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A Masterclass from Château Cheval Blanc
A Masterclass from Château Cheval Blanc
Cheval Blanc is one of the finest Châteaux in Bordeaux, famed for producing what is arguably the greatest wine of all time: 1947 Château Cheval Blanc. Opportunities to taste back vintages from this famous estate alongside the winemaking team are few and far between, so when the possibility arose, we leapt at the chance. The result was a unique tasting at ...
BY FINE+RARE,
ON February 7, 2019
Château Cheval Blanc Masterclass at FINE+RARE
Château Cheval Blanc Masterclass at FINE+RARE
The Right Bank First Growth Château Cheval Blanc is an icon of Bordeaux, considered to have created some of the region’s greatest ever wines. Robert Parker has called it “one of the most elegant and noble wines in all of Bordeaux”, and many consider it to enjoy the honorary status of the Right Bank First Growth. However in many ways, there ...
BY Judith Abbott,
ON February 1, 2017
The Cheval Blanc team invests their savoir-faire into Cheval des Andes
The Cheval Blanc team invests their savoir-faire into Cheval des Andes
Cheval des Andes has always been a project closely associated with Chateau Cheval Blanc. The Argentine project started as a collaboration between Pierre Lurton (CEO of Cheval Blanc) and Roberto De La Motta (Argentine vigneron initially behind the wines of Terrazas de los Andes). From its inaugural vintage in 2001 up until 2006 Roberto was the winemaker before winemaking duties ...
ON September 13, 2019
Blankbottle & Keermont visit F+R
Blankbottle & Keermont visit F+R
Keermont Estate‘s wines are made entirely from their own vineyards in the Helderberg and Stellenbosch mountains producing predominantly Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot red blends and premium Chenin Blanc. Blankbottle in contrast source their grapes from remote vineyards all over the Cape, applying ad hoc creative winemaking approaches as necessity dictates. Blankbottle produces up to 47 different cuvees in ...
ON September 19, 2019
BLANKbottle: Introducing the wines of Pieter H. Walser
BLANKbottle: Introducing the wines of Pieter H. Walser
Pieter H. Walser, the man behind BLANKbottle, is one of the most inventive, energetic and productive winemakers in the Western Cape. He produces 30+ cuvees a year, each with its own unique story and presented in a "blank" bottle... well not exactly! The bottles have no mention of varietal but tend to have an artistic interpretation of what’s inside. It ...
ON March 1, 2019
Interview with Nicolas Audebert – Chief Winemaker at Chateau Rauzan Segla, Chateau Canon and Chateau Berliquet
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
Chateau Angelus - Premier Grand Cru Classe A
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
Chateau Margaux - Ethereal Elegance and Grace
Chateau Margaux - Ethereal Elegance and Grace
After profiling the three Pauillac first-growths, we turn our attention to the last of Médoc, the heavenly, ethereal Chateau Margaux.  Chateau Margaux – A Beautiful Chateau Home to Gorgeous Wines While all of the first-growths have helped shape the history of Bordeaux winemaking, none perhaps has left a legacy quite like that Chateau Margaux. Its stately pavilion is ...
ON November 3, 2015
Chateau Latour: The 2012 Release
Chateau Latour: The 2012 Release
Just prior to the Coronavirus hitting Europe, Château Latour was preparing to release their 2012 vintage direct from the Château for the first time, but following the lock-down across Europe the release was postponed. We had news from the Château this week that the release is now due out on Wednesday. As we await the release, we explore what makes this ...
BY FINE+RARE,
ON March 12, 2020
Chateau Lafite Rothschild Interview
Chateau Lafite Rothschild Interview
From one of the most prestigious and world-renowned wine estates, Chateau Lafite Rothschild, we spoke with Technical Director Eric Kohler and Commercial Director Jean-Sebastien Philippe of Domaines Barons de Rothschild about Bordeaux’s continued relevance in an ever-expanding and competitive global fine wine market. We discuss the unique elements that define Chateau Lafite as well as their personal insight into the ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON March 29, 2020
Chateau Margaux - Talking Terroir with Aurelien Valance
Chateau Margaux - Talking Terroir with Aurelien Valance
Chateau Margaux is one of the world’s most iconic and historic wineries, producing some of the finest wine in the region for over 600 years. Despite its historical roots it has never rested on its laurels, remaining at the forefront of top Bordeaux wine production. More than ever, the owners and team are committed to retaining its reputation, investing huge ...
ON November 22, 2019
The Glory Years of Chateau Margaux at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
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
Blending Masterclass at Chateau Pichon Lalande
Blending Masterclass at Chateau Pichon Lalande
Blending is an art form and remains rarely understood amongst us normal wine enthusiasts. The more one thinks about the process and the many variables the more difficult it seems to contemplate. The choices seem endless and the more one tastes the more confusing it seems to get! How can you tell that a certain combination is better than another? ...
ON May 11, 2018
Assessing the blend: 2011 Chateau Margaux
Assessing the blend: 2011 Chateau Margaux
Me: “Paul, are you sure that sample is Merlot, it tastes a lot like Cabernet?” Paul Pontallier: “Yes absolutely it’s a Merlot, amazing eh?” Me: “Paul, are you really sure this isn’t a Cabernet?” Paul Pontallier: “Hmmm, no, not any more. Let me check…” It had started as a simple question in late Nov 2011 when I was at Ch ...
BY FINE+RARE,
ON February 28, 2012
Harvesting at Chateau Rauzan Segla 2013
Harvesting at Chateau Rauzan Segla 2013
2013 has been a challenging vintage for most of France. Much of Bordeaux has been affected by storms earlier in the year, resulting in considerably lower yields for many. Luckily, at Rauzan Segla not too much of the crop was lost. This has helped the chateau overcome what was looking to be another major concern for the vintage: rot. The ...
ON October 22, 2013
Chateau Latour - the Archetypal First Growth?
Chateau Latour - the Archetypal First Growth?
This week in our series of producer profiles, we examine Château Latour: a first-growth synonymous with excellence, class and the illustrious heritage of Bordeaux. Château Latour: The Gold-Standard of First Growths Château Latour, situated at the southern edge of Pauillac on the border with St Julien and just a quickstep from the sloping banks of the Gironde, is one ...
ON October 28, 2015
Chateau Brane Cantenac - Behind the Bottle
Chateau Brane Cantenac - Behind the Bottle
Chateau Brane Cantenac has been a consistent performer in Margaux since Henri Lurton took over the property in 1992. But in the last decade the quality has taken another sharp upswing. Even in a mixed vintage like 2014, Brane produced a beautiful wine. 2015 and 2016 were both outstanding and arguably some of the best wines ever made at the ...
ON March 22, 2019
2018 En Primeur Release of Pomerol's Chateau Belle-Brise
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
Your Guide to Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion
Your Guide to Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion
Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion is one of the greatest estates in all of Bordeaux, arguably the King of the Left Bank. Robert Parker has awarded it more 100 point scores than any other wine in the Medoc, equalling Petrus in achieving 12 perfect 100 point scores. Of course, the reputation and quality of the wines from this estate long predate ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON March 5, 2020
Chateau Clos de Sarpe: Tasting through the Ages
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
Civil War + Chateau Musar's Fight for Survival
Civil War + Chateau Musar's Fight for Survival
Making Wine Under Conflict “You talk of war, and of civil war. There is nothing civil about war. What happened in Lebanon is that people fought their wars on our land.”  - Serge Hochar Between 1975 and 1990, Lebanon was a mosaic of wars caused by complex shifting political, geographical, and demographical factors. When 16 years of Civil War were finally ...
BY Gavin Lucas,
ON June 11, 2020
Chateau Musar Tasting Notes Year By Year
Chateau Musar Tasting Notes Year By Year
A Timeline of Vintages Many factors come into play when tasting Chateau Musar vintages. Was it a warmer Cabernet year (1999, 2000, 2005)? Was it cooler, making Cinsault more influential in the blend as in 1998? Or was it a Carignan year like 2003? Or will grape prominence be less relevant than the dodging of bullets across the Beka’a in ...
BY FINE+RARE,
ON June 11, 2020
Chateau Lafleur - Exploring the iconic estate's unique DNA with Omri Ram
Chateau Lafleur - Exploring the iconic estate's unique DNA with Omri Ram
It was a great pleasure to spend some time over the last few weeks with Omri Ram, the winemaker and viticulturalist at the helm of Chateau Lafleur - first tasting the new 2018 releases with him at Chateau Lafleur and then again on his recent visit to London. Following the tasting it was no surprise to see the spectacular scores ...
ON May 10, 2019
Chateau Palmer 2017 - First Major En Primeur Release
Chateau Palmer 2017 - First Major En Primeur Release
Chateau Palmer was the highest rated wine from the Margaux appellation in James Suckling’s round-up of Bordeaux 2017s and was highlighted as possibly one of the wines of the vintage. Scoring the same as Chateau Margaux, Suckling describes 2017 Palmer as  "sexy and well-formed… with very velvety and suave tannins... full-bodied, soft and round. Extremely long and last for minutes". ...
ON April 23, 2018
Bordeaux Radicals: Chateau Les Carmes Haut-Brion
Bordeaux Radicals: Chateau Les Carmes Haut-Brion
Last week we had the pleasure of hosting Stephanie Libreau from Chateau Les Carmes Haut-Brion at our London HQ, for a vertical tasting dating from 2016 back to 2012. These wines are brilliantly made, unique in so many ways and represent the cutting-edge of vinification techniques in Bordeaux. The rise in quality at the Chateau, along with the estate's reputation ...
ON June 13, 2019
Interview with Jean-Charles Cazes of Chateau Lynch Bages
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
Behind the Bottle: Chateau des Jacques 2018 Moulin-à-Vent Clos de Rochegrès
Behind the Bottle: Chateau des Jacques 2018 Moulin-à-Vent Clos de Rochegrès
“Beaujolais is on a roll, not to mention the just-coming-out superb 2018s” The 2018s “may be even better than 2015….Great vintages like these can age.” - James Suckling An ageworthy Moulin-à-Vent from a fantastic Beaujolais vintage We are hearing great things about the 2018 vintage in Burgundy: the hot weather, for those who picked at ...
ON July 19, 2019
Finding the balance: the art of the cooper
Finding the balance: the art of the cooper
Oak has played a vital role in the changing history of fine wine. Gavin Smith spoke to Max Gigandet – Managing Director of leading Burgundy cooper François Frères – to explore the power of a good barrel and why oak isn’t going anywhere Oak barrels have been used in winemaking for thousands of years. While initially their purpose was simply ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON April 9, 2021
Bordeaux 2015: Bill Blatch's Vintage Report
Bordeaux 2015: Bill Blatch's Vintage Report
Industry insider Bill Blatch opens the gates on Bordeaux 2015 En Primeur with his in-depth vintage report... Bill Blatch on Bordeaux 2015 Bill Blatch is a Bordeaux expert described by Andrew Jefford as "the wine world's secret agent." His vintage reports are frequently the most accurate, respected and detailed in the wine trade. Below you will find his verbatim Bordeaux ...
ON March 29, 2016
Château Haut-Brion – The Insider’s First-Growth
Château Haut-Brion – The Insider’s First-Growth
For the last of our profiles on the Bordeaux first-growths we move away from Medoc to Pessac, to examine Chateau Haut-Brion – a first-growth of incredibly quality boasting no fewer than six 100 point Robert Parker scores. The connoisseur’s grand vin The only first growth of Pessac, this estate is set apart from its rivals in both geography and style ...
ON November 11, 2015
Château de Beaucastel: beyond tradition
Château de Beaucastel: beyond tradition
Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s Château de Beaucastel dates back to the 16th century, but it was only after the Perrin family took control of the estate in the early 1900s that it became one of the most iconic and well-respected wine producers in the Southern Rhône. It was the vision of Jacques Perrin in particular – who farmed the property organically from 1950 onwards ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON September 9, 2020
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
Château Lafite-Rothschild - Bottled Finesse
Château Lafite-Rothschild - Bottled Finesse
Last week we took a look at Mouton-Rothschild; this week we profile its fellow Bordeaux first growth, the iconic Château Lafite-Rothschild, one of the most famous estates in Bordeaux, if not the world. “The quintessential wine of elegance” Château Lafite-Rothschild is characterised by sophistication and finesse. Neal Martin of the Wine Advocate describes it as the “quintessential wine of elegance”, ...
ON October 19, 2015
Thomas Duroux: Château Palmer Interview
Thomas Duroux: Château Palmer Interview
Over his 16-year career as CEO of the estate, Thomas Duroux has come to know Château Palmer’s identity, its nuances and its ability to evolve better than anyone. He has an intimate knowledge of the last 70 vintages of Château Palmer and admits he has already tasted the 2010 vintage more than 100 times during its evolution over the last 10 years. But the decision to ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON September 17, 2020
Château Mouton-Rothschild – Bordeaux Wine Royalty
Château Mouton-Rothschild – Bordeaux Wine Royalty
We profile the glamorous wild-child of Bordeaux wine-making in the first of our series of posts on iconic producers...  Neighbour to fellow first-growth Lafite-Rothschild, Ch. Mouton-Rothschild is one of the icons of Bordeaux and one of three first growths to be found in Pauillac, home to the most regal and aristocratic of Bordeaux reds.  For any collector of fine wine, it is often ...
ON October 12, 2015
Château Ausone: The Ethereal Estate of Saint-Émilion
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
Château Cos d'Estournel: The singular gem of St. Estèphe
Château Cos d'Estournel: The singular gem of St. Estèphe
Ahead of next week's 2018 En Primeur release, we explore what makes St. Estèphe's Cos d’Estournel such an extraordinary estate... The last three vintages of Cos d’Estournel (2018, 2017, 2016) have shot the lights out in terms of critics’ scores. A hat-trick of potentially perfect wines, as judged by the Wine Advocate, is a rare accolade - even more ...
ON May 31, 2019
Rhône 2017: Inside Châteauneuf-du-Pape with Stéphane Usseglio
Rhône 2017: Inside Châteauneuf-du-Pape with Stéphane Usseglio
Stéphane Usseglio is the man at the helm of Domaine Raymond Usseglio in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Understandably he has gained an unrivalled insight into the area surrounding the historic village at the heart of the southern Rhône. Speaking with FINE+RARE, he shares his interpretation of the nuances of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, an appellation so often considered a place of homogeneity, when it is in ...
ON March 15, 2019
Bordeaux First Growth Trip - Day One
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
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
2019 Bordeaux En Primeur - Week 5 Update
2019 Bordeaux En Primeur - Week 5 Update
With the Duclot collection case released on Friday, featuring one bottle of all the First Growths (apart from Chateau Latour), along with a bottle of Petrus, Ausone, Cheval Blanc and Yquem all from the 2019 vintage, we mark the end of what has been arguably the most memorable en primeur campaign for many years and for so many reasons. The quality ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON June 25, 2020
A Year in Wine: 1934
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
The FINE+RARE First Growths Tour 2014
The FINE+RARE First Growths Tour 2014
The FINE+RARE annual Bordeaux First Growths Tour is always an exciting addition to the calendar. This year saw Sales Director, Jamie Graham and Private Client Sales Manager, Craig Norton, leave a cold, grey London behind to enjoy a whirlwind tour in sunny Bordeaux: the perfect backdrop for what is always a truly memorable, highly decadent trip visiting Bordeaux's finest properties. ...
ON April 16, 2014
Bordeaux 2017: EP Round-Up Week VIII
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
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
Five Wines With Architectural Grand Designs
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
Class act: Saint-Emilion
Class act: Saint-Emilion
Saint-Emilion’s classification is in crisis – embroiled in court cases and controversy. But why? And does it matter? Sophie Thorpe investigates Saint-Emilion has been hitting the headlines. And not in the way it would like to. In July, just after the region’s châteaux submitted applications for the 2022 classification, two of the region’s four Premier Cru Classé A estates – ...
BY Sophie Thorpe,
ON September 23, 2021
Bordeaux Wine Tour Report March 2012 (Day 1)
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
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
Bordeaux First Growth Trip - Day Two
Bordeaux First Growth Trip - Day Two
Day Two The second day of our Bordeaux trip began at 7am with a quick breakfast before our departure from St-Emilion across the river to the Left Bank into the territory of the great First Growths. The sun was a pleasant surprise after the overcast weather of the previous day, highlighting the beauty of the landscape of the vineyards. Our ...
ON April 29, 2013

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