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Bordeaux's Most Seductive First Growth
Last week we were delighted to welcome Aurelian Valance, Commercial Director of Chateau Margaux to our offices for what was a quite brilliant tasting of what is Bordeaux’s most seductive first growth. We have long been fans of Ch. Margaux and have enjoyed an excellent relationship with the property for some years now.  Yes: all the first growths are different, ...
ON December 8, 2014
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
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
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
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
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
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
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?
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
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...
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
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
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..
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
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?
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
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
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
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
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
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 ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON August 23, 2019
Early Insight on Bordeaux 2019
Last month saw Bordeaux descend on London for the latest Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux tasting and it was a great opportunity to get an update on how the latest vintage is shaping up. Marielle Cazaux from Chateau Conseillante showed me her blackened hands after coming straight to the tasting in London from the pressing of her 2019s. She ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON November 15, 2019
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
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
A Double Dose of Bordeaux in Hong Kong
Ahead of the latest En Primeur campaign later this spring, the Bordeaux bandwagon is gradually rolling back into life. Much attention is naturally starting to focus on past vintages (2012’s are bottled and due for release shortly), significant changes in the world of the critics (Robert Parker relinquishing his EP tasting duties to Neal Martin, as well as re-reviewing the ...
ON March 10, 2015
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
2014 BORDEAUX: THE F+R PICKS. LEOVILLE-LASCASES
At Robert Parker’s Grand World Tour tasting a couple of months back we tasted a selection of wines that represented the very best of their respective regions.  There were, obviously, points galore on the table.  However, in my opinion, there was just one wine with the character that I think essential to “grand vin”, breeding.  Which is to say class, ...
ON May 3, 2015
2014 BORDEAUX SO FAR: THE CURATE'S EGG
This was always going to be a vintage about price.  The quality was clear from the start, and there is clear consensus in the opinion that 2014 is the best vintage since 2010 (not that tricky) and arguably better than anything this century bar the blockbusters (2000, 2005, 2009 & 2010).  What we didn’t know and, to a degree, still ...
ON May 8, 2015
2014 Bordeaux Update - 21st MAY
The week has seen a number of releases, some working, some not. The big name on Wednesday was Léoville-Barton at GBP 429 per dozen in bond.  This is an excellent Léoville: tasting at this property is almost not necessary given the consistent quality here and, whilst this probably isn't a speculative buy, it is a wine that will give great ...
ON May 21, 2015
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
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
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
2018 Bordeaux En Primeur: The Week in Review #7
A big week in Bordeaux EP started with a bang. Leoville Lascases was released to high anticipation having received sky high scores. With potential 100 points across the board, this St Julien is the highest scoring wine of the vintage. James Suckling simply declared: “OMG”, whilst Jeb Dunnuck hailed it as “a candidate for the wine of the vintage... it’s ...
ON June 7, 2019
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
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 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
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
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
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
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 - 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
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
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
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
Bordeaux EP 2017 Campaign - Week 4 Update
As expected we had a busy week of releases. Whilst demand was steady for most, a number of releases were in particularly high demand. Chateau Beychevelle, Chateau Clerc Milon and Chateau d’Armailhac all sold out on release, with huge interest, particularly from the Asian market. Closer to home, both the white and red releases from Domaine Chevalier proved popular - ...
ON May 18, 2018
Bordeaux 2017: EP Round-Up Week VIII
It’s like waiting for buses. None show up and then they all come at once. This has been the concertina effect that has come to epitomise the 2017 EP campaign in which most of the top Chateaux have ended up releasing their wines at the same time potentially each sabotaging the other in terms of maximising their exposure on release. ...
ON June 15, 2018
2011 Bordeaux: Great News for Lafite Lovers
When we last tasted at Lafite, we were disappointed with the 2011 vintage as the wine was awkward and surly: blackly fruited and ferociously structured; showing none of the charm for which this chateau is so famous. Two weeks on and Lafite has blossomed into a silky, sweet, polished princess. The wine has softened, showing a nice bit of baby ...
BY FINE+RARE,
ON April 19, 2012
2011 Bordeaux: What a difference a fortnight makes
Returning to Bordeaux two weeks after our initial tastings has been an eye opening experience. The plan this week wasn't to taste any wine at all but instead to make short films with chateaux owners and winemakers so they could describe the 2011 vintage in their own words. Along the way we have had the good fortune to retaste Lafite and siblings ...
BY FINE+RARE,
ON April 20, 2012
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

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