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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 ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON December 18, 2019
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
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
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 ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON December 12, 2019
Fine+Rare Whisky Trip to Islay
Rare and Single Malt Whiskies are an increasingly important part of our business here at Fine+Rare, with daily whisky enquiries now commonplace and a base of knowledgeable, dedicated spirits customers growing daily. With this in mind, a fact-finding trip to one of the key regions, Islay, was planned, and our Whisky and Spirits Buyer Garrick Whittaker and Sales Director Jamie ...
ON July 8, 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
Whisky Galore: Ireland, Scotland & Japan
Despite the quite holiday period and intermittently hot weather, demand for whisky is through the roof at FINE+RARE, in part due to some truly innovative releases… Around this time last year Bloomberg announced that “A surge in demand for rare whiskies has led to triple-digit returns in recent years.” And with whiskies like these of offer, this demand shows no ...
ON August 26, 2016
On the Hunt for a New Whisky at Gordon & MacPhail
Following the success of projects such as the Arbikie Highland Casks, we have been on the hunt for another one-of-a-kind whisky to add to our range. This search took us, naturally, to Scotland, a country synonymous with whisky, and the home of Gordon & MacPhail, the world-leading malt whisky specialist who have been selecting and bottling Single Malt Whisky for ...
ON October 18, 2016
Tesseron: Master Blender of Ancient Cognac
Tesseron specialise in very old Cognac: XO and beyond Abel Tesseron created Maison Tesseron Cognac House in 1905 and immediately went to work sourcing the finest and oldest eau-de-vie he could find. The idea was simple: to be able to offer fine, rare and very old cognac to the people of the world. For decades Tesseron distilled, aged and ...
ON May 25, 2018
Discovering Cognac, Blues + Passions with Delamain Cognac
This week the F+R Spirits team visited Jarnac in southwestern France, as guests of Delamain Cognac house. During the trip they became better acquainted with their range of Cognacs and attended the annual ‘Cognac Blues Passions’ festival. Read what the trip entailed… Why did we go? It is always exciting getting to travel to see producers we work with ...
ON July 6, 2018
In Conversation with: Bloomsbury Distillery
Bloomsbury was historically the home of many of London’s distilleries dating back to the 18th century. This included the original Gin establishments of Gordons and Tanqueray, before they moved out of the City in modern times. Hogarth’s famous “Gin Lane” painting, awash with drunken mothers and anaemic alcoholics, was an image supposedly inspired by Bloomsbury life in the 1700s. Whilst ...
ON August 22, 2018
Kavalan: Taiwan's First Whisky Distillery
Last month our globe-trotting Head of Spirits, David Walters, travelled to Taiwan to visit Kavalan Whisky Distillery. A seemingly unlikely location for one of the world's most-awarded whisky producers, Kavalan now receives over one million visitors to its distillery every year - a figure that exceeds the total visitors to all Scotch whisky distilleries combined. We delve into the details of what makes Taiwanese ...
ON October 4, 2018
The World's Most Wanted: Single Cask Exclusives
Across the Fine Wine and Spirits industries, there is growing interest amongst collectors and connoisseurs in single cask exclusives. The past decade has seen a steady rise in single cask releases from top distillers and winemakers, whose bespoke bottlings are often snapped up immediately upon release. The demand for these products has encouraged top Spirits distillers to experiment - with the aim of producing something new ...
ON October 4, 2018
Uncovering ancient treasures in Frapin's Paradis Cellar
This summer FINE+RARE travelled to Cognac to attend the 11th edition of the “Les Parts des Anges” Cognac auction. This auction takes place every two years and is one of the true society highlights in the Cognac region. All the major Cognac houses contribute unique releases to the auction, with all the proceeds going to charity. This year the auction raised a staggering ...
ON November 9, 2018
A Whistle-Stop Tour of WhistlePig
There has never been a more exciting time in the world of whisky. With the explosion in global demand over the last 5-10 years, the craft distillery scene is booming and with it comes experimentation and innovation. This experimentation has led to what is billed as the "Rye revival". Sales are booming in the US where many believe Rye is regaining ...
ON January 10, 2019
Armagnac: France's Best Kept Secret
If I say ‘brandy’ you’ll probably think of Cognac, but what about Armagnac? Both Cognac and Armagnac are brandies from different regions of France; however, Cognac was the luckier of the two brandy brothers and is subsequently the better known of the two. The town of Cognac, located in Charente, has always had well-established trade routes due to its location, ...
ON August 20, 2014
A Trip to Armagnac Part I: Domaine Boingneres
Domaine Boingneres enjoys more commercial success than many other properties in Armagnac and indeed, Madame Lafitte’s expressions of Folle Blanch and the elusive Baco may be found in many a Michelin star restaurant and fancy hotel. With an established following of world class sommeliers such as Gerrard Basset (World best Sommelier 2010) and Enrico Bernardo (World best Sommelier 2004), this ...
ON August 30, 2014
A Trip to Armagnac Part 2: Baron de Lustrac & Domaine Notre Dame de Bouit
Armagnac Baron de Lustrac Despite Mother Nature providing virtually everything necessary for producing a singular and remarkable spirit, market forces seem intent on keeping Armagnac off the centre stage: a spot it rightly deserves! A sheltered existence geographically coupled with a lack of business savvy has, for many centuries, meant it never quite achieved the same global acclaim that ...
ON March 25, 2015
Japanese Whisky: a global scarcity
Given their superb quality and immensely loyal following, it was almost inevitable that Japanese whisky would eventually find a global audience. Indeed, the world has now woken up to just how good Japanese whisky can be and the corresponding effect on supply has been profound – to the extent that, in the short term at least, it has changed the ...
BY FINE+RARE,
ON September 1, 2015
Bottled History – A Visit from Frapin Cognac
The report from our recent FINE+RARE tasting of Frapin's exquisite and superbly aged cognacs.  At FINE+RARE, we know that many of the products we sell are special not only because of their quality, but because of the unique stories behind them. This was demonstrated perfectly in September when we were visited by Frapin Cognac and treated to a special in-house ...
ON October 5, 2015
Arbikie Highland Estate
FINE+RARE report on our visit to Arbikie Highland Estate, a family-owned whisky distillery in the heart of Angus. Here we learnt about Arbikie's Limited Edition Founders Casks - an incredibly rare chance to own some of their premium Highland Single Malt... The Arbikie Story Scotch whisky is fighting back. In the face of ever-increasing competition from Japan, Canada and the USA, many homegrown ...
ON November 26, 2015
F+R Visits Speyside's Glenfarclas Distillery
F+R found themselves in the remote glens of Speyside last week visiting one of Scotland's finest whisky distilleries - Glenfarclas. Glenfarclas remains one of the few family-owned distilleries in Scotland in which all the whisky is produced and aged on site. It is a real family affair with three generations, as well as the production team, all living at the ...
ON March 8, 2019
Meet The Makers: Bloomsbury Atelier
Meet the Bloomsbury Atelier Co-Founders. Sculptor-turned-Distiller Alan McQuillan and Architect-turned-Industrialist Benjamin Harriman met through exhibiting and practising their respective arts in Bloomsbury, London. It was their common passion for unique materials that reflect the cultures of the world, and the people that define them, which kick-started their working relationship. We sat down with Alan to discuss what inspires and influences ...
ON May 3, 2019
The WhistlePig Custom Cask Program
F+R's Head of Spirits David Walters made his second visit this summer to the WhistlePig Distillery in Vermont to hand select some of their finest single casks for the F+R Custom Cask Program. The distillery is leading the global Rye whiskey revival and after selling out of our first exclusive 15YO cask earlier this year, we couldn’t wait to return ...
BY David Walters,
ON October 31, 2019
Bloomsbury Atelier CUBANA
Introducing Bloomsbury Atelier CUBANA - the first in a series of geographical spirits from the Creative House of the Bloomsbury Distillery. This unique distillery searches for experiences across the globe, combining beautiful flavours and their geographies to create incredible spirits that resist definition. Distilling the spirit of a journey This inaugural Bloomsbury Atelier spirit, CUBANA, is number one in a ...
BY FINE+RARE,
ON May 17, 2019
Whisky Watch - Will The New Yamazaki 55YO Surpass The Legendary 50-Year-Old?
Last week the release of the Yamazaki 55-year-old made global headlines and shook the whisky industry. Set to be released in June 2020, the new bottle by Suntory's most famous distillery will retail for US$27,500, excluding tax. We look at how the 100 bottles are to be distributed in Japan and the potential knock-on effect this release will have on other Yamazaki releases and ...
BY George Koutsakis,
ON February 5, 2020
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
It’s high time to befriend Madeira
That’s Madeira the fortified wine favoured by none other than Thomas Jefferson, who used it to toast the Declaration of Independence; George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams to name a few, oh, and it was the drink of choice to christen the USS Constitution in 1797! Actually Madeira the island is pretty amazing too. A volcanic island sitting between ...
ON September 28, 2012
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 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
The Japanese Whisky Shortage Grows: Taketsuru Range Discontinued
Japanese whisky shortages have made the headlines once again and these days, it no longer comes as a shock to see another iconic Japanese whisky discontinued. Over the past twenty years a fanatic, ever-growing fan base has risen around Japanese whisky. While the category deserves nothing less, this increased popularity continues to deplete the remaining stock from Japan's largest and most popular producers. ...
BY George Koutsakis,
ON January 16, 2020
Leading the renaissance of old tawny port
Whilst the world of wine is abuzz with this week’s 2016 Vintage Port releases, we also want to shine a light on a producer who is involved with the world’s oldest (rather than newest) Ports. The recipient of an International Wine Challenge trophy for the best 40 Year Old Tawny Port, Miguel Braga’s aged Ports are becoming must-haves for fine ...
ON May 18, 2018
The Top Wines of 2018 - According to the Critics
As we sing in the New Year, it seems like the opportune moment to reflect on the highlights of 2018. Last year saw some wonderful wine releases from around the world, aptly showcased in the critics' Top Wines of 2018 round-ups. We are living in an age where preserving tradition, embracing technology and sharing knowledge have never been greater. Couple ...
ON January 3, 2019
Five Big Releases Coming Soon
With the European summer break now drawing to a close, the wine trade is very much ‘back to school’. A deluge of significant wine and spirits releases are scheduled for September, keeping merchants and collectors alike very much on their toes... At the time of writing, 2015 Almaviva, 2014 Solaia, 2014 Vérité, 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Hommage Jecques Perrin and 2015 Seña ...
ON August 25, 2017
F+R Staff Wine Picks of the Year 2018
This year the team at FINE+RARE have encountered some astonishing bottles on our quest to source the finest wines and spirits from around the world. We asked members of the team to highlight some of their favourites of 2018. Our categories include Unicorn Wine of the Year - that once in a lifetime opportunity to taste something you are unlikely ...
ON December 20, 2018
Revolutionary Wine: The Massandra Collection
Click here to view the full selection of wines from the Massandra Collection available at FINE+RARE. In March FINE+RARE held a very special public tasting of fortified wines from the enigmatic Massandra winery, on the south coast of the Crimean peninsula. The wines spanned the entire history of the winery - from 1983 all the way back to their first ever vintage in 1894. The ...
ON March 23, 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
In the Studio with Bill Amberg
For our new HOME in Hong Kong, FINE+RARE has collaborated with one of the most respected names in British leather craft, Bill Amberg. An industry leader in bespoke leather products, interiors and furniture, his work can be found gracing British institutions including the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Royal Academy of Arts, Selfridges, Claridge’s Hotel and The Savoy, to name ...
ON August 29, 2018
Henschke: A Tasting & Seminar
**A couple of weeks ago I was accompanied by Private Client Sales Account Managers Simon Brewster and David Massarella, to a tasting and seminar on exceptional Australian Shiraz, hosted by Stephen and Prue Henschke.  The delicate fruit aromas that filled the arched, cellar-like room in Hawkesmoor, Spitalfields ignited an anticipation for the brilliant wines that were to come. A Short ...
ON June 1, 2014
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
Bordeaux EP 2017 Campaign - Week 4 Update
As expected we had a busy week of releases. Whilst demand was steady for most, a number of releases were in particularly high demand. Chateau Beychevelle, Chateau Clerc Milon and Chateau d’Armailhac all sold out on release, with huge interest, particularly from the Asian market. Closer to home, both the white and red releases from Domaine Chevalier proved popular - ...
ON May 18, 2018
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
FINE+RARE at TedX
Earlier this month FINE+RARE sponsored TedXCoventGardenWomen. Read on to find out more… TedXCoventGardenWomen is an independent TED event featuring a day of talks by people “devoted to ideas worth spreading”. The event sought to “celebrate the transformative power of women, girls and anyone who shines a light on different realities.” Women in Wine There is no hiding from the fact ...
ON November 23, 2017
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 ...
BY FINE+RARE,
ON June 25, 2012
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
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
F+R Sponsor's Venice Hospitality Challenge
Last weekend F+R were one of the proud sponsors of the Venice Hospitality Challenge, a yacht race that takes place around the island of Venice. It is an incredible spectacle in which racing yachts, with a minimum length of 60 feet, take part in an around the city boat race. It has been dubbed the Grand Prix of Venice and ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON November 1, 2019
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

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