, we should be importing our own wine. For me, that's such an incredible milestone in our history. We've not even hit our one year mark yet and to think we will soon be importing wines from around the world is exciting.

Finally, as we dream of future holidays, we've teamed up with heritage luggage brand Antler for a competition. You can with a year's worth of Wine List plus one of their Clifton suitcase range. It's a follow & tag competition, head here to enter.


Hot off last week's Rhône white primer, I tried the Sainsburys' Taste the Difference Languedoc White again this week (£6.50). This is archetypal with its white flowers and peach aroma.

A real delight and bargain at that offer price. Lock Keeper's Chardonnay (£9 from M&S) is an Australian chardonnay that's well worth visiting if your memory of Aussie chard is the 90s big oak stuff. There's oak here for sure, but it's subtle and matched wonderfully with plenty of stone fruits.

Stepping away from the supermarket, Tillingham's 100 (£25) is one of my favourite wines I've drunk in a long time. This is full of butter, peach, lemon, pineapples and so much more on the nose. It's so easy to drink, you'll be glad it's only 9% – because you'll finish it in no time. Reminds you of how fun wine can be. 


Freshness in wine

Freshness is an increasingly popular tasting note, and one used overwhelmingly positively.

It refers to a wine that is a combination of some of the following: young, strongly acidic, with vivid but lighter aromas, low to medium alcohol, and light in body and colour.

The reason it’s so sought after now, is to do with the trend it is swinging back from.

The last few decades have been defined by Robert Parker. He was a wine critic in the US with a penchant for the bold, highly alcoholic, ripe reds of Bordeaux, the Rhone, and Napa Valley. His influence led to many winemakers adapting their style to suit his. As such a boom was created for reds that kept creeping up and up the ABV. And freshness has risen in response to that.

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