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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
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
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
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
Exploring Alsace’s terroir: Clos Windsbuhl versus Clos-Saint-Urbain
Exploring Alsace’s terroir: Clos Windsbuhl versus Clos-Saint-Urbain
As Domaine Zind Hubrecht’s 2018s are released, we explore Alsace’s terroir – comparing and contrasting two of its finest vineyards, Clos Windsbuhl and Clos-Saint-Urbain with Olivier Humbrecht MW The Grand Cru wines of Alsace and in particular the wines of Zind-Humbrecht are some of the most transparent and detailed aromatic whites out there. The wines from the single-vineyard sites in particular ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON October 21, 2020
Clos Vougeot 2013
Clos Vougeot 2013
Thursday 28th October saw our annual  Clos Vougeot tastings. Wine journalists gathered at Lower Thames Street to take part in one of the highlights of our calendar: 33 wines from 32 domains, one vineyard and one vintage, all tasted blind. We are rather proud of our Clos Vougeot tasting at FINE+RARE. While blind tastings are hardly uncommon, the chance to ...
ON November 6, 2015
Burgundy’s Oldest Clos Vineyard - Chambertin Clos de Beze Grand Cru – A vertical tasting
Burgundy’s Oldest Clos Vineyard - Chambertin Clos de Beze Grand Cru – A vertical tasting
A Vertical tasting of Louis Jadot's Chambertin Clos de Beze with Head Winemaker Frederic Barnier and The Wine Advocate's William Kelley. 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 entry level, they offer tremendous consistency at a ...
ON November 2, 2018
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
The Annual Clos Vougeot Tasting : Presenting 2009
The Annual Clos Vougeot Tasting : Presenting 2009
On Thursday 27th October wine journalists and the FINE+RARE team gathered for a very special event: 57 domains, one vineyard, one vintage, tasted blind. This is the second year (we hope of many) that we have organised this Clos Vougeot tasting, and quite some organisation is required. We started contacting producers back in February to try and secure a bottle ...
BY FINE+RARE,
ON October 28, 2011
Champagne Philipponnat - Clos des Goisses
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
Krug Clos d’Ambonnay – A Remarkable Tasting
Krug Clos d’Ambonnay – A Remarkable Tasting
Every now and then, an invitation arrives that can’t be ignored and last week, I was fortunate enough to be invited by Krug to join them at their launch of the 2000 Krug Clos d’Ambonnay at Andrew Fairlie’s new Secret Garden in the Perthshire Countryside. Andrew Fairlie is Scotland’s most celebrated chef and his restaurant at Gleneagles is the only ...
ON August 5, 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
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
Krug Clos du Mesnil 2002: Coming Soon
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
Behind the Bottle: Clos des Goisses Champagne
Behind the Bottle: Clos des Goisses Champagne
Philipponnat’s single-vineyard Clos des Goisses is one of Champagne’s most famous vineyards. We caught up with winemaker and proprietor Charles Philipponnat to discover the history of this landmark vineyard, its rise to prominence and the specifics of the site that make it so special The History The Clos des Goisses vineyard – originally known as Les Goisses – has been ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON February 19, 2020
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 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
The F+R Annual Clos Vougeot Tasting Makes it to Hong Kong
The F+R Annual Clos Vougeot Tasting Makes it to Hong Kong
In December we hosted our largest event in Hong Kong to date. In a spin off from our annual tasting in London, we cracked open 20 different bottles of Clos Vougeot – all from different producers, all from the same vintage: 2011. As a bit of a challenge, we kept things interesting by serving each wine blind. Tasting blind is ...
ON January 5, 2015
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 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
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
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
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
Breakfast with Cloudburst Wines
Breakfast with Cloudburst Wines
London’s premier sommeliers gathered to taste Cloudburst wines over breakfast with founder and winemaker Will Berliner and FINE+RARE his exclusive UK distributor… On Thursday 21 September over a breakfast of bagels and fresh fruit, FINE+RARE hosted an exclusive Cloudburst Masterclass for the London’s top sommeliers. Take a peek behind the scenes… Cloudburst Wines' Will Berliner The unassuming and softly spoken ...
ON September 22, 2017
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
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
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 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
Authentic agave: Clase Azul
Authentic agave: Clase Azul
In a world filled with big brands, Clase Azul is a tequila producer looking to do things differently. Holly Motion finds out why the artisan brand is determined for tradition to trump trends It is little wonder there has been a veritable tequila gold rush, after celebrity-backed brands have sold in excess of $1bn, and the category continued to report double-digit growth during a global pandemic. This growth wasn’t just ...
BY Holly Motion,
ON February 19, 2021
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
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 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
2012 Champagne: a versatile classic
2012 Champagne: a versatile classic
The 2012 vintage is tipped as one of the greatest this century – following in the footsteps of 2008, 2002 and 1996. We spoke to some of the region’s top producers to find out more about the year and the wines it produced The 2012 vintage in Champagne is one of the most celebrated in recent years. The vintage was ...
BY FINE+RARE,
ON March 28, 2019
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 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
The lost wines of Haut-Brion
The lost wines of Haut-Brion
Since the Clarence Dillon family bought Ch. Haut-Brion in 1935 and neighbouring Ch. la Mission Haut-Brion and La Tour Haut-Brion 48 years later, the properties have become some of Bordeaux’s most collectable. We explore the genealogy of these illustrious estates – and the wines that have been lost in their making Ch. Haut-Brion is one of the oldest and best-known ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON February 11, 2022
A Treasure Trove Of Italian Classics Arrives At F+R
A Treasure Trove Of Italian Classics Arrives At F+R
For over a decade, one of Italy's leading luxury hotel groups has been quietly sourcing the finest red wines direct from the country's greatest producers. They have amassed a back-vintage hall-of-fame of Italian wine from some of Italy’s most iconic producers, including Angelo Gaja, Giacamo Conterno, Aldo Conterno, Luciano Sandrone, as well as cult vineyard sites such as Messorio, Tignanello ...
ON August 30, 2018
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
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 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
Australian Fine Wine: Langton's Classification Tasting
Australian Fine Wine: Langton's Classification Tasting
Find out more about our recent tasting of over fifty of Australia's finest and rarest wines... The Tasting On Monday 21 March FINE+RARE held an exclusive tasting of wines from the Langton’s Classification in association with Wine Australia. The event offered a unique opportunity for attendees, as there had not been a tasting of Australian fine wine of this quality ...
ON March 24, 2016
Castello di Ama - Leading the Renaissance of Chianti Classico
Castello di Ama - Leading the Renaissance of Chianti Classico
This week we were fortunate enough to source a selection of rare, aged parcels of single-vineyard Chianti Classico Gran Selezione, direct from the cellars of Castello di Ama. This winery has been a leading light in the renaissance of the Chianti Classico region and should be firmly on everyone’s fine wine radar. Castello di Ama is a must-have for anyone seeking ...
ON October 11, 2018
Behind the Bottle - Vire Clesse by Domaine de la Bongran
Behind the Bottle - Vire Clesse by Domaine de la Bongran
This is no ordinary Chardonnay from the Maconnais, 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
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
Tuscany Wine Journal, Day Four: Chianti Classico
Tuscany Wine Journal, Day Four: Chianti Classico
After scouring Montalcino for the very best of Brunello, FINE+RARE buyer Jessica Bryans turns her attention to Chianti Classico, unearthing some little-known gems on the way.  Day One · Day Two · Day Three Day 4 After three fantastic days touring Montalcino, it was time to move on to the region Chianti Classico. This is a crucial zone in the panorama of Italian ...
ON October 29, 2015
Merlot: Part of the Bordeaux Psyche
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

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