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Tarlant Champagne - Champagnes with a unique heritage
A CONVERSATION WITH BENOIT TARLANT, WINEMAKER AT TARLANT CHAMPAGNE Last week, I met up with Benoit Tarlant, the vigneron behind the Curvee Louis and La Vigne d'Antan Champagnes - two of the most unique expressions of the region. Benoit's aim in his top cuvees  is to re-engage with the historical cultural heritage of winemaking in the region. He wants his ...
ON November 2, 2018
Nicolas Champagneux - Producer Portrait
Nicolas has lived and breathed Cote Rotie since he was a boy, working alongside his uncle in the vineyards and winery, and in the summers with his father at Guigal. Following his uncle's passing, Nicolas inherited one of the most prime vineyards in the highly revered lieu-dit of “Les Grandes Places” in the Cote Brune of Cote Rotie. Previously these ...
ON November 6, 2019
Five Champagnes to Buy in September
F Scott Fitzgerald once wrote, “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall" and if one thing is certain, it’s that The Great Gatsby has no shortage of Champagne. With that in mind, we take a look at five Champagnes to watch this September… September is a time for new beginnings and the wine industry is no ...
ON August 24, 2017
Two Champagne Verticals
Blind tasting is not always the best way to taste. The effort it involves focuses the mind and tends to imprint the experience much more firmly in the memory. It also erases preconceptions – you can’t ‘taste’ labels when you can’t see them. But because you are forced to look at the bigger picture as you seek to pin a ...
ON November 2, 2012
Champagne at Fine+Rare
In honour of National Champagne Week, Chris Kelly shines the spotlight on everybody's favourite form of liquid celebration.  Drinking Champagne is one of life’s great pleasures – making any occasion feel that little but more special. At FINE + RARE we have access to an unparalleled range of Champagnes across the price points and spanning some glorious vintages.  Read on to find ...
ON October 3, 2015
Grower Champagne - The Insider's Guide
Recently, our buying team took a trip to Champagne specifically to get to know the ‘grower’ Champagne producers that we have been working with; a fascinating and exciting selection of wines that have become increasingly popular amongst our team and clients. Small Production, Inherently Artisanal Wines These ‘grower’ Champagnes are by definition crafted by the Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and ...
ON July 8, 2015
2002 Champagne – The Vintage of the Decade?
*"2002 was an outstanding vintage, most likely the best of the decade. The finest 2002s are powerful, firmly structured and truly mineral but neither lack freshness nor finesse." – *The Wine Advocate** Widely renowned as one of the greatest champagne vintages of recent years, 2002 more than stands up to past greats such as the 1996 & 1990. Praised by ...
ON July 28, 2015
2008 Champagne: A Few Early Thoughts...
A number of 2008 Champagnes have been dripping on to the market of late and we have been tasting as many of them as we can.  Talk of a potentially excellent vintage started as the grapes came in almost six years ago now: a tricky vintage with the ace card of an almost perfect ending (mid-September to the harvest gave ...
ON June 18, 2014
Paul Bara Champagne - A Comprehensive Tasting
After recently completing a busy Monday and Tuesday, how lovely to spend a mid-week afternoon tasting Champagne from Paul Bara, one of my favourite grower producers. These wines never fail to captivate me with their characteristic fruitiness and perfect balance of richness and grace. We were joined by Paul-Antoine Dauvergne to taste through a flight of truly exceptional wines. Here ...
ON July 13, 2015
Preview of 2006 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne
The newest release of the Taittinger Comtes de Champagne is nearly upon us and it looks like being a monumental wine. Already rated a 97+ points by Galloni, it's hotly anticipated so look out for our offer early next week. In the meantime, here’s a brief history of this glorious label as well as a link to our extensive listings ...
ON September 4, 2015
Dom Perignon: Spotlight on a Champagne Superstar
** ** Following the highly successful release of the 2006 in September, we profile the history of luxury cuvee Dom Perignon. Dom Perignon – A Byword for Luxury One of the most famous names, not just in Champagne, but in all fine wine, Dom Perignon is a true icon, a symbol of luxury and a benchmark against which all others are measured. It’s a ...
ON October 6, 2015
Champagne Agrapart – Pioneer of Terroir Expression
Pascal Agrapart has long been a trailblazer for the small grower Champagne movement that has taken a firm hold within Champagne over the last 20 years. This growing movement has seen a rapid increase in single vineyard terroir expression throughout Champagne; a rise in overall quality working with more "human-size" production levels; and a wide array of variation and individuality ...
ON February 15, 2019
2012 Vintage in Champagne: A Versatile Classic
There is a great deal of buzz surrounding the 2012 Champagne vintage. What started earlier this year as a few quiet releases of impressive prestige cuvees from interesting producers of all shapes and sizes is quickly growing into the undeniable ‘next big thing’.  After a flurry of hotly anticipated 2008s, it is clear that 2012 is the new Champagne vintage ...
ON March 28, 2019
Champagne Prices Set To Rise in 2017
With prices looking likely to go up in 2017, it is more than just the fast-approaching festive period causing Champagne collectors and connoisseurs to stock up... Champagne prices set to rise in UK Decanter Magazine recently reported that “Champagne is expected to go up in price in the New Year”, a view that has been echoed by others in the ...
ON November 11, 2016
Champagne Philipponnat - Clos des Goisses
Last week Charles Philipponnat, owner of the iconic Clos des Goisses vineyard, stopped by the F+R offices to showcase the latest vintage from his top Champagne site. As direct importers of Clos des Goisses from Philipponnat, we wanted to gain a real understanding of what makes this vineyard so special. From its location and aspect, to the particular élevage techniques ...
ON September 27, 2018
Behind the Bottle: Clos des Goisses Champagne
Philipponnat’s single vineyard Clos des Goisses is one of Champagne’s most famous vineyards. It is the steepest, directly south-facing vineyard in the whole of Champagne (between 30- 45% gradient), and the hottest site in the region. It is a 5.5 hectare narrow strip (800 metres long and 100 metres wide) perfectly positioned to push the natural ripeness of the grapes to a level ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON February 19, 2020
Diary of a 2012 Champagne Academy Alumnus Day Two
Day Two Moet Chandon proved a difficult start, since we could not at first work our way into the building! When eventually we were sat down in the boardroom, we launched into the short daily test before moving onto the lecture, this time on vineyards and harvest. And the reward at the end of our hard work? A trip round ...
ON August 7, 2012
Diary of a 2012 Champagne Academy alumnus Day Three
Day Three Our day 3 lecture was on the picking of grapes to bottling stages and led by the ever composed cellar master Frédéric Panaiotis at Ruinart’s recently renovated maison. (They also had the best patisseries and coffee of the week!) This test was one of the hardest for me, partly being that we had no time to review the ...
ON August 8, 2012
Diary of a 2012 Champagne Academy alumnus Day Five
And so under heavy clouds again we trekked into the Lanson headquarters for the last lecture "From the Cellar to the Consumer" which was technically the most relevant, or at least the one we should relate to most. There were a lot of market figures to absorb so we were quite overwhelmed by the time we met the cellar master. ...
BY FINE+RARE,
ON August 14, 2012
Diary of a 2012 Champagne Academy alumnus Day Six
After a spectacular week, the final day brought a test on the previous day’s lecture, a blind tasting of Vins Clairs to identify the grape variety and then a blind tasting of Champagne to identify the house, vintage and main grape. Once completed we visited Reims Cathedral in the daytime – a must-do if in the area – and then ...
ON August 16, 2012
Diary of a 2012 Champagne Academy alumnus: Day One
This spectacular opportunity, offered to just 16 candidates nominated by the member champagne houses each year since 1956, would see us visit 16 grandes marques, taste more than 100 wines and eat more food than you would in a month. It also involved five lectures, five written exams, two blind tasting exams and 15 new friends. This… is Champagne Academy. ...
ON August 6, 2012
Diary of a 2012 Champagne Academy alumnus Day Four
Piper Heidsieck proved a very different affair to the old fashioned glamour of Charles the previous evening, as we pulled up outside a modern office building with the wine making facilities behind a huge car park. How many people does it take to run a champagne house? Our lecture today was Bottling to Packaging and run by their newest member ...
ON August 13, 2012
1998 Dom Perignon P2: Spectacular Late Release Champagne
A new parcel of 1998 Dom Perignon P2 is on offer. Reacquaint yourself with a "wine with real guts and nerve." The great benefit of late release Champagne is that it's beautiful to drink on delivery. The 1998 Dom Perignon P2 is perhaps the perfect example, and with scores of up to 98 points, is clearly showing very impressively indeed... ...
ON February 16, 2016
Finding the Equilibrium - What determines the world’s finest Champagne?
This week the F+R team got a real insight into the many variables that go into Champagne production. From the maturation process of the still wine and, following second fermentation, the effects of lees ageing, disgorgement, blending and dosage techniques - all in search of the elusive but all important equilibrium which defines the finest quality champagnes. A key defining ...
ON July 20, 2018
Gosset 1995 "Les Celebrissimes" - Behind the Bottle
This is an extraordinary Champagne in which just a thousand bottles have been commercially produced and sits alone at the very top of the tree of prestige cuvees from the Gosset Champagne house. This 1995 “Les Celebrissimes” cuvee will be the first ever “double aged” release from Gosset - a Champagne of exceptional quality. From the "Celebris" comes "Les Celebrissimes" ...
ON September 19, 2019
Winston Churchill: Pol Roger's Luxury Cuvee
Today, the team at F+R had the pleasure of tasting the latest Pol Roger release, their coveted Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill Champagne. The 2004 vintage is the 15th edition of this cuvée which is produced in tiny quantities as homage to the former Prime Minister. Pol Roger Champagne and Winston Churchill - Links Nearly a Century Old The link between ...
ON September 15, 2015
Energy and Intensity: Dom Perignon 2002 Plenitude 2 Revealed
It’s a good thing Dom Perignon’s Vincent Chaperon is an energetic, fit and talkative person. He needed it for a day of back-to-back tastings with trade and press to launch the latest incarnation of the house’s sensational 2002 vintage: Dom Perignon P2 2002. The theme of the launch was "energy and intensity". There was plenty of it in the room ...
ON May 16, 2019
Krug 2002: One of the most exciting releases of the decade
For those of you who have been champing at the bit for the release of Krug 2002, one of the greatest vintages from the King of Champagne, the long wait is almost over. We've now tasted it and can confirm that it is unequivocally worth all of the hype. But, as supply will be extremely limited and demand unimaginably high, ...
ON January 15, 2016
Krug Grande Cuvée Mixed Case
FINE+RARE have unearthed a rare opportunity to own a Krug Grande Cuvée mixed case... We have secured thirty limited edition collections containing six bottles of Krug Grande Cuvée recreated in three different years - 2006 base x 2 bottles, 2005 base x 2 bottles and 2004 base x 2 bottles - in original wooden cases. Read on to find out ...
ON July 22, 2016
Terroir Immersion Therapy with Sébastien Le Golvet
We learn a lot from winemakers around the world but often it extends well beyond their vocation. No more so than with Sébastien Le Golvet, whose philosophy as a vigneron extends far beyond the vineyard. Under the mentorship of his father-in-law Claude Giraud, Sébastien believes a total immersion in one’s surroundings is essential to better understand it. Working with something that is ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON April 8, 2020
What Do Fine Wine Producers Really Drink?
They make some of the world's great fine wine, but what do they choose to drink themselves? What do they pour for their friends? Jessica Bryans asks five top producers to share what's in their glass... *Clockwise from Top Left: Pierre and Sophie Larmandier, Francine Picard, Carlo Ferrini, Giovanni Mazzei, Cesare Bussolo and Denis Varnier* When visiting a great producer I ...
ON November 18, 2015
Five Wines To Watch: Best Insider Buys
Stay ahead of the curve with these hand-picked recommendations, from Bordeaux to the Margaret River...  Whether it’s discovering a new band or stumbling across a pop-up restaurant, we all like to spot a rising star. Wine is no different. In an increasingly diverse and complicated market, one of the most common requests we hear from customers is to help them ...
ON July 20, 2017
Salon 2004: "Just Perfect"
Salon 2004 has arrived. Find out more about the rare release of this iconic Champagne… The legendary house of Champagne Salon has released its 2004, only the second vintage from this century. Availability is miniscule and demand is huge. Only a lucky few will get their hands on it. View Salon 2004. An Iconic Champagne Salon is an icon; a ...
ON April 6, 2016
Five Wines Big In Asia
Asian-based clients make up a significant proportion of our customers and China is considered to be the world's most exciting emerging wine market. With that in mind, we take a look at five wines that have trended in the East this year...  While the wine trade may have traditionally centered on Europe, in modern times all eyes are firmly on the ...
ON August 4, 2017
What To Drink This Christmas - F+R Employee Picks
With the festive season fast approaching, many of our customers are looking to stock up their cellars with the perfect red, white and sparkling wines in time for Christmas celebrations. From dazzling champagnes to warming clarets, this is a great time of year to put some sparkle into your wine collection, and whether you’re looking for things to flatter your ...
ON November 25, 2015
New Releases Not To Be Missed This Month: January 2019
January is the month in which our Burgundy 2017 En Primeur campaign really gets into gear with the majority of domaines releasing their wines to market for the first time. Stay tuned for releases from Liger-Belair, Hudelot-Noëllat, Jean-Marie Fourrier, Groffier, Lamarche, Tortochot, Gros Frère et Sœur and many more coming up this month. But January is about much more than just Burgundy. It is full ...
ON January 2, 2019
Where to Find the Best Value in Fine Wine
Even in the world of fine wines, there are still bargains to be found if one knows exactly where to look. Whether you happen to be searching for value in Burgundy or for top-quality Champagne without the corresponding price tag, here are a few tips to help you get the most for your money without sacrificing premium quality. Look out ...
ON August 20, 2015
What Winemakers are Drinking this Christmas 2018
Last week we shared our Christmas wine recommendations, but who knows best what to serve at the Christmas table, than those working on-the-ground in the vineyards, wineries and Chateaux? We spoke to some of our winemaking friends from around the world about what they will be drinking this festive season... Victor Charcan - **Bodegas Roda (Rioja, Spain)** I am the wine supplier ...
ON December 20, 2018
FINE+RARE Quarterly Report: 2014 Q1
After a very successful 2013, we came out of the traps in 2014 with our sights set even higher. Herewith the key events and releases so far: 2010 Barolo We’ve been making a bit of noise about this, and rightly so. A brilliant vintage, record sales, an unprecedented tasting of more than ninety wines in our Bermondsey Street offices, and ...
ON April 25, 2014
Five Revolutionary Wines
Rebellion is in the air and FINE+RARE love an innovator, so we take a look at five revolutionary wines… With a history stretching back several millennia, it goes without saying that winemaking is rooted in tradition. Some of the most-loved wines are the result of generations of expertise. However, every now and then a winemaker comes along who rips up ...
ON August 2, 2018
Wines To Watch in January 2020
January is the month in which our Burgundy 2018 En Primeur campaign really hits top gear with the majority of domaines releasing their wines to market for the first time. Stay tuned for releases from Groffier, Lamarche, Gros Frère et Sœur and many more, including our top picks from Domaine Hudelot Noellat and Domaine Tortochot. Outside of the En Primeur ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON January 2, 2020
Market Outlook January 2013
A look back on 2012 2012 has been an eventful year in the wine trade. In many ways, it has been a difficult twelve months: tough economic conditions, falling prices for investment grade wines and a tortuous en primeur Bordeaux campaign have all made buying and selling wine more challenging than usual. The flipside of turbulence, however, is opportunity and ...
ON January 11, 2013
Krug Clos du Mesnil 2002: Coming Soon
The release of Krug Clos du Mesnil 2002 is coming soon. Find out more about this rare and legendary wine... In his Champagne Guide Richard Juhlin says: "Krug is more than a Champagne. It is a word that stands for artistry, tradition, craftsmanship and moments of pure pleasure." And he goes on to say: "For me, Krug Clos du Mesnil ...
ON May 11, 2016
A Year in Wine: 1914
France's prime minister declared that his country was at war with an "invisible, elusive" enemy at the start of an unprecedented lock down this month but a century ago, the enemy was clearly visible. The 1914 harvest was approaching for the growers of Champagne, but the German army also loomed large on the horizon. In a series of articles ...
BY Rebecca Gibb MW,
ON March 29, 2020
Phylloxera: A Vine Pandemic
While medical researchers work furiously in search of a vaccine for COVID-19 in 2020, the response to the phylloxera pandemic in the mid 19th century was remarkably lackadaisical. Following the release of Bollinger’s latest vintage of Vieilles Vignes Françaises, a wine grown from vines planted on its own roots and thus vulnerable to attack by phylloxera, FINE+RARE talks to Denis Bunner, ...
BY Rebecca Gibb MW,
ON May 6, 2020
An Invitation to Dom Pérignon
On the morning of May 23rd, FINE+RARE staff were to be found sat at their desks with a glass each of the newly released Dom Pérignon 2004. All were in agreement – this was classic DP, the grande marque champagne which is renowned for expertly toeing the fine line between richness and elegance like no other. When a vintage worthy ...
ON July 30, 2013
21 years of Wine: 5 Most Memorable Bottles
With September marking FINE+RARE’s 21st birthday, we’ve been in a celebratory mood here at Centennium House – to kick things off we brought you a roundup of 21 startling facts about wine. Now, as our birthday month draws to a close, we felt that we couldn’t possibly let it go without taking the opportunity to mention some of the most ...
ON September 30, 2015
Wines Not to Miss in March 2020
March is a huge month at F+R with some of the top releases of the year falling into the month. Leading the pack is the annual release of the Domaine Leroy wines. Following the sell-out success of the Maison Leroy 2020 Collection, the Domaine release will no doubt be as popular. Chateau Latour release their 2012 vintage - the first Grand ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON February 26, 2020
Top 12 Wine Quotes
At FINE+RARE, we spend a lot of our time talking about wine. From advising our customers on the next addition to their cellar, to chatting to producers on vineyard tours and conducting tastings at HQ, we’re full things to say about the fruit of the vine. But we’re not the only ones. Take a look at these top twelve wine ...
ON October 28, 2015
New Releases Not To Be Missed This Month: April 2019
Champagne 2012 Spring is well and truly here and as the sunshine makes a reappearance we start to think of upcoming outdoor events and all the wines required to accompany them. Of course, Champagne is an ideal accompaniment and this month sees a host of releases from the 2012 vintage. As it begins to creep onto the market, 2012 is fast ...
ON April 4, 2019

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