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Poggio di Sotto - Montalcino's Cult Wine
Poggio di Sotto - Montalcino's Cult Wine
There are few names in Brunello Di Montalcino that rank higher than Poggio Di Sotto. The estate's incredibly elegant style, its obsession with quality and its signature style of gentle extraction, light colour and long ageing in specially designed oval Slavonian barrels, has garnered a loyal fan base producing consistently awe inspiring wines every year. One of our most memorable ...
ON June 28, 2019
Brunello di Montalcino – The Young Minds of Montalcino
Brunello di Montalcino – The Young Minds of Montalcino
Trying to reach Sangiovese’s true potential in Montalcino Sangiovese, like Pinot Noir, is very much susceptible to over-cropping and in recent years has been used and abused by many winemakers to the detriment of its true varietal profile. Sangiovese has the potential to produce wines with the same textural brilliance as some of the world’s best Pinot Noir; it can ...
ON June 22, 2018
F+R Tuscany Report: Montalcino
F+R Tuscany Report: Montalcino
Brunello is without doubt one of Italy’s most important wines; indeed some have argued that it is Italy’s greatest (although we would probably give that crown to Barolo). Super Tuscan's aside, Brunello is the Italian wine that will most likely appeal to Bordeaux lovers, those that find Barolo’s acidity a little too much, and the very best Brunellos – and ...
ON September 4, 2014
Brunello di Montalcino: F+R report
Brunello di Montalcino: F+R report
Part of what we do at FINE+RARE is try, wherever possible, to get as close to source as we can. Ideally we deal direct with the winemakers themselves.  Following the success of the brilliant 2010 vintage, our buying team have just returned from Montalcino.  Jessica Bryans recounts the trip: It is hard to believe that Brunello is such a new ...
ON June 11, 2015
24 Hours in... Brunello di Montalcino
24 Hours in... Brunello di Montalcino
Gianlorenzo Neri from top Brunello producer Casanova di Neri reveals his hidden gems in and around the region of Montalcino. Famed for its pinci pasta, wild boar and of course world class wines this is a thriving region for the travelling epicurean. Gianlorenzo provides us with his top restaurant tips, favourite wine lists and the best times in the year ...
ON November 22, 2019
Your guide to Montalcino
Your guide to Montalcino
As the Brunello 2016s are released, Gavin Smith examines the varied terroir of Montalcino, as one way to decipher the different styles of this beautifully varied landscape. Brunello di Montalcino is so well established in today’s world of fine wine; it is hard to believe how relatively young its international reputation is. While it all began with Clemente Santi in ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON November 27, 2020
The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Tasting
The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Tasting
62 samples of 2010 Brunello di Montalcino In late February, just after the Benvenuti Brunello tastings in Montalcino, we held what was probably the most comprehensive tasting of 2010 Brunello di Montalcino in the UK.  These wines have proved immensely popular since their release and we had a golden chance to see what the fuss is all about. In ...
ON March 18, 2015
Soldera: The Wine Icon of Brunello di Montalcino
Soldera: The Wine Icon of Brunello di Montalcino
Origins… Gianfranco Soldera first and foremost was a wine lover. A man who in his youth would travel around Italy visiting his favourite wineries, most notably in Barolo. He was fascinated with Nebbiolo. In his mid-thirties he decided he would make his own wine and bought the neglected Case Basse property in 1972. This Tuscan winemaking enterprise was a bit of a compromise for ...
ON November 30, 2018
Brunello 2016: a magical year in Montalcino
Brunello 2016: a magical year in Montalcino
This week we caught up with some of Brunello di Montalcino’s top producers for their insight into this exceptional vintage  Coming off the back of an extremely successful 2015 vintage, 2016 is a fascinating comparison. Both are exceptional but with distinctly different personalities. 2015 is exuberant, rich and decadent; 2016 is arguably more precise, detailed and elegant. No doubt these vintages will ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON November 20, 2020
Brunello di Montalcino: 2010 Riserva and 2011 Preview
Brunello di Montalcino: 2010 Riserva and 2011 Preview
FINE+RARE buyer Jessica Bryans shares her guide to buying and tasting upcoming releases from Brunello di Montalcino: the 2011s and 2010 Riservas... Carlo Ferrini’s Sangiovese vineyards I’ve got Brunello on the brain. Among the many fantastic insights from my recent Tuscany Wine tour – from touring the vines with Gianfranco Soldera to tasting Chianti Classico at Felsina – one of the ...
ON November 11, 2015
Gaja’s Brunello di Montalcino - Pieve Santa Restituta
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
Canalicchio di Sopra - Mapping out the vineyards of Montalcino
Canalicchio di Sopra - Mapping out the vineyards of Montalcino
When Franceso Ripaccioli visited F&R headquarters last week, he provided us with the most generous and welcome break from Bordeaux EP releases, and a chance to escape in our minds and taste buds to the sun-soaked hills of Montalcino. The line-up of wines he presented was astounding. We tasted a total of 11 Rosso, Brunello and Riserva from wonderful ...
ON June 7, 2019
Brunello di Montalcino 2015 - On a par with 2010, arguably better!
Brunello di Montalcino 2015 - On a par with 2010, arguably better!
Critics and winemakers alike have put the 2015 vintage on a par with the great 2010, sharing similar levels of opulence and voluptuousness on the palate. The 2015 vintage has produced some incredibly juicy yet vibrant wines. Wines with amazing voluptuousness backed with great acidity, fatness and freshness. This style, like 2010 is a real crowd-pleaser, but with trends ...
ON October 10, 2019
"A Wine That Makes You Smile": A Gem Discovered on our Trip to Montalcino
"A Wine That Makes You Smile": A Gem Discovered on our Trip to Montalcino
Before the prose: this is one of the best wines I have tasted this year. A wine with energy, a wine with bounce, a wine that makes you smile. We tasted it against a Brunello and a Brunello Riserva and it trounced them both. As luck would have it we found a bottle - not on the list – at ...
ON July 17, 2014
What Happens When Wine Royalty Comes to Visit.....
What Happens When Wine Royalty Comes to Visit.....
Tuscany: one of the most important vinous regions in the world. Brunello: one of the most important wines in Italy. Biondi Santi: one of the most important, historic wine names in not just Italy, but the world. It’s fair to say we were all pretty excited when we heard that Tancredi Biondi Santi was coming to the FINE+RARE offices to ...
ON October 14, 2014
Brunello 2016: what the critics are saying
Brunello 2016: what the critics are saying
The 2016 vintage in Montalcino is one of the best we’ve tasted – and the critics have now had their say. Here’s an overview of what the Wine Advocate, Vinous and James Suckling are saying, as well as the wines they rate most highly This week saw the release of the Wine Advocate’s first report on 2016 Brunello di Montalcino, ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON December 4, 2020
Carlo Ferrini tells F+R about making Giodo on Mount Etna
Carlo Ferrini tells F+R about making Giodo on Mount Etna
Carlo is one of the most famous winemakers in Italy largely due to his extensive work researching the many clones of Sangiovese. He is also the winemaking consultant for many of the top wineries in Italy including the likes of Castello di Neri, Fonterutoli, Brancaia, Romitorio, Talenti (and many more). We first met Carlo Ferrini in Brunello di Montalcino last year ...
ON November 23, 2018
Critics Round-Up - Top Wines of 2019
Critics Round-Up - Top Wines of 2019
At this time of the year the leading wine critics reflect on their wine highlights of the year. We look at some of the top picks from Antonio Galloni, James Suckling, James Halliday and Jeb Dunnuck whose range and variety only highlight the current health of the world of fine wine today. We identify some of their top picks for ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON January 8, 2020
Brunello 2011 Tasting at FINE+RARE
Brunello 2011 Tasting at FINE+RARE
Some of the samples on show at our FINE+RARE Brunello 2011 tasting Brunello di Montalcino 2011 is the follow-up to what some producers are calling the “best Brunello vintage of all time”.  Caught somewhere between the outstanding quality of the 2010 vintage and the soon to be hyped 2012s, the 2011s had the tough task of standing out. Last week, ...
ON March 22, 2016
The Other Wines of Gaja
The Other Wines of Gaja
It was a big decision for this Piedmont producer to invest in another region of Italy but Montalcino seemed to be the logical choice. Angelo Gaja explained to us there are obvious parallels between Barolo/Barbaresco and Montalcino, both regions of prestige for fine wine, both made from indigenous varieties and from single varietals that undergo extensive elevage. For Angelo that ...
ON July 19, 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
Tuscany Wine Journal, Day One
Tuscany Wine Journal, Day One
2010 Brunello di Montalcino was a true blockbuster year, with producers and critics alike considering it the vintage of a lifetime. As a result, we simply couldn't wait to go back to Tuscany to see what the Riservas and more recent vintages had to offer, and to talk to the producers behind one of Italy's most famous and exciting wines. For the rest ...
ON October 21, 2015
Cerbaiona: a new era
Cerbaiona: a new era
There’s been a buzz about the cult Montalcino estate Cerbaiona since it changed hands in 2015. Ahead of the release of the 2016 Brunello – the first under Matthew Fioretti’s ownership – Gavin Smith caught up with Fioretti to find out more about how and why he’s transforming the property Cerbaiona is widely recognised as one of the top estates ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON January 29, 2021
2010 Brunello + 2011 Barolo Tasting in our Hong Kong Office
2010 Brunello + 2011 Barolo Tasting in our Hong Kong Office
The Hong Kong summer. Ask anyone who’s spent any length of time here and the words you’re likely to hear will include hot; humid; hot; sweaty; hot; suffocating… not quite the words that imply the ideal climate for a wine tasting focused on the titanic Italian regions of Barolo and Brunello di Montalcino, are they? Maybe not… With vintages as ...
ON August 19, 2015
What winemakers are drinking this Christmas
What winemakers are drinking this Christmas
There’s no better time than Christmas to open a treasured bottle or two. Ahead of the big day, we asked a handful of our favourite winemakers – from Saskia de Rothschild to Klaus-Peter Keller – to tell us what they’ll be uncorking For the aperitif For Domaine Long-Depaquit’s Matthieu Mangenot it is the energy and power of Champagne Brut Nature ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON December 11, 2020
The Great Wines of Italy Tasting
The Great Wines of Italy Tasting
Last Friday, James Suckling, in association with Hong Kong Tatler, hosted the Great Wines of Italy event in the Four Seasons Hotel. This is the third year that this successful event has been held. Over two hundred wines from seventy-seven producers, including Bibi Graetz, Castello Banfi, Ceretto, Fontodi, La Spinetta, Luce della Vita, Masi, Ornellaia, Poderi, Aldo Conterno, Roberto Voerzio, Siro Pacenti, ...
ON December 12, 2014
The Magic of Valdicava
The Magic of Valdicava
Buying trips are frequently a Curate’s Egg. On the one hand there is no greater pleasure for a merchant, or at least for me, than a discovery – be it a domaine, a region or a particular wine. But this doesn’t come without a great deal of hard work: tasting, talking, note taking. And then there’s Gatwick airport and the ...
ON August 29, 2014
Where Winemakers Eat: Part 1
Where Winemakers Eat: Part 1
As we look ahead to a world opening up again, our minds are full of ideas of things to see and do this summer. For any true epicurean, a list of top restaurants to visit requires serious deliberation. To help inspire you, we asked some of our favourite winemakers from around the world to give their recommendations. Alsace – Olivier Humbrecht Food and wine are ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON January 2, 2020
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
What to look out for this January
What to look out for this January
Burgundy continues to dominate as we kick off the New Year, but this month will also see a host of new releases from the Rhône, Tuscany, Spain and a special cask offering: here’s our pick of the bunch Burgundy  January tends to be dominated by the major new releases from Burgundy. With rave reviews from the critics, combined with the reduction in volumes, demand for the 2019s is set to be high. This month will see major releases from the likes ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON January 7, 2021
FINE+RARE Roundup: w/c 29 February 2016
FINE+RARE Roundup: w/c 29 February 2016
Our roundup for week commencing 29 February 2016, telling you what's been selling at FINE+RARE and what to expect in the coming weeks… What's Been Selling Cellars to Sellers A couple of big cellars came online this week from our Private Cellar Management team. These moved quickly with over £100k worth of wine being sold in a single day. Back ...
ON March 4, 2016
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
What Do Fine Wine Producers Really Drink?
What Do Fine Wine Producers Really Drink?
They make some of the world's great fine wine, but what do they choose to drink themselves? What do they pour for their friends? Jessica Bryans asks five top producers to share what's in their glass... *Clockwise from Top Left: Pierre and Sophie Larmandier, Francine Picard, Carlo Ferrini, Giovanni Mazzei, Cesare Bussolo and Denis Varnier* When visiting a great producer I ...
ON November 18, 2015
FINE+RARE Roundup: w/c 22 February 2016
FINE+RARE Roundup: w/c 22 February 2016
Our weekly roundup tells you what's been traded in week commencing 22 February 2016 and what to keep an eye out for in the coming weeks… What's Been Selling Big Hitters Good availability of interesting Domaine de la Romanée Conti surfaced and were picked off by collectors. Guado al Tasso captured the imagination this week, potentially inspired by the sad ...
ON February 26, 2016
Gaja: The Legendary Estate at the Heart of Barbaresco
Gaja: The Legendary Estate at the Heart of Barbaresco
GAJA: THE IMPORTANCE The wines of Angelo Gaja have been at the forefront of Piedmont for many years. An ancient family domaine established in the 1850s, the business was revolutionised by Angelo when he joined in 1961, bringing methods and a philosophy that were decades ahead of their time. He introduced higher density planting and green harvesting to the region ...
ON January 18, 2019
The Best Red Wine Ever Made? A Billionaire’s Bucket List
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
Visiting Gianfranco Soldera
Visiting Gianfranco Soldera
In her Tuscany wine Journal FINE+RARE buyer Jess Bryans described meeting the great Gianfranco Soldera at Case Basse. Now, in this full-length article she recounts her visit with this winemaking icon in full detail - from touring the vines to a delicious Italian supper.     By normal standards, every day should be good when you work in wine - you’ll ...
ON November 6, 2015
FINE+RARE Roundup: w/c 7 March 2016
FINE+RARE Roundup: w/c 7 March 2016
Our roundup of what's been selling in week commencing 7 March 2016 and what to look out for in the coming weeks… What's Been Selling Rare, Ex-Cellar, Aged Burgundy from Remoissenet This week saw an exquisite offering of very late release red Burgundies in bottles and magnums from deep within Remoissenet's ancient vaults. These wines are both highly rated by ...
ON March 10, 2016
Wines To Watch in January 2020
Wines To Watch in January 2020
January is the month in which our Burgundy 2018 En Primeur campaign really hits top gear with the majority of domaines releasing their wines to market for the first time. Stay tuned for releases from Groffier, Lamarche, Gros Frère et Sœur and many more, including our top picks from Domaine Hudelot Noellat and Domaine Tortochot. Outside of the En Primeur ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON January 2, 2020
Soldera 2010 Charity Auction - London 28th November 2018
Soldera 2010 Charity Auction - London 28th November 2018
“During the night between 2nd and 3rd December 2012, unknown people broke into Soldera’s cellar at Case Basse; they did not steal a single bottle, but with an extremely serious act of deliberate criminal vandalism for the whole area, they opened the valves of 10 barrels of 6 vintages of future Brunello di Montalcino: 2007-2008-2009-2010-2011-2012. The loss amounted to 62,600 ...
ON November 30, 2018
The Great Wines of The World Tasting
The Great Wines of The World Tasting
Jacky Cheng with James Suckling at the Great Wines of the World Tasting Last Friday James Suckling, in association with Hong Kong Tatler, hosted the fifth ‘Great Wines of the World' tasting at the Four Season’s Hotel, Hong Kong. The event featured wines from 11 countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Chile, France, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and US from ...
ON November 6, 2014
Unmissable Wines This July
Unmissable Wines This July
For many in the wine trade, July and August are a hiatus between the Bordeaux EP campaign and the flurry of releases we will see in September.  Not here! Call us impatient but there are too many wines in the line-up to our clients that we are absolutely bursting to offer. Summer is definitely an exciting period. The F+R buying ...
BY Katie Reading,
ON July 5, 2019
Monica Soldera Interview
Monica Soldera Interview
Soldera is one of Italy’s most iconic and best-loved wines amongst aficionados and collectors across the globe. In top vintages it remains the absolute benchmark for Sangiovese par excellence. There are few wines in the world that can achieve the same level of ethereal beauty found in Soldera. Soldera has always been a family affair and, following the passing of founder ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON March 19, 2020
New Releases Not To Be Missed This Month: February 2019
New Releases Not To Be Missed This Month: February 2019
Undoubtedly this month’s biggest release will be Sassicaia 2016, the first vintage to score the perfect 100 points by the Wine Advocate since the legendary 1985, the vintage that made Sassicaia a global icon for fine wine.  Reviewer Monica Larner states that "the 2016 vintage shows pinpoint sharpness and precision” and “stands tall next to the epic 1985” offering “an ...
ON January 31, 2019
FINE+RARE Quarterly Report: 2014 Q3
FINE+RARE Quarterly Report: 2014 Q3
The Market: The Bordeaux market has been suffering for three years now: talk to any merchant about what is selling well and the last thing that they will say is “Bordeaux”.  Those with an interest in prices have been calling the bottom for some time now, though it has had the air of the boy crying “Wolf!”.  That said, it looks ...
ON October 3, 2014
In the glass
In the glass
Each month, we ask a handful of our team to pick a wine or spirit they’ve tasted recently – a bottle that surprised, delighted or merely lived up to high expectations. Here’s what they chose 2005 Charmes-Chambertin, Grand Cru, Dennis Bachelet “Denis Bachelet’s wines are part of our family history, and we have always followed the domaine. My family has ...
BY FINE+RARE,
ON January 22, 2021
Top Wines + Spirits of 2019: FINE+RARE Staff Picks
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
Tuscany 2016 - A Stellar Vintage
Tuscany 2016 - A Stellar Vintage
Two magnificent vintages back to back: after the powerful 2015 comes the stellar 2016 - a standout for its purity and elegance. After tasting the first major 2015 releases last year it was clear this vintage in Tuscany was something very special. When wines like Solaia 2015 scored their first 100 points from the Wine Advocate and other iconic ...
ON June 28, 2019
A Year in Wine: 1999
A Year in Wine: 1999
In the latest instalment in our Vintage Series, FINE+RARE explores the last year of the 20th century and discovers it was a season to remember. We speak directly with Francois Millet from Domaine Georges Comte de Vogue on what made 1999 so special. Philippe Guigal hadn’t yet met his future wife – it would be another nine years before he ...
BY Rebecca Gibb MW,
ON April 8, 2020
Market Outlook March 2013
Market Outlook March 2013
The Market in February Improved market confidence Prices for some blue chip Bordeaux have strengthened for the first time in many months. Although it is too early to say whether this represents the start of a wider upturn, confidence in the fine wine market has certainly improved in February, driven partly by improved conditions in the wider economy (the FTSE ...
ON March 11, 2013

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