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Olivier Bernstein's Bespoke Burgundy
Olivier Bernstein's Bespoke Burgundy
Undoubtedly one of our most memorable stops during our Autumn visit to Burgundy this year was the magnificent cellar of Olivier Bernstein in the heart of the old district of Beaune. Olivier Bernstein’s property is breathtaking, even before trying the wines in the cellar below. Olivier had the property completely renovated between 2005 and 2010, with the help of ...
ON November 26, 2019
A Feast with Olivier Humbrecht at Hunan
A Feast with Olivier Humbrecht at Hunan
After our wonderful masterclass with Olivier Humbrecht of Domaine Zind-Humbrecht, we whisked him away, along with a few of our customers, to Hunan – one of London’s leading Chinese restaurants. Olivier planned another brilliant tasting for us – a Heimbourg vertical – designed to showcase the particularities of this single vineyard. With a particular focus on the Heimbourg Gewurztraminer, the ...
ON August 6, 2014
Olivier Humbrecht - "A Genius of Wine"
Olivier Humbrecht - "A Genius of Wine"
Meeting with Olivier Humbrecht is always an insightful experience. Not only is he incredibly erudite in his approach to viticulture and winemaking but he has the rare talent of being able to communicate fairly complex ideas around the subject in a very clear and digestible manner. Olivier was in London earlier this year giving a masterclass on single vineyard Pinot Gris from Alsace. His ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON February 26, 2020
Solving the premox problem: Olivier Lamy
Solving the premox problem: Olivier Lamy
Premature oxidation has plagued the modern era of white Burgundy – but could it be a thing of the past? Recent research by Olivier Lamy – the experimental winemaker at the helm of Domaine Hubert Lamy – could hold the key to solving the problem. We caught up with him to find out more  When visiting the cellars of Domaine ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON January 7, 2021
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
Burgundy 2019: our favourites
Burgundy 2019: our favourites
There was no shortage of brilliant wine in 2019 – and narrowing down a list of favourites from the many superb wines we tasted wasn’t easy. These 10, however, stood out in the year's enviable line-up 2019 Meursault, Premier Cru, Gouttes d’Or, Louis Jadot Gouttes d’Or is one of the cooler Premier Cru sites in Meursault and therefore excels in ...
BY FINE+RARE,
ON November 6, 2020
2018 Red Burgundy Review
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
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
A New Era for Domaine Billaud-Simon
A New Era for Domaine Billaud-Simon
In 2014 Domaine Faiveley acquired one of the best-known names in Chablis, Domaine Billaud-Simon, amassing around 20 hectares of vineyards in some of the best terroirs in the region. During the takeover, Olivier Bailly stepped in as winemaker taking charge of winemaking from the 2014 vintage and gaining full viticultural control from 2015. Olivier has had some great experience both ...
ON August 2, 2018
Krug
Krug
We were delighted to welcome Olivier Krug to our offices last week for an eye-opening tasting of some of his wines.  Olivier spends much of his time pressing the flesh: few do it with such knowledge and with such genuine enthusiasm. There is an insiders’ secret about Krug.  Simple, yet true.  And something I’ve always believed. The general perception is that ...
ON February 24, 2015
24 Hours in Alsace
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
What to look out for this December
What to look out for this December
From the latest Brunello and Burgundy releases to a Canadian rye whiskey, there’s no shortage of exciting wines and spirits coming out this month – but here’s our pick of the best BRILLIANT BRUNELLO With all the excitement surrounding the releases of the straight Brunellos from 2016, December will see the 2015 Riservas share some of the limelight. Riservas are ...
BY FINE+RARE,
ON December 4, 2020
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
Burgundy 2019: the reds
Burgundy 2019: the reds
As last week’s look at 2019 white Burgundy revealed, the vintage is rapidly proving to be one of the most exciting in recent memory. Here Sophie Thorpe reports on the reds – wines of outstanding balance that have a long future ahead of them As we’ve already discussed in our pieces on Chablis and the whites of the Côte de ...
BY Sophie Thorpe,
ON October 30, 2020
Domaine Zind Humbrecht - Discover the top terroir sites of Alsace
Domaine Zind Humbrecht - Discover the top terroir sites of Alsace
Last week we were fortunate to have the man himself, Olivier Humbrecht, from legendary Domaine Zind Humbrecht in our London office presenting a fascinating tasting through the different top vineyard sites of Alsace. Through the tasting we sampled the different varietals grown on the same vineyards, as opposed to tasting in varietal order. It was an intriguing insight into terroir ...
ON June 7, 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
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
Burgundy 2016 En Primeur: Super Bon Millésime
Burgundy 2016 En Primeur: Super Bon Millésime
Over recent months we’ve made several forays over to France to get a sense of the upcoming Burgundy 2016 En Primeur campaign. Read on for our initial findings… On our travels the winemakers have described Burgundy 2016 as a “super bon millésime”, and what we have tasted to date bears testament to that… What should you buy? Your favourite producers ...
ON October 27, 2017
Does vintage matter?
Does vintage matter?
Each year we focus on the new vintages released from Burgundy, Bordeaux and elsewhere. In an era when truly bad vintages are a thing of the past, Gavin Smith wonders whether in fact it's the hand of the winemaker that reigns supreme At the time of the latest vintage release from Burgundy, it is always the year’s conditions that dominate ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON November 19, 2020
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
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
The Best Places to Eat in Burgundy – According to Local Winemakers
The Best Places to Eat in Burgundy – According to Local Winemakers
Whilst Burgundy is famed for its Chardonnay and Pinot Noir production, it is also one of the great gastronomic regions of France, with a distinct and varied array of homespun culinary delights. The region has so much to offer, and the main town of Beaune is a magnet for wine loving tourists from all around the world. Like all popular holiday destinations ...
ON September 20, 2018
Chablis 2019: a first look at the vintage
Chablis 2019: a first look at the vintage
As the first Chablis 2019s are released, we talk to top producers in the region – including Samuel Billaud, Matthieu Mangenot from Domaine Long-Depaquit and Olivier Bailly from Domaine Billaud-Simon – about the vintage The growing season in 2019, as is becoming the norm these days, started with a warm February and March, leading to an early budbreak at the ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON September 24, 2020
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
Zind Humbrecht - A Pure Representation of Place and Time
Zind Humbrecht - A Pure Representation of Place and Time
Widely acknowledged as one of the legendary wineries in Alsace, the wines of Domaine Zind Humbrecht are nothing short of magical. The pedigree is undeniable; the estate boasts over 100 acres of vineyards, including 4 of the prestigious Grand Crus - Rangen, Brand, Hengst and Goldert -  and single vineyards - Rotenberg, Clos Hauserer, Herrenweg, Clos Jebsal, Heimbeourg and Clos ...
ON July 16, 2015
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
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
Krug's New Release: An Irrefusable Invite for a Sneak Preview
Krug's New Release: An Irrefusable Invite for a Sneak Preview
Whilst not best known for my self-discipline, offers that simply CAN’T be refused are few and far between.  One such offer came late last year: would I like to hop on a couple of trains and spent a little time with Olivier Krug and his team for a sneak preview of the next vintage to be released?  Erm... Krug has ...
ON January 20, 2014
Wine O'Clock Hong Kong Style
Wine O'Clock Hong Kong Style
Last month we opened the doors of our office in Hong Kong to our clients for a series of wine tastings. The idea was simple – showcase a broad range of wines, which encapsulate exactly what FINE+RARE does best. These informal, intimate Friday afternoon tastings allow our clients to taste the wines at their leisure whilst also having the opportunity ...
ON August 11, 2014
June 2013 - Market Report
June 2013 - Market Report
Demand for the 2011 Ports accelerated in May. Jancis Robinson’s enthusiasm for the vintage was echoed by James Suckling, who calls it ‘a modern rendition of the 1966’, and suggests that vintage Port is ‘one of the best buys in the young fine wine in the world’. The Wine Advocate - very unusually - brought forward publication of its Port ...
ON June 3, 2013
Bordeaux 2020: vintage overview
Bordeaux 2020: vintage overview
The 2020 vintage in Bordeaux was not easy – but the resulting wines are undeniably very good. After several weeks’ tasting and talking extensively, we give an overview of the eventful year and the impressive wines it produced  Talking to producers about the 2020 vintage in Bordeaux, their excitement is palpable. Dramatic gesticulation and unabashed grins made for little modesty, but there is also a certain amount of relief. This was not an easy season for the region’s vignerons – ...
BY Sophie Thorpe,
ON May 12, 2021
An Interview with Andrew Jefford
An Interview with Andrew Jefford
This week we were fortunate enough to delve into the mind of Andrew Jefford, a man who has been writing professionally about wine for over thirty years. A wine writer as opposed to a critic, his thought-provoking approach has been providing insight into a world of wine that has completely transformed over this time... The Language of Wine F+R: On your own ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON November 15, 2019
Burgundy 2017 Early Vintage Insight
Burgundy 2017 Early Vintage Insight
Burgundy 2017 - At A Glance: First ‘normal’ sized harvest since 2009 – the cellars are full for the first time in nearly a decade Dry, early harvest with no hail or frost damage Enthusiasm is building for the reds: Roumier compares these to the 2007 and 2014 vintages; Drouhin compares them to 2002 In the Cote d’Or, whites have ...
ON July 25, 2018
Is climate change threatening the Bordeaux blend?
Is climate change threatening the Bordeaux blend?
Climate change poses a serious threat to wine-growers around the world. Bordeaux has just allowed the use of new grape varieties to help its producers cope with the increasingly hot, dry conditions – but what does this mean for the region’s identity? We talk to the region’s top winemakers about the future of the Bordeaux blend From January 2021, the ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON July 15, 2021
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
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
Bordeaux 2020: a tale of two halves
Bordeaux 2020: a tale of two halves
The 2018 and 2019 vintages might be tough acts to follow, but Bordeaux 2020 seems to be more than up to the job. We spoke to producers about the year’s extreme conditions – and the stunning results it produced Bordeaux 2020 is the third in a trilogy of outstanding vintages for the region – but, talking to producers, one thing ...
BY Sophie Thorpe,
ON April 16, 2021
Domaines Barons de Rothschild: a year of innovation
Domaines Barons de Rothschild: a year of innovation
Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite)’s Jean-Sébastien Philippe speaks to Gavin Smith about the benefits of collaboration amongst its châteaux – Lafite, L’Evangile, Rieussec and Duhart-Milon For many, the past 12 months meant working in isolation and big plans were shelved. At Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite), it was an extremely proactive year of change. These changes have resulted in the strongest line ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON June 9, 2021
Burgundy 2019: the whites
Burgundy 2019: the whites
Burgundy producers are just starting to release their 2019s – a vintage that offers amazing consistency and balance. After a week tasting in the Côte d’Or, Gavin Smith delves deeper into the whites of the Côte de Beaune, putting the vintage in context “Good maturity, a nice freshness and lots of energy” Olivier Lamy, Domaine Hubert Lamy “Microscopic grapes each ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON October 21, 2020
Just Landed: F+R Home Hong Kong Collection Highlights
Just Landed: F+R Home Hong Kong Collection Highlights
F+R HOME is our contemporary retail and private members’ space in the prime Central district of Hong Kong. It's a destination where you can discover, drink and purchase some of the finest wines ever made. This week saw the arrival of our first collection of wines into the venue; a selection of some of the rarest wines in existence, many ...
ON August 17, 2018
Bordeaux 2015 En Primeur: Early Opinions
Bordeaux 2015 En Primeur: Early Opinions
Find out what the critics are saying about Bordeaux 2015 En Primeur and start setting alerts for the wines you want… Bordeaux 2015 Vintage Hopes have been high for the Bordeaux 2015 vintage ever since the harvest. Early opinions from critics, industry experts and winemakers suggest this is an excellent vintage; the best since 2010 and potentially surpassing it in ...
ON March 29, 2016
A return to the wild: beyond organics
A return to the wild: beyond organics
Agriculture is in crisis. Wine producers are at the forefront of the challenges facing farmers around the world – but what can they do? We talk to Olivier Humbrecht MW, Bruno Schloegel, Michel Chapoutier and Gaia Gaja about rewilding, regenerative farming and the vine’s long-term viability In a report published in 2014 by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, under ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON October 14, 2021
Krug 2002: One of the most exciting releases of the decade
Krug 2002: One of the most exciting releases of the decade
For those of you who have been champing at the bit for the release of Krug 2002, one of the greatest vintages from the King of Champagne, the long wait is almost over. We've now tasted it and can confirm that it is unequivocally worth all of the hype. But, as supply will be extremely limited and demand unimaginably high, ...
ON January 15, 2016
FINE+RARE: The 2013 Burgundy Report
FINE+RARE: The 2013 Burgundy Report
We visited Burgundy early in November and spent a week extensively tasting the 2013 Burgundy vintage. These wines are just starting to appear on to the market and we will see most of the wines released over the next couple of months. Burgundy is changing. 2013 is the fourth short crop in a row for the Burgundians, and some growers, ...
ON December 1, 2014
The constant farmer: Noëmie Durantou Reilhac
The constant farmer: Noëmie Durantou Reilhac
Having taken over from her late father, Denis Durantou, Noëmie Durantou Reilhac of Ch. l’Eglise-Clinet tells Sophie Thorpe how the vines were a constant in an emotionally wrought year – and what lies ahead for the vigneron family  The 2020 vintage was challenging for most vignerons. But for the Durantou family, it was a year that demanded everything of them. Denis Durantou – patriarch and leading light of Pomerol – passed away on 12th May. For many people, their day-job would be ...
BY Sophie Thorpe,
ON July 1, 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
Bordeaux 2015 En Primeur: Vintage Update
Bordeaux 2015 En Primeur: Vintage Update
Bordeaux 2015 En Primeur has begun. Find out more about the vintage, critic opinions and the major appellations… Bordeaux 2015 Vintage Bordeaux 2015 appears to be a strong vintage. It is neither a left or right bank vintage, a Merlot or Cabernet vintage, a red or white vintage. There is outstanding quality in all areas, but it is not across ...
ON April 22, 2016
Fine+Rare 2013 Six-Month Report
Fine+Rare 2013 Six-Month Report
Key Releases and Events 2011 Burgundy: Demand for the 2011s wasn’t quite on a par with that for 2009 & 2010, despite many tasters rating them as superior to the former and only a notch behind the latter. These are “drinkers” wines as opposed to “collectors” wines, which will no doubt disappear from the market as bottles are opened. We were ...
ON July 18, 2013
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
Bordeaux 2018: Early Vintage Insight from the Producers
Bordeaux 2018: Early Vintage Insight from the Producers
Excitement is building for the upcoming release of 2018 Bordeaux with the En Primeur tastings just weeks away. As soon as harvest began we started hearing from relieved vignerons who, after a tough start to the growing season, saw the weather turn in July for an uninterrupted long dry summer right up to picking. As the wine went through fermentation, ...
ON March 8, 2019

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