Errazuriz's Seña – originally a joint venture with Robert Mondavi – was one of Chile's original 'icon' wines. Today it's part of Chile's presence on La Place de Bordeaux
Wine Club O Collection 8 September 2021

La Place de Bordeaux September releases – New World icons

Every autumn, La Place de Bordeaux releases an ever-increasing number of top-end wines from other regions around the world. As the wines hit merchants' shelves around the globe, Jane Anson reviews this year's line up from the Americas
Introduction and recommendations by

Icon Napa wineries are the envy of most of the world’s fine-wine producers. They have loyal consumers on their doorstep, high prices, and waiting lists for their top labels. So, why are increasing numbers of them, even those with their own well-established sales networks, choosing the Bordeaux system of négociants to distribute their wines?

A few years ago, just a handful of non-Bordeaux wines went through the local merchant system of brokers and négociants known as the Place de Bordeaux. And the first international wines to sign up had clear Bordeaux connections. Almaviva, which traded entirely through the Place from 1998, was a joint venture between the Rothschilds of Mouton Rothschild and Chile’s Concha y Toro.

The top wines of the Peter Michael winery – notably Bordeaux blend Les Pavots – are among the California bottlings to be sold via La Place

Opus One, which arrived with the 2001 vintage, released in 2004, is an estate that began as a project between Robert Mondavi and Baron Philippe de Rothschild (now jointly owned by the Rothschilds and Constellation Brands, but run entirely separately). There are plenty of others with similar connections, such as the Tuscan Caiarossa, owned by the Albada family of Château Giscours, or LVMH’s Cheval des Andes, a joint-venture between Cheval Blanc and Terrazas de los Andes.

Many others have no links to the region but see it as a way to increase their visibility, or to ensure a wider distribution, harnessing the benefits of La Place de Bordeaux, which works as a virtual marketplace, selling on to around 10,000 trade clients worldwide (the wines below are hitting the market, via fine wine merchants, now).

La Place de Bordeaux works as a virtual marketplace, selling on to around 10,000 trade clients worldwide

The first of these was Masseto from Tenuta dell’Ornellaia, which arrived in 2008 with its 2006 vintage – adding its second wine, Massetino, for the first time in 2020. Solaia, made by the Antinori Family, arrived one year after Masseto, followed by Chile’s Seña in 2011. This year, there are around 90 different names on La Place, from Napa, Sonoma, Chile, Argentina, Italy, South Africa, Australia, Spain and more.

We are focusing here on the wines from South America and the United States, mainly from the 2018 and 2019 vintages. Just a quick glance through the names tells you why this is such a key moment of the year – it’s a way to take the pulse of producers that you don’t always see together but that represent the best of their own regions.

Catena Zapata – Place de Bordeaux
Family owned Catena Zapata is one of the premier wine estates in Argentina

You’ll find key releases such as the 25th anniversary vintage of the brilliant Seña and Harlan’s excellent Promontory from the extremely dry 2015 vintage in Napa; among other clear highlights are the brilliant Adrianna Vineyard from Catena Zapata, and Dalla Valle Vineyards’ Maya, both from 2018 and embodying a sense of place that makes them stand out in this crowded field of excellent wines.

With the exception of summer’s en primeur, the month of September has become the busiest of the year in Bordeaux – and it is showing no signs of slowing down.‘The great wines of the world are no longer specifically linked to one region, and this is a trend that isn’t going away,’ says Jean-Quentin Prats, director of a négociant that specialises in this system.

 

Jane Anson september releases

The reviews that follow are taken from Jane Anson’s full report and tasting notes on all 90 wines that form The September Releases, including wines from Clos des Goisses, Penfolds, Masseto, Beaucastel, Bibi Graetz and Klein Constantia, as well as Bordeaux ex-château releases. The report is being offered free on Anson’s new site, ahead of the official launch in October 2021.

Club Oenologique issue 9 left

For more on the wines of the Americas, see the autumn issue of Club Oenologique, out next week

Top Rated Bottles

The pick of The September Releases from California, Argentina and Chile

Opus One 2018

Score
98
100
California
  • From 2024
  • To 2042
Opus One
Learn More

Dalla Valle Vineyards, Maya 2018

Score
97
100
California
  • From 2024
  • To 2040
Maya
Learn More

Inglenook, Rubicon 2018

Score
97
100
California
  • From 2024
  • To 2042
Rubicon
Learn More

Joseph Phelps, Insignia 2018

Score
97
100
California
  • From 2023
  • To 2040
Insignia
Learn More

Peter Michael, Les Pavots 2018

Score
97
100
California
  • From 2023
  • To 2038
Les Pavots
Learn More

Vérité, Le Désir 2018

Score
97
100
California
  • From 2023
  • To 2038
Le Désir
Learn More

L’Aventure, Cote à Cote 2019

Score
96
100
California
  • From 2023
  • To 2038
Cote à Cote
Learn More

Quintessa 2018

Score
96
100
California
  • From 2022
  • To 2038
Quintessa
Learn More

Daou Family Estates, Soul of a Lion 2018

Score
95
100
California
  • From 2023
  • To 2038
Soul of a Lion
Learn More

Inglenook, Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Score
95
100
California
  • From 2024
  • To 2040
Cabernet Sauvignon
Learn More

Peter Michael, Au Paradis 2018

Score
95
100
California
  • From 2023
  • To 2038
Au Paradis
Learn More

Vérité, La Joie 2018

Score
95
100
California
  • From 2024
  • To 2040
La Joie
Learn More

Beaulieu Vineyard, Georges de Latour Private Reserve 2018

Score
94
100
California
  • From 2023
  • To 2040
Georges de Latour Private Reserve
Learn More

L'Aventure, Optimus 2019

Score
94
100
California
  • From 2023
  • To 2040
Optimus
Learn More

Joseph Phelps, Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Score
93
100
California
  • From 2022
  • To 2038
Cabernet Sauvignon
Learn More

Opus One, Overture NV

Score
93
100
California
  • From 2022
  • To 2030
Overture
Learn More

Vérité, La Muse 2018

Score
93
100
California
  • From 2023
  • To 2038
La Muse
Learn More

Catena Zapata, Mundus Bacillus Terrae Vino de Parcela 2018

Score
98
100
Mendoza
  • From 2024
  • To 2040
Mundus Bacillus Terrae Vino de Parcela
Learn More

Catena Zapata, Nicolás Catena Zapata 2018

Score
97
100
Mendoza
  • From 2024
  • To 2040
Nicolás Catena Zapata
Learn More

Cheval des Andes 2018

Score
95
100
Mendoza
  • From 2026
  • To 2042
Cheval des Andes
Learn More

Seña 2019

Score
96
100
Aconcagua Region
  • From 2024
  • To 2040
Seña
Learn More

Clos Apalta 2018

Score
94
100
Chile
  • From 2024
  • To 2040
Clos Apalta
Learn More

Santa Rita, Casa Real Reserva Especial 2018

Score
94
100
Maipo Valley
  • From 2024
  • To 2036
Casa Real Reserva Especial
Learn More

Viñedo Chadwick 2019

Score
94
100
Maipo Valley
  • From 2025
  • To 2038
Viñedo Chadwick
Learn More

Clos Apalta, Le Petit Clos 2018

Score
92
100
Chile
  • From 2022
  • To 2038
Le Petit Clos
Learn More

Have you joined The Collection yet?

Get access to all our back issues via our free digital archive – and enjoy the best rate on a magazine subscription