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Château d’Issan vertical
Château d’Issan vertical
Over the last two decades, Emmanuel Cruse has transformed Château d’Issan. We caught up with Cruse to taste through key vintages from the Margaux Classed Growth, tracing its evolution  Château d’Issan might not be one of Bordeaux’s most famous addresses – but the Margaux Third Growth has seen huge investment since Emmanuel Cruse arrived in 1998, and it’s a name on the rise. Jane Anson – Decanter’s Bordeaux correspondent and ...
BY Sophie Thorpe,
ON January 29, 2021
Keeping up with the Bartons
Keeping up with the Bartons
As Château Langoa Barton marks its 200th anniversary, Sophie Thorpe caught up with Damien Barton-Sartorius – the 10th generation of the Barton family to run the estate – about tradition, terroir and why Bordeaux remains the most exciting wine region in the world  Think of Bordeaux, and you probably don’t think of skateboarding and denim shirts. Damien Barton-Sartorius, however – Director of Château Langoa and Léoville Barton – manages ...
BY Sophie Thorpe,
ON April 1, 2021
Bordeaux 2020: encore, mon ami
Bordeaux 2020: encore, mon ami
Each spring, the wine trade’s eyes turn to Bordeaux for en primeur. But – once more – the campaign looks to be shackled by Covid-19. Here, we look ahead, considering how we’ll be tasting Bordeaux 2020  A year after we went into lockdown, it’s hard to believe we’re still here. At the start of 2020, we were blissfully ignorant about facemasks, hand sanitiser and Zoom – but in a year the world has changed. And the wine ...
BY Sophie Thorpe,
ON March 26, 2021
Carving a new future at Laroque
Carving a new future at Laroque
Since David Suire’s arrival in 2015, Château Laroque has become one of Saint-Emilion’s most talked-about estates. We caught up with the man behind the modest property’s soaring reputation (and scores) to find out more The skyline of the medieval village of Saint-Emilion is dominated by the spire of its 12th century monolithic church. Hewn from the limestone rock that imbues its wines with their shape and sinew, the 68-metre high ...
BY FINE+RARE,
ON April 22, 2021
Bordeaux 2020: vintage overview
Bordeaux 2020: vintage overview
The 2020 vintage in Bordeaux was not easy – but the resulting wines are undeniably very good. After several weeks’ tasting and talking extensively, we give an overview of the eventful year and the impressive wines it produced  Talking to producers about the 2020 vintage in Bordeaux, their excitement is palpable. Dramatic gesticulation and unabashed grins made for little modesty, but there is also a certain amount of relief. This was not an easy season for the region’s vignerons – ...
BY Sophie Thorpe,
ON May 12, 2021
Bordeaux 2020: breaking it down
Bordeaux 2020: breaking it down
Bordeaux 2020 was a vigneron’s vintage, a year in which strategic choices were key to success. Here we delve into how each of the main appellations on both the Left and Right Banks fared in this remarkable year. Talking to the Bordelais vignerons, there’s a recurring sense of relief and elation about the 2020 vintage. These fantastic wines don’t speak of the challenges that tested ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON May 12, 2021
Bordeaux 2020: a tale of two halves
Bordeaux 2020: a tale of two halves
The 2018 and 2019 vintages might be tough acts to follow, but Bordeaux 2020 seems to be more than up to the job. We spoke to producers about the year’s extreme conditions – and the stunning results it produced Bordeaux 2020 is the third in a trilogy of outstanding vintages for the region – but, talking to producers, one thing ...
BY Sophie Thorpe,
ON April 16, 2021
Bordeaux 2020: top-value buys
Bordeaux 2020: top-value buys
You don’t need us to tell you that the First Growths made good wine in 2020 – but there’s plenty of brilliant value to be found beyond the grandest names. Here we’ve picked 10 of the more modest wines from our tastings so far that are firmly on our wish-list  2020 Ch. Tour Saint-Christophe, Saint-Emilion  There is lovely restraint to Tour Saint-Christophe this year, ...
BY FINE+RARE,
ON May 26, 2021
Bordeaux 2020: what the critics are saying
Bordeaux 2020: what the critics are saying
The Bordeaux châteaux – and the world’s wine lovers – are waiting for the critics to give their verdict on the 2020 vintage. We’ll be adding to this page as their reports are released – offering a summary of what each of these prestigious palates are saying about the vintage and the wines they rated most highly James Suckling First ...
BY FINE+RARE,
ON May 6, 2021
Is Bordeaux over oak?
Is Bordeaux over oak?
A region where producers were once known for using 200% new oak, Bordeaux has long championed the barrique. But at a time when winemakers around the world are looking to alternatives for ageing wine, we talk to a handful of Bordeaux’s leading names, asking whether their love affair with the barrique is over  In some parts of the wine industry, oak ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON June 3, 2021
Bordeaux 2020: our favourites
Bordeaux 2020: our favourites
Bordeaux produced some stunning wines in 2020. While we haven’t yet tasted everything – notably Chx Mouton and Lafite Rothschild – here’s our pick of our 10 favourites so far, wines that have really shone in this remarkable vintage 2020 Calon Ségur, Saint-Estèphe This has a lovely interplay of earthy, mineral notes with a touch of smokiness, fresh leather and ...
BY FINE+RARE,
ON May 12, 2021
Domaines Barons de Rothschild: a year of innovation
Domaines Barons de Rothschild: a year of innovation
Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite)’s Jean-Sébastien Philippe speaks to Gavin Smith about the benefits of collaboration amongst its châteaux – Lafite, L’Evangile, Rieussec and Duhart-Milon For many, the past 12 months meant working in isolation and big plans were shelved. At Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite), it was an extremely proactive year of change. These changes have resulted in the strongest line ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON June 9, 2021
Is climate change threatening the Bordeaux blend?
Is climate change threatening the Bordeaux blend?
Climate change poses a serious threat to wine-growers around the world. Bordeaux has just allowed the use of new grape varieties to help its producers cope with the increasingly hot, dry conditions – but what does this mean for the region’s identity? We talk to the region’s top winemakers about the future of the Bordeaux blend From January 2021, the ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON July 15, 2021
The constant farmer: Noëmie Durantou Reilhac
The constant farmer: Noëmie Durantou Reilhac
Having taken over from her late father, Denis Durantou, Noëmie Durantou Reilhac of Ch. l’Eglise-Clinet tells Sophie Thorpe how the vines were a constant in an emotionally wrought year – and what lies ahead for the vigneron family  The 2020 vintage was challenging for most vignerons. But for the Durantou family, it was a year that demanded everything of them. Denis Durantou – patriarch and leading light of Pomerol – passed away on 12th May. For many people, their day-job would be ...
BY Sophie Thorpe,
ON July 1, 2021
Bordeaux Round-Up – Week 2 of Bordeaux EP 2017
Bordeaux Round-Up – Week 2 of Bordeaux EP 2017
This week saw a very slow start due to the bank holidays in France on Monday and Wednesday but the latter part of the week saw a cluster of releases on to the market, the highlight being the release of Chateau Pape Clement’s Blanc and Rouge. With almost perfect timing Antonio Galloni released his Bordeaux 2017 EP scores highlighting both ...
ON May 4, 2018
Bordeaux 2018 - F+R visits Bordeaux for an early vintage insight
Bordeaux 2018 - F+R visits Bordeaux for an early vintage insight
The Right Bank in 2018 Our first stop was Pomerol, with a visit to Clos du Clocher to taste a number of wines from Jean Baptiste Bourotte. Clos du Clocher is situated in some of the finest Pomerol terroir in the middle of the plateau neighboring Trotanoy and La Fleur Petrus. We have been following the Chateau avidly as quality ...
ON March 22, 2019
A couple of days in Bordeaux
A couple of days in Bordeaux
Bud Cuchet and I spent a couple of days in Bordeaux last week – the first time that either of us have visited Bordeaux during the harvest despite nearly forty years in the trade between us. The aim was twofold: to see the 2012 crop coming in and to retaste a few 2011s and 2010s. Despite our hosts being rather ...
ON October 9, 2012
2014 BORDEAUX ROUND-UP
2014 BORDEAUX ROUND-UP
Tuesday’s release of Mouton-Rothschild was a success, with the wine now sold through.  If this wine is of interest please do let us know and we will do our best to source it for you. Wednesday saw a mix of stop and go.  Angélus at GBP 1700 per dozen in bond looks good when compared to the 2012, which sells at ...
ON April 30, 2015
A Whistlestop Tour of Bordeaux
A Whistlestop Tour of Bordeaux
The spiritual home of fine wine, packed full of household names that have become bywords for luxury and quality, Bordeaux is where many begin their collections. Below is a brief snapshot of the appellations of the region, the big names, some under-the-radar gems and what it is that makes them all so special. Pauillac – Classic, Quintessential Claret Home ...
ON August 19, 2015
BORDEAUX 2017: EP ROUND-UP WEEK V
BORDEAUX 2017: EP ROUND-UP WEEK V
Chateau Lynch Bages was easily the biggest release from the left bank to come out this week and with a similar strategy to Chateau Palmer, the wine was released 20% below their 2016 price. Lynch Bages always remains a popular choice and the response was positive (closely matching sales of the 2015 Lynch Bages on release). However demand was noticeably lower ...
ON May 25, 2018
Bordeaux 2017 - EP Round Up Week IX
Bordeaux 2017 - EP Round Up Week IX
This week is the final round up of the 2017 campaign with the last and arguably the best wine of the vintage Chateau Ausone being released on Thursday. Other major right bank releases this week included Chateau Cheval Blanc, Le Pin and Chateau L’Eglise Clinet. Now with everything out and with a bit more time to consider the campaign as ...
ON June 22, 2018
2011 Bordeaux - Vintage Report
2011 Bordeaux - Vintage Report
Our wines of the vintage with scores out of 20 points in brackets: Haut Brion Blanc Pessac(19) Mouton Rothschild Pauillac (18+) Pontet Canet Pauillac (18+) Margaux Margaux (18+) Eglise Clinet Pomerol (18+) La Conseillante Pomerol (18+) Domaine de Chevalier Blanc Pessac (18+) Ducru Beaucaillou St Julien (18+) Lafleur Pomerol (18+) Vieux Chateau Certan Pomerol (18) Leoville Lascases St Julien (18) ...
BY FINE+RARE,
ON April 11, 2012
2011 Bordeaux: An Uncertain Start
2011 Bordeaux: An Uncertain Start
Bordeaux 2011 has gone off ahead of Robert Parker's usual starting gun with Lafite unexpectedly leading the way (we are still confirming our allocations). Mutterings in Bordeaux that Lafite is too expensive is unlikely to prove true given it's attraction for the Asian markets, but the other 1st Growths would perhaps be wise to disregard Lafite when setting their own prices. The ...
BY FINE+RARE,
ON April 19, 2012
Bordeaux 2013: Twist or Stick?
Bordeaux 2013: Twist or Stick?
2013 is a Bordeaux vintage that has been challenged from the start. Challenged by the weather that made the vintage, challenged by the naysayers since the grapes were picked, challenged by a wine market disenchanted by Bordeaux and challenged now by those with the job of selling it. Asked earlier this week by the maker of one of the year's ...
ON April 7, 2014
2014 Bordeaux: An Early Glimpse
2014 Bordeaux: An Early Glimpse
The trouble with writing about the previous year’s Bordeaux vintage is that one is almost invariably going to take some stick from somebody. Praise the wines and the accusations of hype will fly in. Criticise them and all sorts of tricky emails and telephone calls come in from Bordeaux. Tread carefully, report honestly and stay on the fence-ish? Here goes: ...
ON February 13, 2015
2014 Bordeaux: We're Off...
2014 Bordeaux: We're Off...
The F+R team will be in Bordeaux next week tasting the 2014 vintage, a vintage that is described by some as being make-or-break for the en-primeur system. We visited the left bank of Bordeaux earlier this year for a glimpse of what is looking to be a vintage of promising quality. Our tastings, limited though they were, confirmed that the ...
ON March 27, 2015
2014 BORDEAUX: THE STORY SO FAR
2014 BORDEAUX: THE STORY SO FAR
The en-primeur machine is now very much in gear. After Friday’s release of Duhart-Milon, Monday saw another big name: Beychevelle.  Both of these wines are offered at less than any other available vintage and Duhart-Milon’s reduction in price on their 2013 is a very welcome gesture. The big news, and what we have been waiting for, is a wine with ...
ON April 28, 2015
2014 BORDEAUX: THE F+R PICKS. MONTROSE
2014 BORDEAUX: THE F+R PICKS. MONTROSE
In 2013, a year where tasting through the vintage was more of a challenge than usual, Montrose made a wine, indeed three wines: Tronquoy-Lalande, Dame de Montrose and Montrose itself, that seemed to have come from an entirely different vintage.  The wines had weight, sweet fruit, balance and more.  I asked Hervé Berland what the trick was.  He just smiled ...
ON May 1, 2015
2014 Bordeaux: off and running..
2014 Bordeaux: off and running..
This has been an exciting week for en-primeur releases, with a number of the Bordeaux châteaux hitting the mark in terms of their pricing. Two of the buys of the vintage played their hand on Wednesday: Ch. Canon and Ch. Rauzan-Ségla.  At GBP 375 per dozen in bond both deserve a place in every cellar.  Ch. Canon was our highest-scoring ...
ON May 14, 2015
2014 Bordeaux: Today's releases
2014 Bordeaux: Today's releases
Today has seen a number of releases that look to be good buys, notably one of our picks of the vintage, Smith-Haut-Lafitte. Both red and white "Smith" have developed quite a following over the years as the Cathiards, owners since 1990, have invested a great deal of time, effort and money into this beautiful property.  Smith-Haut-Lafitte Blanc is quite excellent ...
ON May 18, 2015
2014 Bordeaux: a wine of the vintage?
2014 Bordeaux: a wine of the vintage?
This morning sees the release of 2014 Pichon-Lalande, a wine that we rated as one of the vintage's best.  Nicolas Glumineau, a man with both 2009 and 2010 Montrose on his CV, is getting his feet under the table at Pichon-Lalande and the 2014 is everything that Comtesse should be: elegant, feminine and regal. Moreover, it is pure, pure Pauillac. ...
ON May 22, 2015
2014 Bordeaux: 27th May
2014 Bordeaux: 27th May
It has been a quiet week in Bordeaux though with the releases of Fonbel and Moulin St Georges we expect Ausone to be released shortly. Hints from Bordeaux suggest that Ducru-Beaucaillou should also be released soon: this was one of our picks of the vintage and, if sensibly priced, will be worth looking at. The pattern of the vintage's sales has ...
ON May 27, 2015
2014 Bordeaux: 28th May
2014 Bordeaux: 28th May
One of our picks is out today: Ducru-Beaucaillou.  The price, at GBP 375 per six bottles in bond, looks fair and Bruno's 2014 isn't a million miles off his 2010.  A very stylish wine. Cheval Blanc is now available.  This wine received unanimous praise and is a candidate for the wine of the vintage.  The price is GBP 1695 per ...
ON May 28, 2015
2005 Bordeaux and the Wine Advocate
2005 Bordeaux and the Wine Advocate
At the end of this month, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate will publish his latest scores on what is one of the great young Bordeaux vintages: 2005.  Wine Advocate Issue no. 219 will contain one of the most important reports in years. To set the scene - 2005 was hailed on release, at least by wine merchants, as a perfect vintage.  A ...
ON June 25, 2015
Bordeaux 2019 - En Primeur Update
Bordeaux 2019 - En Primeur Update
The wine world should have descended on Bordeaux this week to taste the 2019 vintage from barrel and make their assessments, with the chateaux initially due to release the wines from mid-April onwards. However, it comes as no surprise, the biggest event of the fine wine year is currently on ice. While the Bordelais speculate on the en primeur ice thawing somewhere ...
BY FINE+RARE,
ON April 2, 2020
Bordeaux Revival: A Reinvention of the City
Bordeaux Revival: A Reinvention of the City
A prince’s kiss rouses the cursed princess from a century-long slumber in Sleeping Beauty but the man responsible for Bordeaux’s long-overdue reawakening was not a prince (this being the French Republic after all) but Alain Juppé, France’s former Prime Minister. Bordeaux had been comatosed earning it the nickname la belle endormie but the indefatigable politician has given the city the kiss ...
BY Rebecca Gibb MW,
ON May 12, 2020
2018 Bordeaux En Primeur Round Up #5
2018 Bordeaux En Primeur Round Up #5
Following last week’s Bordeaux hiatus due to the VinExpo wine fair in Bordeaux, we expected a busy week to follow. The week saw a flurry of very well priced “value-buy” favourites come out and quickly sell out! This included Chateau Leoville Barton and highly anticipated Domaine de Chevalier. Chevalier has proved to be the ultimate value pick of the vintage ...
ON May 24, 2019
Bordeaux Right Bank Icons
Bordeaux Right Bank Icons
The Right Bank icons of Bordeaux are situated on two very distinct terroir regions, the limestone plateau of Saint Emilion and the dark clay, rich in iron soils of Pomerol. Whilst Saint Emilion is one of the most historic winemaking sites in the world; neighbouring Pomerol's rise to prominence has been a much more recent phenomena. Pomerol only really ...
ON August 23, 2019
Early Insight on Bordeaux 2019
Early Insight on Bordeaux 2019
Right from the lead up to the harvest of 2019 through to the Spring of this year we have been speaking extensively to winemakers throughout Bordeaux on their thoughts regarding the progress and quality of the vintage. In November of last year at the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux tasting in London, it was already becoming clear this was ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON November 15, 2019
Merlot: Part of the Bordeaux Psyche
Merlot: Part of the Bordeaux Psyche
Merlot today remains the most planted variety in Bordeaux but its dominance is waning somewhat in an ever warming climate. With “freshness” and “structure” often the buzz words defining the best Bordeaux wines of recent warm vintages – the plush richness and suppleness brought by the merlot variety often seems undersold compared to the role of the Cabernets in the ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON July 22, 2020
Large Format Bordeaux - The Ultimate Decadence
Large Format Bordeaux - The Ultimate Decadence
We are delighted to present something truly unique that would make a stunning centrepiece to any cellar: beautifully presented, large format Bordeaux from some of the most iconic chateaux... * * Large Format Bordeaux Collections For those looking to fill a cellar with top Bordeaux, source beautifully packaged luxury gifts or buy a swathe of rare large format Bordeaux in one fell ...
ON March 17, 2016
Bordeaux 2015 En Primeur: Early Opinions
Bordeaux 2015 En Primeur: Early Opinions
Find out what the critics are saying about Bordeaux 2015 En Primeur and start setting alerts for the wines you want… Bordeaux 2015 Vintage Hopes have been high for the Bordeaux 2015 vintage ever since the harvest. Early opinions from critics, industry experts and winemakers suggest this is an excellent vintage; the best since 2010 and potentially surpassing it in ...
ON March 29, 2016
Bordeaux 2015 En Primeur: Vintage Update
Bordeaux 2015 En Primeur: Vintage Update
Bordeaux 2015 En Primeur has begun. Find out more about the vintage, critic opinions and the major appellations… Bordeaux 2015 Vintage Bordeaux 2015 appears to be a strong vintage. It is neither a left or right bank vintage, a Merlot or Cabernet vintage, a red or white vintage. There is outstanding quality in all areas, but it is not across ...
ON April 22, 2016
Bordeaux 2015 En Primeur: Campaign Summary
Bordeaux 2015 En Primeur: Campaign Summary
As the négociants begin to close their offers on 2015 Bordeaux, they are telling us that it has been a “great En Primeur campaign”. Here at FINE+RARE we wholeheartedly agree… First Growths & Their Peers In many ways it was business as usual with the first growths and their peers (Pétrus and Le Pin) dominating our sales and receiving huge ...
ON July 29, 2016
2016 Bordeaux En Primeur: Early Opinions
2016 Bordeaux En Primeur: Early Opinions
With 2015 still selling strongly and 2014 enjoying resurgence after big rescores from Antonio Galloni and James Suckling, we now turn our attention to the much-anticipated 2016 Bordeaux En Primeur… Can 2016 rival 2014 & 2015? All early signs are pointing towards 2016 Bordeaux being an excellent vintage, potentially the third in a row. A turbulent, but in the end ...
ON March 2, 2017
Bordeaux 2016 En Primeur: Vintage Report
Bordeaux 2016 En Primeur: Vintage Report
Early critic scores and the buzz in the marketplace suggest that the Bordeaux 2016 En Primeur campaign could be one of the biggest yet. Read on to find out about the vintage, critic opinions, scores and all the major appellations… While at En Primeur week Jancis Robinson has suggested that her readers “start saving” as she is “much enjoying tasting ...
ON April 7, 2017
Bordeaux Safari: The Story Behind The Vines
Bordeaux Safari: The Story Behind The Vines
Working the vines is a truly magical thing. We are delighted to launch Bordeaux Safari, an exclusive, first-of-its-kind trip where customers can experience the behind-the-scenes management of a top vineyard, overseen by the very best in the business. As any grower will tell you, great wine starts with great vines. While state of the art equipment and care in the ...
BY FINE+RARE,
ON September 19, 2017
Bordeaux Safari March 2018 Travelogue
Bordeaux Safari March 2018 Travelogue
Bordeaux Safari - Day 1 A small group of eager wine lovers are picked up from the airport and driven direct to the magnificent Chateau Le Pape in Pessac (a recently renovated Chateau owned by Chateau Haut Bailly) surrounded by vineyards. The interior has the classic grandeur of Bordeaux heritage chic mixed with all the modern comforts and a permanent ...
ON March 23, 2018
Bordeaux En Primeur 2017: Week 1 Round-Up
Bordeaux En Primeur 2017: Week 1 Round-Up
With just under 100 wines released through 'La Place de Bordeaux' this week, the En Primeur campaign kicked-off with the surprise release of Chateau Palmer and its second wine, Alter Ego de Palmer, on Monday morning. Despite the Wine Advocate and Vinous only having released their overview of the vintage, the positive overall response from the trade provided enough confidence ...
ON April 27, 2018
Dining Out in Bordeaux - F+R Restaurant Recommendations
Dining Out in Bordeaux - F+R Restaurant Recommendations
Bordeaux being the bread and butter of our business we find ourselves eating our way round the city on a regular basis. The beauty of having so many friends in the region and like us, all driven by a passion for food and drink, recommendations are easy to come by. Below are a couple of highlights from recent visits.  Tentazioni ...
ON May 11, 2018

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