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What winemakers are drinking this Christmas
It is that time of year again when it is time to plan which wines you are drinking over the festive period. We thought we would ask some of our favourite winemakers and estates what they are planning to drink, to help give you some inspiration. Special thanks to Charles Philipponnat for his detailed response, he will certainly be enjoying an ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON December 12, 2019
Matching Christmas Food and Wine
With all the work that goes in to planning festive catering, it’s important to choose wines that flatter your culinary creations. While this might seem a daunting prospect at first, matching Christmas food and wine needn't be a minefield, and we're happy to guide your choices – leaving you with one less thing to stress about. (If only we could ...
ON November 30, 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
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
White Burgundy 2018 Review
"We don't need to be a great expert to know that this is an exceptional vintage, for both red and white wines.” Aubert de Villaine (Domaine Romanee-Conti) The hallmark of the 2018 vintage was brightness, with remarkable levels of sunshine from April right through to September. Budburst and canopy growth happened at normal times and the settled weather meant ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON September 17, 2019
Leading Wine Critics Report on 2017 White Burgundy
As the reviews on Bugundy 2017 begin to be published, we have collated a brief summary of what the critics are saying. As the reviews roll in, we will continue to update this article, but with full reports on Chablis from Neal Martin (Vinous), William Kelley (Wine Advocate) and Nick Stock (James Suckling), as well as a Cote de Beaune ...
ON October 8, 2018
Burgundy 2018 EP Round-Up - F+R's Top 2018 White Wines
With all the wines now released and practically every major critic's review published, we reflect on some of the real gems in the vintage from the Cote de Beaune. Perhaps the biggest surprise about tasting the wines now in bottle was just how well the whites performed. Whilst there was plenty of hype and expectation for the reds long ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON February 21, 2020
Paired to Perfection: Matching Festive Food + Fine Wine
The excitement is building at F+R HQ over which wines to crack open during the festive period. It’s time to agonise over those extensive menus and work out which bottles will please all of your guests, while at the same time being worthy enough to stand up to all the rich and varied flavours of Christmas. We have put together ...
ON December 14, 2018
A Seasonal Selection: Festive Gift Ideas
With the festive season fast approaching, F+R is delighted to offer a selection of gifts befitting of collectors and connoisseurs of all things fine, rare and luxurious. From Whisky advent calendars and personalised Cognac bottles, to rare aged Burgundies released ex-domaine in perfect condition. There’s truly something for everyone this Christmas… ** The (Very) Old and Rare Whisky Advent Calendar With ...
ON October 18, 2018
Producer Portrait: Domaine Potinet-Ampeau
One of our most memorable visits and tastings this year was in Monthelie at the historic cellars of Domaine Potinet Ampeau. Ever since trying a collection of their aged whites a couple of years ago I’ve been captivated by the pristine quality and structure of their very mature white wines. This autumn we were finally able to discover the cellars ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON January 2, 2020
Market Outlook November 2012
The Market in October Bordeaux trade dominated by top vintages Interest in 2009 Bordeaux continues to be strong, partly aided in the UK by Decanter’s* *recent report on the vintage. There has also been significant interest in 2010s, as well as 1996s, 1990s, 1986s and 1982s, suggesting that buyers are looking to top vintages for security in an uncertain market. Rhone volumes up on anticipation of new ...
ON October 30, 2012
Fifty Shades of Sherry
Sherry can be the colour of coffee stains on a cream carpet, the colour of lemon-curd sandwiches or the colour of lacquered mahogany. It is the diversity of sherry which makes it so appealing, a surfeit of styles with a gradient of colour. You can taste a light and breezy Manzanilla from the Sanlucar coast which has a sea salt ...
ON September 10, 2012
Isabel Ferrando on finding the 'Saint Prefert identity'
"Proprietress Isabel Ferrando has taken her Saint Prefert estate to France’s highest level, and she’s unquestionably making some of the most profound wines on earth today, including both reds and whites." So said Rhone expert Jeb Dunnuck on release of the 2016 vintage. The names Isabel Ferrando and Saint Prefert have indeed become synonymous with Southern Rhone of the highest ...
ON July 25, 2019
Henri Boillot on Burgundy 2018
The Vintage Henri Boillot is widely seen as the top micro-negociant for the production of the Cote d’Or’s finest white wines, including Le Montrachet. He abhors heavy whites therefore expect the style of his white wines to be lean, precise and razor-sharp. His red wine profile however is notably different. Whilst he believes acidity and tension are vital for ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON October 3, 2019
Jaboulet: The Renaissance of a Hermitage Icon
A visit to Fine+Rare by  a Hermitage Icon - Jaboulet With La Chapelle 2009 & 2010 two of our most popular wines of recent years and having just acquired an allocation of their 97+ point Hermitage La Chapelle 2012  - we decided the timing couldn’t be better to dedicate a tasting to one of our favourite producers in Hermitage - ...
ON July 10, 2015
Domaine Henri Boillot - Producer Portrait
As Stephen Tanzer outlines in his recent report, Henri Boillot is the first out picking on the Montrachet slopes. The combination of small production and picking early comes from a desire to retain vibrancy and energy in the wines over and above riper styles of Chardonnay found elsewhere in the Cotes de Beaune. This mineral driven “understated” yet “explosive” style ...
ON September 13, 2018
Burgundy 2017 - In Review
“there are some quite brilliant whites that, many growers are beginning to opine, equal or even surpass the haloed 2014s…The 2017 reds are very good, often excellent, and from time to time, bloody awesome.” Neal Martin, Vinous “a delicious vintage for white Burgundy…there is no sense of dilution and for the most part the wines show optimum ripeness.” Jasper Morris, ...
ON January 11, 2019
Top Wines + Spirits of 2019: FINE+RARE Staff Picks
This year the team at FINE+RARE encountered some astonishing bottles on our quest to source the finest wines and spirits from around the world. We asked our colleagues to highlight some of their favourites from 2019... Corentin Margier – Head of Buying Unicorn Wine/Spirit of the Year (something you are unlikely to taste/ experience again): Clos Vougeot 1937, Maison Leroy The ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON December 18, 2019
Three Stunning Wines to Buy Now
At FINE+RARE we’re in the fortunate position of being able to taste a lot of wine. Some is great, some average and others, surprisingly occasionally poor. But every so often a wine gets opened in out tasting room that absolutely floors us and three have done just that in recent weeks. They are so good that we instantly took all ...
ON September 15, 2015
The Glory Years of Chateau Margaux at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
Last weekend FINE+RARE hosted a very special wine tasting dinner alongside Alexandra Petit-Mentzelopoulos of Chateau Margaux. An introduction to the history and unique philosophy of this legendary estate was presented alongside a specially curated tasting menu from top chef Matt Abé - Chef de Cuisine at the three Michelin star flagship restaurant in Chelsea. A cold, rainy Saturday evening in December; Christmas around ...
BY Craig Norton,
ON December 18, 2019
The Great Claret Tasting at Southwold - The 2011 Vintage
The Great Claret Tasting at Southwold is a wine geek’s dream.  An entire vintage of Bordeaux, straight from the chateau in nearly all cases, evaluated blind by the elite of the UK wine trade: representatives of all the major merchants, with the wine press represented by Steven Spurrier, the Wine Advocate’s Neal Martin and Julia Harding of   I have ...
ON January 27, 2015
2015 Burgundy: According to Winehog's Steen Öhman
Winehog's Steen Öhman is fast becoming one of the world's leading and most respected Burgundy experts. FINE+RARE have interviewed him to bring you his views on 2015 Burgundy... As the man behind Winehog, Steen Öhman's opinions, tasting notes, detailed maps and in depth knowledge of Burgundy's intricate terroir are invaluable tools to the serious Burgundy collector. That's why FINE+RARE asked ...
ON November 23, 2016
Market Outlook December 2012
The Market in November Strong interest in 2010 Bordeaux Trade in 2010 vintage has been strong, as buyers look towards the Wine Advocate’s in-bottle review of the vintage due out in the first issue of 2013. The wines showed well at the UGC tastings, held in early November both in London and elsewhere, further reinforcing the quality of the vintage. 2008 ...
ON November 29, 2012
24 Hours in Alsace
Alsace is a unique place. With its chocolate box houses, cobbled streets and its steep rising hills and valleys, it is a beautiful destination. There is much to enjoy aside from the wine, foremost the stunning scenery and the traditional cuisine. The region has some of the highest proportion of Michelin stars restaurants in France and has great cycling routes ...
ON June 7, 2019
Denis Dubourdieu: Decanter Man of the Year 2016
We profile Decanter Man of the Year 2016 and Bordeaux legend Denis Dubourdieu… The first half of 2016 has been a tumultuous one for Denis Dubourdieu, bidding farewell to Paul Pontallier – friend and godfather to his son Jean-Jacques – as well as stoically battling with illness himself. However, it has also seen recognition of the professor from Barsac’s substantial ...
ON May 6, 2016
Nicolas Potel on Roche de Bellene 2018
“2018 is the best vintage I have ever made… What I love about the 2018s is the shock every time I taste it… It is a vintage I have been dreaming about for many years”. Nicolas Potel Nicolas grew up in Burgundy, learning his skills as a vigneron under the guidance of his father, the highly respected Gerard Potel at ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON October 11, 2019
Germany 2015: "Epic Vintage"
Early opinions suggest that 2015 might be the vintage of the century for Germany... The wine world's attention is currently on Bordeaux 2015 and much has been made of recent releases from Rhône 2015 (particularly from Chapoutier). However, early rumblings suggest that we should all be keeping an eye on Germany 2015... Germany 2015 Vintage Early reports are tentatively suggesting ...
ON May 23, 2016
Louis Jadot 2018 - Exclusive Casks
Louis Jadot is arguably the most consistent negociant house in Burgundy. A company that has managed to straddle both the entry level and fine wine market, whilst retaining respect in both. At the entry level, they offer tremendous consistency at a price point rarely found in Burgundy. At the top end, with their Premier Cru and Grand Cru sites, their ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON September 26, 2019
A visit from Domaines Barons de Rothschild
This week we were honoured to host our long standing partner Domaines Barons de Rothschild's commercial director Jean-Sebastien Philippe for a very special tasting.... It is not every day that one has the opportunity to taste a line up of wines from all of DBR's Bordeaux properties; in fact even individual tastings rarely take place outside of Bordeaux, so we ...
ON July 25, 2019
FINE+RARE Visits Leroy
Last week F+R was back in Burgundy for our annual visit to Domaine Leroy, making our selection from the new Maison Leroy 2020 Collection, due out in the next few weeks. This year we were also able to taste some of the latest Domaine d’Auvenay releases as well as a rather special bottle of 1926 Auxey Duresses from Maison Leroy. ...
ON February 14, 2020
Maison Albert Bichot 2018s
Improvements both in the winery and most importantly the vineyards are really now coming to fruition for large negociant Maison Albert Bichot. Following the reduction of yields, careful extraction, prudent whole bunch fermentation, cold maceration and sensible use of new oak, the wines produced can now compete against those from some of the very best producers in Burgundy. The Albert ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON September 26, 2019
The 2007 Red Burgundies
A couple of times a year, a group of a dozen or so of very knowledgeable and very experienced tasters get together to open, taste and share some Burgundy.  Serious Burgundy.  It’s an opportunity to discuss a vintage or two with like-minded connoisseurs and, of course, to enjoy food, wine and generally wine-related discourse.  It is a group that I ...
ON May 20, 2015
Bordeaux First Growth Trip - Day Three
Day Three After two days of fine wine and brilliant cuisine, there were understandably a few groggy faces as we entered into our final day in Bordeaux. Enthusiasm returned as we made the short journey to Chateau Haut Brion which sits directly opposite La Mission, also owned by Domaine Clarence Dillon. Both properties are surrounded by vines of youth and ...
ON April 29, 2013
299 Points Wines
It's not often that you get the opportunity to taste 299 points of wines in one sitting, but last Thursday we got to do just that. Dimitri Mesnard, from Jackson Wine Estates, dropped into our offices to present Verité's spectacular 2008s, along with 2008 Lokoya, 2008 Cardinale and chief winemaker, Pierre Siellan's wines from Chateau Lassegue in St Emillon and ...
ON June 25, 2012
Burgundy 2016: According to Winehog’s Steen Öhman
FINE+RARE interviewed Winehog’s Steen Öhman - one of the world’s leading and most respected Burgundy experts - to bring you his take on Burgundy 2016… Winehog, with its tasting notes, detailed maps and incredible insight into Burgundy’s intricate terroir, is invaluable to any serious Burgundy collector. So we've asked Steen Öhman, the man behind the website, for his take on ...
ON November 20, 2017
New Releases Not To Be Missed This Month: October
Lots of the top releases this October originate from Burgundy, starting with a range of superb white Burgundies from Henri Boillot and Paul Pernot. With our first 2017 white Burgundy release of the year - Henri Boillot’s Bourgogne Blanc - being offered this weekend, expect to see other top releases from Paul Pernot and Henri Boillot’s 1er and Grand Cru sites come ...
ON October 5, 2018
Know Your Wine Faults
Picture a perfect Saturday in London Fields – a rare day when the sky is so blue it appears the colour button has been turned up a few notches - and you’re among friends, food and wine. The whole scene was near perfect except for one nagging detail – our bottle of wine was corked. Corked (or any faulted wine) ...
ON August 11, 2015
Behind the Bottle - Vire Clesse by Domaine de la Bongran
This is no ordinary Chardonnay from the Maconnias, the Domaine de la Bongran Vire Clesse has its own particular style thanks to some rather unique terroir and an uncompromising approach to its winemaking. The vines are organically-farmed on a 15 hectare estate planted on white marl in the hamlet of Quintaine, just north of Clessé. Jean Thevenet and his son Gautier ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON January 8, 2020
Burgundy 2018 - What The Critics Are Saying
William Kelley, Wine Advocate F+R: After tasting in Burgundy and Champagne consistently over the last couple of years, what do you feel has been the most important developments in each of the regions in that time? William Kelley: I think that Burgundians are getting used to handling warm fruit. If you're not used to making wine from warm grapes, it's easy ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON October 30, 2019
Musigny Grand Cru Vertical Tasting 1943 – 2007 with Veronique Drouhin
The Musigny Grand Cru is an historically important site in Burgundy with vineyards on the site dating back to Gallo-Roman times. It was singled out as a separate vineyard since the Middle Ages by the monks of Citeaux, yet unlike Clos Vougeot it remained un-walled due to the fact that the site remained in multiple ownership during the ancien regime ...
ON June 22, 2018
Andrew Jefford - Burgundy 2018
Thanks to Andrew Jefford for sharing his Vintage overview first published on the Wine Scholar Guild website. Andrew (similarly to many wine makers we have spoken to) believes the Cote de Beaune white wines are outstanding in 2018 (4.5 vintage) and almost as good as the universally praised red wines throughout the Cote d'Or (5 vintage). Chablis After a ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON October 25, 2019
2010 Burgundy: A few early thoughts
Simon Davies, Head of Marketing at FINE+RARE, shares his musings on 2010 Burgundy post his trip to Domaine Chanson. I was in Beaune yesterday tasting a range of 2010s at Domaine Chanson (the estate owned by Bollinger). While it’s all still fresh in my mind I thought I would share some thoughts. The 2010 Burgundy vintage is very high quality ...
ON September 23, 2011
Burgundy 2017 Early Vintage Insight
Burgundy 2017 - At A Glance: First ‘normal’ sized harvest since 2009 – the cellars are full for the first time in nearly a decade Dry, early harvest with no hail or frost damage Enthusiasm is building for the reds: Roumier compares these to the 2007 and 2014 vintages; Drouhin compares them to 2002 In the Cote d’Or, whites have ...
ON July 25, 2018
The Wine Advocate's William Kelley shares his Burgundy 2018 Early Insight
F+R: After tasting in Burgundy and Champagne consistently over the last couple of years, what do you feel has been the most important developments in each of the regions in that time? William Kelley: I think that Burgundians are getting used to handling warm fruit. If you're not used to making wine from warm grapes, it's easy for things to go ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON November 1, 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
The Alchemy of Affinage With Cheese Guru Bernard Antony
Eating cheese and drinking fine wine is really one of life’s little pleasures. The skills in matching the right cheese with the right wines is no easy task and something taken very seriously amongst the world's finest wine and cheese makers. One name that kept cropping up when speaking to winemakers about wine and cheese pairing was Bernard Antony, a ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON February 5, 2020
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
Christian Patat Interview
Christian Patat is one of Italy’s busiest and most successful vignerons working with his wife at top Friuli estate, Ronco del Gnemiz, as well as working with Enzo Pontoni, vigneron extraordinaire at the legendary Miani estate. He also works as a consultant winemaker for many properties producing wines from all over Italy. Most recently he has been involved in the “Old Vines Project” ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON February 19, 2020
Rosso Della Centa - The First Great Friuli Red
We have unearthed an absolute gem in the guise of Rosso della Centa. A 100% Merlot wine grown on just one hectare of a distinct marl clay hillside in Friuli, Italy. The wine is the creation of one of Italy’s top winemakers Nicola Manferrari who first produced the wine in 1985 and has gone on to release it only in ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON January 30, 2020
Feel the Energy! – F+R visits the secluded vineyards of Hegarty Chamans
Last week we visited a very special vineyard situated on the limits of the Minervois appellation yet completely secluded, surrounded by forests and lavender fields. The Hegarty Chamans property is a beguiling place and the moment you set foot on the property you sense the almost shamanic power this property holds, and was historically named after. Whilst the Languedoc ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON July 19, 2019

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