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What winemakers are drinking this Christmas
It is that time of year again when it is time to plan which wines you are drinking over the festive period. We thought we would ask some of our favourite winemakers and estates what they are planning to drink, to help give you some inspiration. Special thanks to Charles Philipponnat for his detailed response, he will certainly be enjoying an ...
ON December 12, 2019
Matching Christmas Food and Wine
With all the work that goes in to planning festive catering, it’s important to choose wines that flatter your culinary creations. While this might seem a daunting prospect at first, matching Christmas food and wine needn't be a minefield, and we're happy to guide your choices – leaving you with one less thing to stress about. (If only we could ...
ON November 30, 2015
What Winemakers are Drinking this Christmas 2018
Last week we shared our Christmas wine recommendations, but who knows best what to serve at the Christmas table, than those working on-the-ground in the vineyards, wineries and Chateaux? We spoke to some of our winemaking friends from around the world about what they will be drinking this festive season... Victor Charcan - **Bodegas Roda (Rioja, Spain)** I am the wine supplier ...
ON December 20, 2018
What To Drink This Christmas - F+R Employee Picks
With the festive season fast approaching, many of our customers are looking to stock up their cellars with the perfect red, white and sparkling wines in time for Christmas celebrations. From dazzling champagnes to warming clarets, this is a great time of year to put some sparkle into your wine collection, and whether you’re looking for things to flatter your ...
ON November 25, 2015
The Spanish Renaissance - A Rediscovery of its Roots
This week we explore the renaissance taking place in Spain’s vineyards, as well as the struggles of its winemaking past. While there have been a handful of iconic and historic producers in Spain dating back to the nineteenth century, their continuity largely relied on their aristocratic connections, whilst the rest of the country wrestled with survival. We speak to one of the ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON May 6, 2020
Tuscany Wine Journal, Day Five: Redigaffi
In the last installment of her Tuscan journal, FINE+RARE buyer Jessica Bryans visits Tua Rita, the vineyard behind the phenomenal Redigaffi, and Fonterutoli. Day One · Day Two · Day Three · Day Four My fifth and final day in Italy dawned bright and extremely early. I felt surprisingly fresh after a late dinner the previous evening with the wonderful Giovanni Mazzei of Fonterutoli at his ...
ON October 30, 2015
The 2007 Red Burgundies
A couple of times a year, a group of a dozen or so of very knowledgeable and very experienced tasters get together to open, taste and share some Burgundy.  Serious Burgundy.  It’s an opportunity to discuss a vintage or two with like-minded connoisseurs and, of course, to enjoy food, wine and generally wine-related discourse.  It is a group that I ...
ON May 20, 2015
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
Restaurant Review: The Remedy
Fine wine buyer Jessica Bryans reviews new discovery The Remedy Wine Bar... I have to give credit when it is due and so a little write-up is in order for The Remedy Wine Bar & Kitchen on Cleveland Street in West London. I had been meaning to stop in since fellow wine lover Jaime Goode recommended it as his favourite place ...
ON December 7, 2015
The Red Grapes of Fine Wine
We look at the red grapes that make up the finest wines in the world. Where are they grown? What’s their unique character? What makes them so special? Cabernet Sauvignon – From the Left-Bank of Bordeaux It Has Conquered the Globe The most noble and aristocratic of the red grapes, its thick skin and rich fruit always mean long-lived ...
ON October 19, 2015
2018 Red Burgundy Review
The 2018 vintage is undoubtedly a hedonistic vintage  – with a rich, opulent, ripe fruit profile and a wonderful concentration that will provide huge amounts of drinking pleasure. But it is also a heterogeneous vintage. This was already apparent during the harvest, with some pickers starting as early as mid-August and others waiting until mid-September. Given how warm it was ...
ON November 22, 2019
Restaurant Review: Al Boccon di’vino
Chris Kelly reviews Al Boccon di'vino, a vibrant Italian restaurant in Richmond that does away with menus for an authentic Venetian dining experience... I struggle to think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon in December than over a long, slightly boozy lunch somewhere cosy, friendly and where the food is unpretentious but brilliant. Salubrious Richmond’s Al Boccon di’Vino ...
ON December 21, 2015
10 Top Tips for Ordering Wine in Restaurants
Restaurant wine lists can be tricky. When out with friends or family, I often find myself being delegated the task of ordering the wine simply because no one wants the pressure of choosing the right bottle. I suppose no food-loving city-dweller wants to be culpable for putting a glass of bad juice in front of a nice plate of food, ...
ON August 3, 2015
Interview with Craig Wessels - Restless River
F+R: You started producing wines from 2005 – did you buy a developed vineyard or did you start from scratch? Craig Wessels: We started with about 5 hectares of 5-year-old vineyards that had been planted in 1999, prior to our purchase of the farm in 2004.  The vines were a bit neglected and some were later removed and replanted. F+R: ...
ON October 25, 2019
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
Gaja’s Brunello di Montalcino - Pieve Santa Restituta
Gaja’s wines from Barbaresco are undoubtedly some of the finest wines in the world, but their single vineyard wines from their Brunello di Montalcino estate – Pieve Santa Restituta - whilst a lot less well known, deserve equal attention, particularly with the release of their 2015s due out next week. It was a big decision for this Piedmont producer to ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON April 14, 2020
Q+A with James Lloyd - Head Sommelier, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
Following our F+R event last Saturday we caught up with Head Sommelier at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay – James Lloyd. We talk to him about the challenges and rewards associated with working as Head Sommelier in one of the world’s most acclaimed dining venues. What is the preferred part of your role as Head Sommelier at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay? James Lloyd: There ...
ON December 18, 2019
Q+A with Matt Abé - Chef de Cuisine, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
We found a moment to quiz Matt Abé award-winning Chef de Cuisine at Gordon Ramsay about the inspiration behind the unique menu curated for the recent Chateau Margaux event, the importance wine plays at the restaurant and his close working partnership with Head Sommelier James Lloyd.  What is particular about Bordeaux wines that most affects pairing food with them? ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON December 19, 2019
Rosso Della Centa - The First Great Friuli Red
We have unearthed an absolute gem in the guise of Rosso della Centa. A 100% Merlot wine grown on just one hectare of a distinct marl clay hillside in Friuli, Italy. The wine is the creation of one of Italy’s top winemakers Nicola Manferrari who first produced the wine in 1985 and has gone on to release it only in ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON January 30, 2020
F+R Hosts La Mission Haut-Brion at Davies and Brook Restaurant
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ON February 14, 2020
Dining Out in Chablis: 3 Restaurant Recommendations for Wine-Lovers
Despite the impressive amphitheatre of Grand Cru sites that surround this beautiful and peaceful village, Chablis is all-too-often missed off the itinerary on food and wine tours of Burgundy. However notwithstanding its petite size, Chablis is bursting at the seams with culinary surprises. There is a vast array of truly unmissable restaurants, all well-versed in curating menus to complement the ...
ON August 2, 2018
Roberto Voerzio hosts Fine+Rare Event at Luca Restaurant
Roberto is such a calm and measured man, but even he could not hide his excitement over his latest 2019 vintage as he arrived in London buoyed by the latest harvest. Fortunately we managed to tear him away from his latest batch of fermenting wines for a flying 24 hour visit to host a special event presenting some of the ...
ON October 25, 2019
The Best Red Wine Ever Made? A Billionaire’s Bucket List
What are the ten best wines ever made? It seems a simple question, but can there ever be an answer? Probably not, so perhaps it’s a more rewarding task to come up with ten wines to try before you die; a money no object, billionaire’s bucket list of superstars from the greatest estates and the very best vintages. Are ...
ON April 5, 2018
Vintage Report - 2017 Red Burgundies: tension, verve and terroir transparency
Generally speaking, 2017 is a vintage that, for once, all went to plan in Burgundy. Not since 2009 have so many winemakers been so happy with both their quantity and quality. It has been a difficult few years and it is genuinely a pleasant sight to see the cellars full again after so many years of heartache. I say generally, ...
ON November 23, 2018
Paired to Perfection: Matching Festive Food + Fine Wine
The excitement is building at F+R HQ over which wines to crack open during the festive period. It’s time to agonise over those extensive menus and work out which bottles will please all of your guests, while at the same time being worthy enough to stand up to all the rich and varied flavours of Christmas. We have put together ...
ON December 14, 2018
A Seasonal Selection: Festive Gift Ideas
With the festive season fast approaching, F+R is delighted to offer a selection of gifts befitting of collectors and connoisseurs of all things fine, rare and luxurious. From Whisky advent calendars and personalised Cognac bottles, to rare aged Burgundies released ex-domaine in perfect condition. There’s truly something for everyone this Christmas… ** The (Very) Old and Rare Whisky Advent Calendar With ...
ON October 18, 2018
Three Stunning Wines to Buy Now
At FINE+RARE we’re in the fortunate position of being able to taste a lot of wine. Some is great, some average and others, surprisingly occasionally poor. But every so often a wine gets opened in out tasting room that absolutely floors us and three have done just that in recent weeks. They are so good that we instantly took all ...
ON September 15, 2015
Jaboulet: The Renaissance of a Hermitage Icon
A visit to Fine+Rare by  a Hermitage Icon - Jaboulet With La Chapelle 2009 & 2010 two of our most popular wines of recent years and having just acquired an allocation of their 97+ point Hermitage La Chapelle 2012  - we decided the timing couldn’t be better to dedicate a tasting to one of our favourite producers in Hermitage - ...
ON July 10, 2015
Henri Boillot on Burgundy 2018
The Vintage Henri Boillot is widely seen as the top micro-negociant for the production of the Cote d’Or’s finest white wines, including Le Montrachet. He abhors heavy whites therefore expect the style of his white wines to be lean, precise and razor-sharp. His red wine profile however is notably different. Whilst he believes acidity and tension are vital for ...
ON October 3, 2019
Fifty Shades of Sherry
Sherry can be the colour of coffee stains on a cream carpet, the colour of lemon-curd sandwiches or the colour of lacquered mahogany. It is the diversity of sherry which makes it so appealing, a surfeit of styles with a gradient of colour. You can taste a light and breezy Manzanilla from the Sanlucar coast which has a sea salt ...
ON September 10, 2012
Producer Portrait: Domaine Potinet-Ampeau
One of our most memorable visits and tastings this year was in Monthelie at the historic cellars of Domaine Potinet Ampeau. Ever since trying a collection of their aged whites a couple of years ago I’ve been captivated by the pristine quality and structure of their very mature white wines. This autumn we were finally able to discover the cellars ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON January 2, 2020
Domaine Henri Boillot - Producer Portrait
As Stephen Tanzer outlines in his recent report, Henri Boillot is the first out picking on the Montrachet slopes. The combination of small production and picking early comes from a desire to retain vibrancy and energy in the wines over and above riper styles of Chardonnay found elsewhere in the Cotes de Beaune. This mineral driven “understated” yet “explosive” style ...
ON September 13, 2018
Pomerol: A Tale of Two Vintages
We report from a visit by Pomerol Séduction, an organisation promoting eight top wines from the iconic Right Bank appellation in Bordeaux. On the tasting table were Bordeaux 2012s and 2015s - two very different vintages that both have stories to tell. As the scramble for this year’s En Primeur offerings from Bordeaux reached its climax last week, the FINE+RARE Team saw ...
ON June 28, 2016
Market Outlook December 2012
The Market in November Strong interest in 2010 Bordeaux Trade in 2010 vintage has been strong, as buyers look towards the Wine Advocate’s in-bottle review of the vintage due out in the first issue of 2013. The wines showed well at the UGC tastings, held in early November both in London and elsewhere, further reinforcing the quality of the vintage. 2008 ...
ON November 29, 2012
24 Hours in Alsace
Alsace is a unique place. With its chocolate box houses, cobbled streets and its steep rising hills and valleys, it is a beautiful destination. There is much to enjoy aside from the wine, foremost the stunning scenery and the traditional cuisine. The region has some of the highest proportion of Michelin stars restaurants in France and has great cycling routes ...
ON June 7, 2019
Top Wines + Spirits of 2019: FINE+RARE Staff Picks
This year the team at FINE+RARE encountered some astonishing bottles on our quest to source the finest wines and spirits from around the world. We asked our colleagues to highlight some of their favourites from 2019... Corentin Margier – Head of Buying Unicorn Wine/Spirit of the Year (something you are unlikely to taste/ experience again): Clos Vougeot 1937, Maison Leroy The ...
ON December 18, 2019
Last week Jessica Bryans and a few of the private client sales team went to Burgundy to take a first look at the 2014 vintage, and were also treated to a very early glimpse of 2015. Our arrival was met with rain, ominous dark clouds and a lightning storm. Not the most auspicious of welcomes, but despite the skies, Burgundian producers ...
ON October 2, 2015
The Wine Advocate's William Kelley shares his Burgundy 2018 Early Insight
F+R: After tasting in Burgundy and Champagne consistently over the last couple of years, what do you feel has been the most important developments in each of the regions in that time? William Kelley: I think that Burgundians are getting used to handling warm fruit. If you're not used to making wine from warm grapes, it's easy for things to go ...
ON November 1, 2019
Bordeaux 2015 En Primeur: Remaining Availability & Still To Come
View the Top 10 red En Primeur releases with remaining case availability... With only a handful of big releases to come availability of those that have been released is dwindling... Top 10 En Primeur Reds Still Available During this En Primeur campaign, the top scoring Bordeaux 2015 wines have been selling out rapidly on release. Below is a list of ...
ON June 16, 2016
Market Outlook November 2012
The Market in October Bordeaux trade dominated by top vintages Interest in 2009 Bordeaux continues to be strong, partly aided in the UK by Decanter’s* *recent report on the vintage. There has also been significant interest in 2010s, as well as 1996s, 1990s, 1986s and 1982s, suggesting that buyers are looking to top vintages for security in an uncertain market. Rhone volumes up on anticipation of new ...
ON October 30, 2012
A visit from Domaines Barons de Rothschild
This week we were honoured to host our long standing partner Domaines Barons de Rothschild's commercial director Jean-Sebastien Philippe for a very special tasting.... It is not every day that one has the opportunity to taste a line up of wines from all of DBR's Bordeaux properties; in fact even individual tastings rarely take place outside of Bordeaux, so we ...
ON July 25, 2019
Germany 2015: "Epic Vintage"
Early opinions suggest that 2015 might be the vintage of the century for Germany... The wine world's attention is currently on Bordeaux 2015 and much has been made of recent releases from Rhône 2015 (particularly from Chapoutier). However, early rumblings suggest that we should all be keeping an eye on Germany 2015... Germany 2015 Vintage Early reports are tentatively suggesting ...
ON May 23, 2016
Howard's Folly: The Boutique Producer Leading Portugal's Fine Wine Renaissance
Since 2002, Howard Bilton and David Baverstock, Portugal’s premier winemaker, have partnered to bring to the market a range of outstanding wines under the Howard’s Folly label. Bilton is a businessman hailing from Yorkshire, now living in Hong Kong, an enthusiastic art collector, wine lover and admirer of Portugal’s wines especially from the Alentejo region. Australian-born Baverstock has won the ...
ON February 8, 2019
Hermitage: Vintage Guide 1999-2018
Despite being only 136 hectares in size, the hill of Hermitage is one of the most globally reputed, historical and iconic appellations of the fine wine world. Next week will see us offer a special parcel of Chave back-vintages. Ahead of their release, we examine the last 20 vintages of the red and white wines of Hermitage  The official Hermitage appellation ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON September 17, 2020
Musigny Grand Cru Vertical Tasting 1943 – 2007 with Veronique Drouhin
The Musigny Grand Cru is an historically important site in Burgundy with vineyards on the site dating back to Gallo-Roman times. It was singled out as a separate vineyard since the Middle Ages by the monks of Citeaux, yet unlike Clos Vougeot it remained un-walled due to the fact that the site remained in multiple ownership during the ancien regime ...
ON June 22, 2018
299 Points Wines
It's not often that you get the opportunity to taste 299 points of wines in one sitting, but last Thursday we got to do just that. Dimitri Mesnard, from Jackson Wine Estates, dropped into our offices to present Verité's spectacular 2008s, along with 2008 Lokoya, 2008 Cardinale and chief winemaker, Pierre Siellan's wines from Chateau Lassegue in St Emillon and ...
ON June 25, 2012
Roaming the Rhone - Wines, Vines and the 2015 Harvest...
Buyer Jessica Bryans reports back from FINE+RARE trip to Rhone, with producer profiles and a very early look at what could be a phenomenal vintage...  The Rhone Valley’s Wines From the Epic 2015 Harvest Could be Excellent... If you take one thing away from this report, it should be this – 2015 could be one of the great vintages of the ...
ON October 12, 2015
Burgundy 2018 - What The Critics Are Saying
William Kelley, Wine Advocate F+R: After tasting in Burgundy and Champagne consistently over the last couple of years, what do you feel has been the most important developments in each of the regions in that time? William Kelley: I think that Burgundians are getting used to handling warm fruit. If you're not used to making wine from warm grapes, it's easy ...
ON October 30, 2019
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
Burgundy 2017 - In Review
“there are some quite brilliant whites that, many growers are beginning to opine, equal or even surpass the haloed 2014s…The 2017 reds are very good, often excellent, and from time to time, bloody awesome.” Neal Martin, Vinous “a delicious vintage for white Burgundy…there is no sense of dilution and for the most part the wines show optimum ripeness.” Jasper Morris, ...
ON January 11, 2019

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