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Château Ausone: The Ethereal Estate of Saint-Émilion
Visiting Chateau Ausone during En Primeur Week, we were fortunate enough to spend some time with owner Alain Vauthier and his son Edouard (who has grown up working at the Chateau) to discuss the changes afoot at Saint-Emilion’s most prestigious address. Chateau Ausone has, without question, been producing some of the finest wines in the world for many decades, but ...
ON April 12, 2019
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
How to Spend 24 Hours in Santa Barbara
The Santa Barbara Hills in Southern California (situated just north of LA, beyond Malibu) are currently producing some of the most exciting wines in the whole of California. Whilst less established than Napa Valley or Sonoma further North, this wilder territory has attracted a young generation of winemakers who are not scared to experiment. Just a few decades since the ...
ON March 29, 2019
Gaja’s Brunello di Montalcino - Pieve Santa Restituta
Gaja’s wines from Barbaresco are undoubtedly some of the finest wines in the world, but their single vineyard wines from their Brunello di Montalcino estate – Pieve Santa Restituta - whilst a lot less well known, deserve equal attention, particularly with the release of their 2015s due out next week. It was a big decision for this Piedmont producer to ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON April 14, 2020
Tuscany Wine Journal, Day Three: Biondi Santi
Introducing the latest installment of FINE+RARE buyer Jessica Bryans’ Tuscany Wine Journal, documenting her whistle-stop tour of all the region has to offer. Day One · Day Two** ** Day Three: Meeting the Godfather of Brunello Another great day, tasting great Brunelllo. I started the morning with Brunello for breakfast at the estate of Gianni Brunelli – run by the lovely Laura Brunelli. With her new ...
ON October 23, 2015
Discover Santa Barbara Wine Country with The Hilt's Matt Dees
Santa Ynez, Santa Rita Hills, Ballard Canyon – these are all wine growing AVAs in the Santa Barbara region of Southern California which, over the last few decades, has seen itself become one of the most interesting and diverse wine growing regions in the US. Despite being further South than the likes of Napa and Sonoma, it is in fact ...
ON March 29, 2019
2019 Bordeaux En Primeur - Week 2 Update
A huge week of releases from Bordeaux, so much so that the campaign is looking like its going to be a quick one - blink and you might miss it! With so many releases this week including some of the biggest names in any campaign - Chateau Palmer on Monday, Chateau Cos d’Estournel on Wednesday and Chateau Lafite on Friday - we thought ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON June 4, 2020
2018 Bordeaux En Primeur: The Week in Review #3
Another busy week of En Primeur with a steady flow of releases from across the appellations. The highlight release of the week had to be Chateau Clinet who produced an outstanding wine in 2018, receiving some of the highest scores ever at the property, yet releasing the wine at a significantly lower price than both its 2015 and 2016 wines. ...
ON May 3, 2019
2018 Bordeaux En Primeur: The Week in Review #4
Another busy week in Bordeaux with some major releases stirring huge interest from around the world. Chateau Pavie Macquin was one of the top picks in Saint-Emilion in terms of quality and price and the wine unsurprisingly sold out very quickly. Le Dome was another Saint-Emilion hit in 2018 and again its fair pricing combined with huge critic approval saw ...
ON May 10, 2019
FINE+RARE 2019 Quintessential Bordeaux Collection Case
Our 2019 Quintessential Bordeaux Collection Case features the creme de la creme of the vintage; wines that have captured both the energy and freshness, as well as the fruit purity, synonymous with 2019 Bordeaux. This case includes a handful of wines that sold out immediately on release, including Chateau Pontet-Canet (Pauillac), Chateau Leoville Poyferre (Saint-Julien) and Chateau Moulin Saint-Georges (Saint-Emilion), the fantastic single vineyard site from Chateau Ausone. We have compiled ...
BY FINE+RARE,
ON July 1, 2020
2018 Bordeaux En Primeur: The Week in Review #2
The first full week of the campaign is now behind us and already we have seen some top wines released. So far the Right Bank has dominated, with Chateau Angelus being the only top Grand Cru Classe released so far, causing huge interest. However, the high scoring, low priced Chateau Laroque was also an incredibly popular choice as was Chateau ...
ON April 26, 2019
Decanter’s Great Bordeaux Fine Wine Encounter
Two weeks ago I attended Decanter’s Great Bordeaux Fine Wine Encounter at The Landmark Hotel in London. The tasting featured over 80 of the region’s most prestigious producers, from the most renowned chateaux (such as Angelus, Montrose, Giscours and Beychevelle) to the best petits chateaux. It was here that fine wine enthusiasts were given a rare opportunity to discuss the ...
BY FINE+RARE,
ON July 5, 2012
The Critics are Out!
In the latter part of this week we finally saw the vintage reports and reviews published from the leading critics, including Lisa Perrotti-Brown’s report for The Wine Advocate, two separate reports for Vinous from Antonio Galloni and Neal Martin and Part 1 of Jeb Dunnuck's report also published online. James Suckling and Jane Anson have also continued to release their ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON June 18, 2020
FINE+RARE 2019 Bordeaux Discovery Case
Our 2019 Bordeaux Discovery Collection Case, features top value picks from across the region. While the top Chateaux and their Grand Vins often steal the limelight, there are a plethora of wines that offer staggering value in this mecca for Cabernet and Merlot based wines. Many of these wines are in fact the lesser-known projects from some of the finest viticultural ...
BY FINE+RARE,
ON July 1, 2020
2018 En Primeur Release of Pomerol's Chateau Belle-Brise
The 2018 Bordeaux En Primeur campaign reached new heights this week with the surprise release of one of Saint-Emilion’s top estates - Chateau Angelus. As well as offering a pleasing reduction in price versus their last two vintages, this welcome surprise set the tone for potentially one of the most exciting En Primeur campaigns ever. Last week our first releases ...
ON April 18, 2019
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
Chateau Angelus - Premier Grand Cru Classe A
Chateau Angelus is today one of the four “First Growths” of Saint Emilion that are classified as Premier Grand Cru Classé ‘A’. It sits alongside Chateau Ausone, Chateau Cheval Blanc and Chateau Pavie as the highest rated estates in the appellation. Chateau Angelus and Chateau Pavie are the newest additions to this top rank, having both been promoted in latest ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON November 8, 2019
Bordeaux EP 2017 Campaign - Week 3 Update
It has been very quiet this week due to the public holidays spread across the week in France. However Denis Durantou winemaker at Chateau L'Eglise Clinet took advantage of the quiet period releasing his satellite Pomerol, Castillon and Saint Emilion wines. These wines have always been popular since they offer great value for money from one of Bordeaux's top producers and with Denis comparing the ...
ON May 11, 2018
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
2018 Bordeaux En Primeur: The Week in Review #6
Following the UK bank holiday on Monday we came back to three compelling releases on Tuesday. Troplong Mondot was released at well below the price of the excellent 2016 vintage, at a very reasonable £459 per 6. The stylistic choices the Chateau made in the 2018 vintage to focus on purity of fruit and freshness produced a stunning wine that ...
ON May 31, 2019
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
Critics Round-Up - Top Wines of 2019
At this time of the year the leading wine critics reflect on their wine highlights of the year. We look at some of the top picks from Antonio Galloni, James Suckling, James Halliday and Jeb Dunnuck whose range and variety only highlight the current health of the world of fine wine today. We identify some of their top picks for ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON January 8, 2020
Bordeaux 2015 En Primeur: Critic Value Picks
Both Neal Martin and Jancis Robinson have published lists of their possible bargains for Bordeaux 2015 En Primeur. Buy wines that have been released and set alerts for those coming soon... With all the top critic scores published for En Primeur 2015, we now await the releases from Bordeaux's big guns. In the meantime, as many of the critics predicted, ...
ON May 6, 2016
What Fine Wine Producers are Drinking in 2018
Fine wine producers tend to be very inquisitive people - often leaning towards the obsessive in search of that perfection. Their constant desire to capture every possible subtlety or nuance in their wine can often be stoked by tasting something sublime in anothers. Whilst there may still be some winemakers who work on their own projects without a care for ...
ON October 24, 2018
Bordeaux Wine Tour Report March 2012 (Day 1)
In early March 2012, FINE+RARE's Sales Director Jamie Graham, Events Manager Amanda Baxter and a small group of our customers embarked on our annual tour of Bordeaux. Amanda Baxter updates us on their trip below. Day 1 Less than half our small group of customers boarded the (luxury) minibus to Saint Emilion last Wednesday as the temptation of an extra ...
BY FINE+RARE,
ON March 20, 2012
Interview with Nicolas Audebert – Chief Winemaker at Chateau Rauzan Segla, Chateau Canon and Chateau Berliquet
The Rauzan Segla 2018 has been met with rave reviews. At what point did you feel you had made a special wine? It is a long process in a technician's mind as the picture of the vintage is getting clearer and clearer from the picking to the “dégustations d’assemblage” (blending tastings).  Each vintage gives me a particular emotion, the ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON May 24, 2019
UGC 2010 En Primeurs Tasting
On this rather gloomy, wet, winter's day, The Royal Opera House opened its doors to an army of wine professionals to sample the 2010 Bordeaux vintage. The smell of wine filled the magnificent Paul Hamlyn Hall with its large iron and glass windows and gleaming modern glass and gold interior. This juxtaposition effortlessly absorbed the wine tasting into its characterful ...
ON November 16, 2012
Jeb Dunnuck: Finding His Space
Aerospace engineer turned wine critic Jeb Dunnuck talks to FINE+RARE about his trajectory from discovering wine to becoming one of the world’s leading voices on the Rhône, California and Bordeaux. The state of Indiana is probably best known as the home of the 200-lap motor race, the Indy 500, but it is little known that it is home to ...
BY Rebecca Gibb MW,
ON May 26, 2020
Interview with Nicolas Audebert of Domaine de l'Ile
Just over 25 years ago, French fashion house CHANEL entered into the world of fine wine, purchasing the largely underperforming Margaux Second Growth estate Château Rauzan-Ségla. Two years later they acquired the Saint-Émilion Premier Grand Cru Classé, Château Canon. They have since turned these properties into two of the most in-demand fine wines in Bordeaux today. Last year CHANEL embraced ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON April 30, 2020
Five Wines With Architectural Grand Designs
Beautiful wines deserve to be made in beautiful surroundings. Here are five of the wine world's greatest architectural gems... Museums, stadiums, opera houses: cutting-edge architecture is often associated with the entertainment sector. With its traditional chateaux and functional barrel rooms, the wine world may have long seemed pedestrian in comparison. This is no longer the case. We take a look ...
ON July 13, 2017
A Year in Wine: 1934
In the latest instalment in our Vintage Series, FINE+RARE explores the the vintage of 1934. With the repeal of the Prohibition act, the US wine market began its slow recovery, whilst in Europe after a string of dismal vintages, 1934 produced some of the finest wines in the pre-Second World War era. Politicians don’t always follow through on their promises ...
BY Rebecca Gibb MW,
ON April 14, 2020
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
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
FINE+RARE: THE 2014 BORDEAUX REPORT
After three very difficult vintages on the spin, Bordeaux has come up with what is indisputably a good vintage and, in some cases, a very good vintage.  2014 is easily the best vintage since 2010, and probably better than anything between 2005 and 2009.  The wines lack the magic of a truly great vintage like a 2005 or a 2009, ...
ON April 8, 2015
The Top Wines of 2018 - According to the Critics
As we sing in the New Year, it seems like the opportune moment to reflect on the highlights of 2018. Last year saw some wonderful wine releases from around the world, aptly showcased in the critics' Top Wines of 2018 round-ups. We are living in an age where preserving tradition, embracing technology and sharing knowledge have never been greater. Couple ...
ON January 3, 2019
Bordeaux First Growth Trip - Day One
On Wednesday 6th March 2013, our Sales Director, Jamie Graham, and I, accompanied twelve of FINE+RARE's customers for our exclusive annual Bordeaux First Growth trip. Scheduled visits to some of the top Chateaux in the world proved to us that the magic in this grand region is still very much alive. The wine and food weren't bad either. Day One ...
ON April 26, 2013
2014: THE F+R PICKS. CANON AND RAUZAN-SEGLA
Rauzan-Ségla There are 43 kilometres between Chx Canon and Rauzan-Ségla along with both the Garonne and the Dordogne rivers.  It may seem a little odd to mention the two together though they are two brothers from different mothers, and both are at the top.  They share ownership in the Chanel Group and, until later this year, they share the direction ...
ON April 23, 2015
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
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
2014 Bordeaux: GPL, Feytit-Clinet and the Perse selection
Yesterday afternoon saw the release of 2014 Grand-Puy-Lacoste.  This was one of our favourite wines of the vintage, and at GBP 375 per dozen in bond it looks good, though one can buy the 2008 and the 2006 for a similar sum.  Whatever one might think of the price, the wine is excellent: pure Pauillac, complete and fresh. This morning sees ...
ON May 19, 2015
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
Market Outlook February 2013
The Market in January Burgundy 2011 The 2011 Burgundy en-primeur release circus has been well-received, along with the circus of tastings that come with it. The key commentators have generally agreed with Fine+Rare’s verdict on the vintage and have reported positively on the quality: Jancis Robinson finds ‘fruit, delicacy and terroir definition’ in the wines, and Allen Meadows puts overall ...
ON February 1, 2013
Paul Pernot 2018
Domaine Paul Pernot in Burgundy terms is a fairly large Estate with a total of 20 hectares under vine and is the largest owner of Puligny Montrachet vines second only to Domaine Leflaive with 15 hectares in total. When it comes to Puligny-Montrachet, Jasper Morris MW reports in “Inside Burgundy”- Domaine Paul Pernot “could be the outstanding domaine of that ...
ON September 17, 2019
F+R Visit Castello Di Ama
With the releases of the new Chianti Classico 2016s upon us, there is no greater time than to travel around the region, tasting what this magical vintage has to offer. Where better to start than the beautiful hamlet of Ama in the southern tip and highest point of the Chianti Classico designation. Here you will find the exceptional Castello Di ...
ON July 5, 2019
Domaine Gérard Raphet - Producer Portrait
Gérard Raphet - the quiet man of Morey-Saint-Denis - lets his wines do the talking. With some exceptional terroir to play with and some very old vines, his wines exude "terroir". His impressive holdings (totally 12 hectares) include five cuvees coming from four of the best Cote de Nuits Grands Crus – Chambertin Clos de Beze, Charmes Chambertin, Clos de la ...
ON September 24, 2018
Chateau Clos de Sarpe: Tasting through the Ages
Clos de Sarpe is a rather unassuming place to visit, nestled in a little enclave north east of the village of Saint Emilion. It is in fact a tiny property in Bordeaux terms, made up of just 3.7 hectares and producing a maximum of 14,000 bottles a year, but more often than not, closer to just 10,000. In 2018 they ...
ON May 17, 2019
F+R Visits Domaine Leroy
Visiting Domaine Leroy is a highlight on any fine wine calendar and this year seemed ever more fortunate, finding the 2017s as composed as they will ever be, finishing up their last week of élevage in barrel before bottling planned for next week. On top of that Gilles points out that the 2017s have been the most consistently expressive vintage ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON February 22, 2019
Domaine de Montille: The Genealogy of the Estate
The De Montille estate of Volnay is one of the most historic in the Cote d’Or, founded in 1730 and family run and owned ever since. Today Etienne de Montille is the ninth generation at the helm. The De Montille story through the ages is a familiar one in Burgundy in which for a long period there was a dwindling ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON July 22, 2020
Interview with Jean-Charles Cazes of Chateau Lynch Bages
Last week we were fortunate to have a one-to-one tasting with Jean-Charles Cazes, the managing director of Chateau Lynch Bages, as well as Chateau Haut-Batailley and Chateau Ormes de Pez. Not only did we have the opportunity to taste the fantastic range of 2019 wines from the estates, but we were also given the opportunity to dig a little deeper ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON June 10, 2020
Domaine Paul Pernot - Producer Portrait
Domaine Paul Pernot in Burgundy terms is a fairly large Estate with a total of 20 hectares under vine and is the largest owner of Puligny Montrachet vines second only to Domaine Leflaive with 15 hectares in total. When it comes to Puligny-Montrachet, Jasper Morris MW reports in “Inside Burgundy”- Domaine Paul Pernot “could be the outstanding domaine of that ...
ON August 30, 2018

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