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Tim Atkin MW

Dear <<First Name>>

One of the best books I read over the summer was The Escape Artist by Jonathan Freedland. It’s a moving, thrilling and often shocking biography of Rudolf Vrba, a heroic Jew who escaped from Auschwitz to tell the world what was happening in the Nazi concentration camps. Evading recapture, Vrba and his friend Alfred Wetzler made it back to their native Slovakia, where they published the Vrba-Wetzler report. Their meticulously detailed account had extensive repercussions, but the pair were frustrated that many of their fellow Jews were still sceptical about Auschwitz.
 
Freedland makes the distinction between knowing something to be true and believing it. The rumours about the horrors of the Final Solution had been confirmed, but the information was almost too awful to process, let alone act on. Many Hungarian Jews – the last major European community that had escaped annihilation by 1944 – still boarded the trains that carried them to their own deaths.
 
I think the difference between knowing and believing also lies at the heart of our collective response to climate change. There are still, remarkably, deniers out there, some of them in positions of power, but most of us can observe what is happening to our warming world. I’m currently in Ribera del Duero, a famously marginal wine region that used to start picking in mid-October but is currently finishing its hottest, driest and earliest ever harvest. All over the wine world, producers are facing what is becoming a new normal, dealing with extreme weather events and (almost) unprecedented conditions.
 
We know why this is happening, and yet deep down we don’t believe or accept its implications for the way we live. Wine regions aren’t making the changes they need to effect – new varieties, cooler sites, reduced carbon emissions, different methods of agriculture – and neither are we. The clock is ticking, but we are mostly ignoring its sound. In the spirit of Rudolf Vrba, now is the time for action.


Cheers,



 
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ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
The Tale of Two Château Palmers

The Tale of Two Château Palmers


In his first piece for my site, historian Charlie Leary has written a fascinating tale about two different Bordeaux châteaux – both named after the intriguing figure of British Major General Charles Palmer. It’s an intriguing insight into the way brands are created, developed and, against all the odds, survive.

 

READ

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WINE OF THE WEEK
La Raison

2021 Balassa Bor Marty McFly Furmint, Tokaji


93 points

 

“Wow!” was my one-word tasting note when I initially sipped this remarkable dry Furmint from Hungary. The Tokaji region is best known for its delicious sweet wines, but that’s changing thanks to producers like Balassa Bor. Intense, stony and lightly wooded, this jauntily named white has citrus, fresh dough and aniseed flavours, wonderful purity and focus and racy, palate-cleansing acidity.

 

£11.95, 13.5%, The Wine Society


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TIM'S PHOTOGRAPHY
Convent Garden
The eyes of the world have been on London this week, while I’ve been travelling in Spain. The picture I’ve chosen from my archive is a tribute to the place I live and love: to its craziness, its creativity and its multiculturalism. I took this shot of a street entertainer and a passer-by in Covent Garden and it still makes me smile.

If you’re interested in buying signed prints of any of my photos, email me at admin@timatkin.com.
FOLLOW TIM ON INSTAGRAM
The legendary restaurateur Andrew Edmunds passed away this week. I hope that his wonderfully intimate Soho bistro survives him, as it’s been a wine lovers’ London landmark for nearly four decades. Wild West End, from Dire Straits’ first album, seemed an appropriate way to honour him. I’m old enough to remember when Angelucci’s – mentioned in the song – sold coffee beans in Frith Street and I still love walking through Chinatown.

P.S. If you like my weekly music recommendations, I have collected them on my Spotify playlist titled ‘Music to Drink Wine to’.
 

LISTEN

Sonal Holland MW
Sonal Holland MW is on a one-person mission to get Indian consumers to drink more wine. Writer, wine judge, presenter, consultant and retailer, she’s one of those people who never seems to stop working. Listen to us chat about what she calls her “arranged marriage” with wine, the best bottles to look out for from the sub-continent, what she serves with spicy food and how she copes with being a high-profile woman in India.

Don’t forget, Cork Talk is now available on Spotify. You can listen to this week’s episode, plus my back catalogue of interviews.  


TUNE IN

Instagram Lives
Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon

As well as my weekly Podcasts with some of the wine world’s leading lights, I interview the subject at greater length on Instagram Live, so you can join in to ask some questions of your own. These are on my @timatkinmw account. You can watch back episodes on my IGTV channel, or join us on the day.

My next guest, on Sunday 25th September at 7pm in the UK will be Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon from Champagne Louis Roederer.

Reports
Over the past 12 years, I’ve published more than 40 in-depth reports covering England, Latin America, the Napa Valley, South Africa, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Brunello di Montalcino and Spain. My team and I have walked every vineyard, interviewed every producer and tasted every wine to bring you the inside track on the very best these regions and countries have to offer. My latest report, South Africa 2022, is now available on my website.
Reports
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