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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
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 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
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
Tuscany Wine Journal, Day Three: Biondi Santi
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
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
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
Bordeaux First Growth Trip - Day Three
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
Designing It Differently: Five Unique Wineries
Designing It Differently: Five Unique Wineries
Great wineries come in many guises. Cutting-edge, contemporary architecture always turns heads, creating monoliths to winemaking on the landscape. Yet there are also plenty of more understated design features incorporated into chateau cellars that deserve a moment in the spotlight - whether to celebrate their technical innovation, unconventional use of raw materials or even conservation of tradition. From the show-stopping to the subtle, we take a look ...
ON September 28, 2018
Six of the best Bordeaux Left Bank Wines
Six of the best Bordeaux Left Bank Wines
1. Chateau Haut Brion 1989 Average Score: 100pts. "Consistently prodigious and almost a sure bet to top the scoring card of any blind tasting of this vintage as well as other years, the 1989 Haut-Brion is a seamless, majestic classic, and a tribute to this phenomenal terroir and its singular characteristics." Robert Parker (100pts) Amongst some of the ...
ON August 9, 2019
A Mixed Vintage
A Mixed Vintage
When Bud Cuchet and I visited Bordeaux in early October all looked set fair for a very good vintage. There are few better barometers of a vintage’s quality than the faces of the men tasked with making and selling the wine, and there were smiles all round as we inspected the vineyards in the beautiful October sunshine. Sadly, whilst we ...
ON April 18, 2013
Bordeaux 2016 & 2014 – Retrospective tastings and a comparison of vintages
Bordeaux 2016 & 2014 – Retrospective tastings and a comparison of vintages
I remember tasting the 2016s during En Primeur and finding them incredibly easy to taste, largely due to the tannins being so integrated into the wines at such a youthful stage. This is due to the very long ripening season, quite unique to the vintage. But the other element that was raised in the masterclass was the noticeably lower level ...
ON November 8, 2018
Bordeaux Safari March 2018 Travelogue
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 Wine Tour Report March 2012 (Day 3)
Bordeaux Wine Tour Report March 2012 (Day 3)
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. Day 3 A very decent departure time of 9am took us through the centre of Bordeaux into the often underrated Graves to complete our round up ...
BY FINE+RARE,
ON March 20, 2012
2011 Bordeaux - Vintage Report
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
Petrus - "The Vinous Holy Grail"
Petrus - "The Vinous Holy Grail"
** In our previous producer profiles we’ve focused on the five Bordeaux first-growths. Now, we turn our attention to the equally mighty Petrus, the star of Pomerol and producer of some of the world’s finest – and most expensive – wines. Fame and adoration Ask any wine-lover to name the world’s greatest fine wine, and the answer will invariably include ...
ON August 10, 2018
Le Pin: A Meteoric Rise
Le Pin: A Meteoric Rise
For the latest of our series of ** producer profiles** we focus on Chateau Le Pin **one of the great names of Pomerol and one of the rarest and most expensive wines of Bordeaux and the world… Le Pin - what makes it different.  Founded in 1979, Le Pin has swiftly become one of the world's most exclusive wines. To quote the WSJ: “It ...
ON December 9, 2015
Bordeaux Safari: The Story Behind The Vines
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 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
2018 Harvest Report
2018 Harvest Report
Another early harvest gets under way this week in much of Europe, marking the end of the fourth consecutive warm (or “solar”) year in a row. Thankfully yields are up considerably on last year, due to the devastating frosts that defined 2017 being largely avoided this spring. However, the season has been far from plain sailing for some. In particular, Bordeaux suffered from ...
ON August 23, 2018
The Saviour of Terroir?
The Saviour of Terroir?
Is Marco Simonit one of the modern viticultural heroes of our time? Working with the likes of Domaine Leroy and Chateau Y’quem, Marco grew to understand that vine age is central to vineyards expressing their terroir. Without age, the vineyards produce more generic varietal characteristics and not what is particular and special to the region. According to Marco, terroir characteristics ...
ON March 28, 2018
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
2010 Burgundy: A few early thoughts
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 ...
BY FINE+RARE,
ON September 23, 2011
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
TECHNOLOGY + TERROIR: BEHIND CASTLE WALLS YOU FIND FUTURISM + INNOVATION
TECHNOLOGY + TERROIR: BEHIND CASTLE WALLS YOU FIND FUTURISM + INNOVATION
After two fantastic vintages under its belt the Bordelais certainly have plenty to be smiling about but perhaps most pleasing for the consumer is to see that at least some of that money made through the recent campaigns has been re-invested into the wineries. There is no doubt key players in the region are committed and proactively improving the quality ...
ON March 16, 2018
The Rhone Report
The Rhone Report
The Northern and Southern Rhone are joined by the synonymous river, a spot of Syrah in Chateauneuf du Pape blends and, to be honest, little else. In the north, the Rhone is one of the most impressive stretches of water one will see: a truly grand river.  By the time it gets to Chateauneuf it is more dual-carriageway than multi-lane ...
ON October 28, 2014
2010 Burgundy Vintage Report
2010 Burgundy Vintage Report
Simon Davies, Head of Marketing at FINE+RARE, shares his thoughts on the 2010 Burgundy vintage following his trip to the region last week. The Vintage A week of tasting close to 300 wines across 19 different domains from Gevrey in the north of the Côte de Nuits to Givry in the Côte Chalonnaise has given me a very clear picture ...
BY FINE+RARE,
ON November 8, 2011
Burgundy 2014 - Vintage Report
Burgundy 2014 - Vintage Report
Jessica Bryans, fine wine buyer at FINE+RARE, shares her thoughts on the 2014 Burgundy vintage following her recent trip to the region. Read on for vintage analysis, wines to watch and the inside look at what the Burgundians are saying themselves... Region: Burgundy Vintage: 2014 In Summary: Burgundy 2014 delivered charming wines that are quintessentially Burgundian. The whites are of ...
ON December 4, 2015
Heroic Viticulture - The Unique Wines of Priorat
Heroic Viticulture - The Unique Wines of Priorat
This week we caught up with Valenti Llagostera, one of the great Priorat producers from the Mas Doix winery. Valenti's knowledge of the region is unparalleled and fascinating to listen to - from its extraordinary history, its unique soils, its fateful battle with phylloxera, and it meteoric rise back onto the global stage. Priorat is one of the top appellations in Spain, being one of just two wine ...
ON December 14, 2018
Domaine Zind-Humbrecht 2012s with Olivier Humbrecht MW
Domaine Zind-Humbrecht 2012s with Olivier Humbrecht MW
Olivier Humbrecht joined us in the FINE+RARE office to talk to us about the domaine and taste through his newly released 2012s, which mark his 25th vintage as winemaker. Here, we share some of our team’s favourites. Domaine Zind-Humbrecht is one of, if not the, legendary wineries of Alsace. Based in Turckheim, the family domaine has been producing wine since ...
ON August 1, 2014
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
A refined, svelte, elegant neighbour to Richebourg
A refined, svelte, elegant neighbour to Richebourg
http://vosne-romanee.fr/[/caption] The grand cru vineyards of Vosne-Romanee are arguably the finest vineyards in the world.  Chambertin and Musigny might make a fight of it, though the clump that is La Romanee, Romanee-Conti, La Tache, La Grande Rue, Richebourg and Romanee St Vivant is some very, very serious soil.  Echezeaux and Grands Echezeaux should, strictly, be included here but they ...
ON November 21, 2014
There's more to the US than Napa...
There's more to the US than Napa...
There is a growing excitement around American wine at the moment. At FINE+RARE we have seen a significant increase in customer demand driving sales from 2012 to the present day. A fortnight ago our Fine Wine Buyer and MW student, Camilla Bowler and Sales Team Manager, Craig Norton held a workshop at F+R to discuss the region and taste a ...
ON June 11, 2014
Rangen de Thann Grand Cru
Rangen de Thann Grand Cru
Following our masterclass with Olivier Humbrecht MW and tasting through his extraordinary collection, we haven't been able to forget the wines from the Grand Cru vineyard of Rangen de Thann. These are wines that are overwhelmingly dominated by their terroir, with an abundance of mineral tones over and above fruit-forward flavours. Decanter’s Andrew Jefford describes the Rangen vineyard as "the ...
ON June 21, 2019
Bordeaux Wine Tour Report March 2012 (Day 2)
Bordeaux Wine Tour Report March 2012 (Day 2)
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. Day 2 It was an early start for our intrepid tasters, 7am to be precise, to enjoy breakfast before the trek to the Left Bank with ...
BY FINE+RARE,
ON March 20, 2012
'Natural', Biodynamic, Organic - is tradition always best?
'Natural', Biodynamic, Organic - is tradition always best?
The first evidence of wine production was in Georgia around 7000BC and domestication of vines occurred around 3000BC. Wine was a natural, simple product: grapes that were pressed and fermented – a true expression of the terroir and the creator’s expertise. But does tradition make better wine? Or is this a romantic notion of turning back the clock to a ...
ON October 17, 2012
Festival del Potatore: Italy's First Vine Pruning Festival
Festival del Potatore: Italy's First Vine Pruning Festival
Because terroir needs more than just sun and rain Last weekend saw the inaugural Festival del Potatore - Italy's first Vine Pruning Festival - held in the beautiful foothill vineyards of Franciacorta in Northern Italy. The Festival was the brainchild of Marco Simonit and his band of brothers known collectively as “The Pruninguys”; the closest viticulture is probably ever going to ...
ON March 15, 2019
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
Decanter’s Great Bordeaux Fine Wine Encounter
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
A couple of days in Bordeaux
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
A Very Social Enterprise: Marco Simonit Visits London's Forty Hall Vineyard
A Very Social Enterprise: Marco Simonit Visits London's Forty Hall Vineyard
Thursday of this week was a great day to find oneself in a vineyard. The sun was low in the sky on a cold December morning as 35 local volunteers arrived to start the winter pruning. But it was no ordinary vineyard. It was London’s one and only fully-functioning commercial vineyard, found in the outskirts of Enfield at the Forty ...
ON December 14, 2018
Rhone 2017: small but excellent
Rhone 2017: small but excellent
The Rhone Valley is experiencing a real heyday at the moment with a spectacular vintage in 2015 (particularly in the Northern Rhone) followed by a sensational 2016, (particularly for the Southern Rhone appellations). Both vintages produced fantastic ripeness levels due to long, dry, warm (but not over hot) summers. Combine this with distinctly cooler nights, slowing down the ripening whilst ...
ON November 8, 2018
Diary of a 2012 Champagne Academy alumnus: Day One
Diary of a 2012 Champagne Academy alumnus: Day One
This spectacular opportunity, offered to just 16 candidates nominated by the member champagne houses each year since 1956, would see us visit 16 grandes marques, taste more than 100 wines and eat more food than you would in a month. It also involved five lectures, five written exams, two blind tasting exams and 15 new friends. This… is Champagne Academy. ...
ON August 6, 2012
Behind the Bottle: Hundred Acre
Behind the Bottle: Hundred Acre
We were very lucky to have the Hundred Acre team visit us in our London office last week and to open up some very special bottles from one of Napa’s most celebrated modern wineries. The property was set up just 20 years ago and has very quickly became one of Napa’s most iconic premium estates. The story behind the bottle ...
ON May 30, 2019
F+R On The Road: A Tour of Italy's Places, People + Wines
F+R On The Road: A Tour of Italy's Places, People + Wines
This week F+R took a tour of some of Italy's finest vineyards, visiting a small selection of our favourite producers, tasting the latest vintages and talking to these iconic winemakers to better understand their philosophies, techniques and what makes their wines so special. The stories of fine wine tend to be ones of sacrifice and struggle. Great wine always comes ...
ON June 21, 2019
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
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