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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
Grower Champagne - The Insider's Guide
Grower Champagne - The Insider's Guide
Recently, our buying team took a trip to Champagne specifically to get to know the ‘grower’ Champagne producers that we have been working with; a fascinating and exciting selection of wines that have become increasingly popular amongst our team and clients. Small Production, Inherently Artisanal Wines These ‘grower’ Champagnes are by definition crafted by the Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and ...
ON July 8, 2015
Your definitive guide to Barolo
Your definitive guide to Barolo
Age-worthy yet terroir transparent, Barolo is a fascinating region. Its complex, varied terroir often draws comparisons with Burgundy. Here we delve into “the king of wines and wine of kings” – from its aristocratic beginnings to the villages, vineyards and producers to look out for Barolo remains the most important region in the world for Nebbiolo. This variety is one ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON March 12, 2021
Hermitage: Vintage Guide 1999-2018
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
Bordeaux 2021: a commune-by-commune guide
Bordeaux 2021: a commune-by-commune guide
In 2021, it is incredibly hard to make any generalisations – this really is a vintage to be assessed by individual estate. Below we do our best to break down the year by commune; read all our coverage of the year – including our run-down of the growing conditions and vintage overview – here THE LEFT BANK Overall looking at ...
BY Sophie Thorpe,
ON May 12, 2022
F+R's Guide to Buying Bespoke Whisky Casks
F+R's Guide to Buying Bespoke Whisky Casks
The rare whisky market is a competitive place. Across countless auctions houses, online retailers, and secondary trading groups, collectors the world over close deals each day. Well-aged, limited bottles are at the forefront of the rare whisky market, however, there is another branch of whisky to invest in and enjoy that remains quite undiscovered when compared to bottles. We’re talking about casks, and ...
BY George Koutsakis,
ON February 26, 2020
Your Guide to Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion
Your Guide to Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion
Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion is one of the greatest estates in all of Bordeaux, arguably the King of the Left Bank. Robert Parker has awarded it more 100 point scores than any other wine in the Medoc, equalling Petrus in achieving 12 perfect 100 point scores. Of course, the reputation and quality of the wines from this estate long predate ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON March 5, 2020
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
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
The Super Tuscans: everything you need to know
The Super Tuscans: everything you need to know
Sassicaia, Tignanello, Ornellaia: these fabled Super Tuscans are some of the world’s most desirable wines – kickstarting Italy’s fine wine renaissance, re-defining its reputation and proving what was possible. But how did these lowly table wines rise to the top of the fine wine ranks? For a long time, Tuscany was known merely for its squat jugs of rustic Chianti, ...
BY Sophie Thorpe,
ON September 10, 2020
299 Points Wines
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
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
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
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
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
The five most read features in 2020
The five most read features in 2020
This year saw us publish over 120 articles. From producer interviews and region guides to vintage reports, here are the five pieces that proved most popular Musar: a year-by-year vintage guide This summer we delved into the history of Chateau Musar – the iconic winery that has long proven the potential of Lebanese terroir. As well as offering a ...
BY FINE+RARE,
ON December 31, 2020
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
Ornellaia: a cheat sheet
Ornellaia: a cheat sheet
With the release of 2018 Ornellaia on the horizon, we tell you everything you need to know about the estate – and why it’s become such an icon of the Italian fine wine scene   What is Ornellaia?  Ornellaia is one of Italy’s most respected wineries, based in the Tuscan foothills of Bolgheri. Its top wine – simply titled Ornellaia – is a Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot, first produced in ...
BY FINE+RARE,
ON March 25, 2021
How to Buy Fine Wine – 5 Essential Tips
How to Buy Fine Wine – 5 Essential Tips
The world of fine wine is a vast and exciting one, but if you’re new to the market the choice can be overwhelming: where to start, what to try and what to buy?  At FINE+RARE, we’ve had 25 years of experience helping clients buy the best in fine wine, so we've learnt a thing or two about what to do (and ...
ON November 18, 2015
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 di Montalcino: 2010 and 2011 Riserva preview
Brunello di Montalcino: 2010 and 2011 Riserva preview
FINE+RARE buyer Jessica Bryans shares her guide to buying and tasting the upcoming 2011 and 2010 Riserva releases from Brunello di Montalcino 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 – a feeling of excitement about the ...
ON November 11, 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
Matching Christmas food and wine
Matching Christmas food and wine
There are myriad things to think about at Christmas. From gifts to the three-course (minimum) feast, there are lots of spinning plates (figuratively and literally). We explore the best wine pairings for your Christmas meal, so you can tick that off your seemingly endless to-do list With all the work that goes into planning festive catering, it’s important to choose ...
ON November 30, 2015
New Releases Not To Be Missed This Month: September
New Releases Not To Be Missed This Month: September
As the summer holidays draw to a close, the wine industry bursts back into action in September with a flurry of new releases from some of the world’s finest wineries. Top releases this month include wines from almost every corner of the globe, providing something to suit everyone’s tastes. The most notable releases include Masseto 2015, Chateau d'Yquem 2016, Solaia 2015, ...
ON August 30, 2018
Everything you need to know about Port
Everything you need to know about Port
Rich, complex and deeply rewarding, at its best Port is one of the most age-worthy styles of wine produced today. Here’s a quick guide to the fortified wine – from the various styles made to the best vintages to buy What is Port? Port is a fortified wine made in the Douro Valley in Portugal. Traditionally the wines were shipped ...
BY FINE+RARE,
ON December 18, 2020
Cecilia Monte: Boutique Barbaresco at its Best
Cecilia Monte: Boutique Barbaresco at its Best
After working for many years under the guidance of the legendary Barolo producer Luciano Sandrone, Cecilia Monte set up her own winery in the northern-most cru of Barbaresco - Neive - in 2000. We have been so impressed with the wines we have tasted from this estate we wanted to sit down with Cecilia to find out how she does it! Her single vineyard Serracapelli ...
ON January 18, 2019
“Let the big guns roar” www.kanonkop.co.za
“Let the big guns roar” www.kanonkop.co.za
This wine is as elusive as seeing a badger crossing your local high street. Actually it is almost impossible to find any bottles of South African wine from the 1998 vintage, so if you ever have the chance to visit, there are two things you need to bring back with you. The first is a sun-tan. The second: any bottles ...
BY FINE+RARE,
ON May 4, 2012
Venusa: The New Artisanal beer from the amazing Venissa Heritage Project
Venusa: The New Artisanal beer from the amazing Venissa Heritage Project
Venusa artisanal beer is the latest release from the talented craftsmen at Venissa who, thanks to a combination of biological expertise and historical investigation, have created a beer that uniquely represents the flora and fauna of the Venetian islands, as well as rekindling the lost agricultural traditions that made Venice the thriving mercantile centre of Europe during the Renaissance. Venusa ...
ON April 18, 2019
Castello di Ama - Leading the Renaissance of Chianti Classico
Castello di Ama - Leading the Renaissance of Chianti Classico
This week we were fortunate enough to source a selection of rare, aged parcels of single-vineyard Chianti Classico Gran Selezione, direct from the cellars of Castello di Ama. This winery has been a leading light in the renaissance of the Chianti Classico region and should be firmly on everyone’s fine wine radar. Castello di Ama is a must-have for anyone seeking ...
ON October 11, 2018
The Red Grapes of Fine Wine
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
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
A Year in Wine: 1961
A Year in Wine: 1961
The benefit of hindsight tells us this story did not end happily ever after, but for the 750 million people tuning in to the wedding of Lady Diana Spencer and the Prince of Wales, the day was fit for a fairy-tale complete with gold-encrusted carriage, silk slippers and trumpet fanfares aplenty.  The champagne of choice? Magnums of Dom Pérignon 1961–  Diana’s birth ...
BY Rebecca Gibb MW,
ON April 22, 2020
Terroir Immersion Therapy with Sébastien Le Golvet
Terroir Immersion Therapy with Sébastien Le Golvet
We learn a lot from winemakers around the world but often it extends well beyond their vocation. No more so than with Sébastien Le Golvet, whose philosophy as a vigneron extends far beyond the vineyard. Under the mentorship of his father-in-law Claude Giraud, Sébastien believes a total immersion in one’s surroundings is essential to better understand it. Working with something that is ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON April 8, 2020
F+R Retreats: A Culinary Escape to Barolo
F+R Retreats: A Culinary Escape to Barolo
Travelling up and down the rolling hills of Barolo, it is impossible to ignore the abundance of culinary delights growing all around you. From vineyards and hazelnut trees, to little patches of woodland famed for their truffles... As we travel through the region, our guide Giacomo points out a spot good for white truffles, another more renowned for the black variety. And he should ...
ON April 13, 2018
Rioja Revolutionary - F+R meets Artadi's Juan Carlos Lopez de Lacalle
Rioja Revolutionary - F+R meets Artadi's Juan Carlos Lopez de Lacalle
Last week F+R met up with Artadi’s owner and winemaker Juan Carlos Lopez de Lacalle. On meeting Juan you would not immediately think that this man is one of the most powerful producers in Spain. He is friendly, unassuming, excitable and immensely proud to be working with his youngest daughter, Patricia, who has recently joined the business along with her ...
ON November 8, 2018
Paired to Perfection: Matching Festive Food + Fine Wine
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
New to La Place this year: Beaulieu Vineyards, Jim Barry + Wynns
New to La Place this year: Beaulieu Vineyards, Jim Barry + Wynns
The list of fine wines released via La Place de Bordeaux each September grows each year. Here, we introduce three of the most exciting wines joining the line-up in 2020: Beaulieu Vineyards Georges de Latour Private Reserve, Jim Barry The Armagh Shiraz and Wynns John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon Each September, the new vintages of an exclusive group of fine wines ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON August 31, 2020
Chile's Grand Crus
Chile's Grand Crus
Chile’s most iconic wines have come on a long way in the last decade. With producers increasingly focusing on expressing site rather than creating a particular style, a handful of areas are emerging as the country’s Grands Crus – as Amanda Barnes reveals. When a red blend from Chile became the first wine from outside Bordeaux to be offered on La Place in 1998, it no ...
BY Amanda Barnes,
ON September 9, 2020
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
24 Hours in... Burgundy
24 Hours in... Burgundy
With the Burgundy 2018 En Primeur sales in full swing we thought it topical to offer our top tips for visiting the region. With two native Burgundians in our buying team, who better than them to outline the local delicacies not to miss, the top wine lists and the best restaurants in the region. Top Special Occasion Restaurant – Lameloise (3* ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON December 12, 2019
A new chapter for Napa
A new chapter for Napa
Napa’s finest wines receive stratospheric scores – but there’s much more to the region’s story. Gavin Smith talks to Master Sommelier and Colgin COO about why it’s time to stop focusing on critical acclaim and let Napa’s vineyards speak for themselves Last year Colgin celebrated its 30th harvest. In a relatively short time, this Napa estate has become one of the ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON February 4, 2022
Coming Soon: October 2016
Coming Soon: October 2016
After a big September of releases, October shows no signs of slowing down. We are therefore delighted to bring you an insider’s guide of what to expect release-wise over the coming month... Below you’ll find a brief, but once again not exhaustive, run down of the releases expected during October. As ever, demand will be high, so please make sure ...
ON September 29, 2016
Q&A with Xavier Vignon
Q&A with Xavier Vignon
The latest Chateauneuf-du-Pape frenzy at FINE+RARE is Xavier Vins - oenologist Xavier Vignon‘s project that has taken Rhone fans by storm. Vignon has worked for many of the top names in Chateauneuf and has become one of the most highly regarded consultant winemakers in the region. He started his negociant business in 2002, when after many years of buying the ...
ON September 1, 2015
Bordeaux Revival: A Reinvention of the City
Bordeaux Revival: A Reinvention of the City
A prince’s kiss rouses the cursed princess from a century-long slumber in Sleeping Beauty but the man responsible for Bordeaux’s long-overdue reawakening was not a prince (this being the French Republic after all) but Alain Juppé, France’s former Prime Minister. Bordeaux had been comatosed earning it the nickname la belle endormie but the indefatigable politician has given the city the kiss ...
BY Rebecca Gibb MW,
ON May 12, 2020
F+R Visit Castello Di Ama
F+R Visit Castello Di Ama
With the releases of the new Chianti Classico 2016s upon us, there is no greater time than to travel around the region, tasting what this magical vintage has to offer. Where better to start than the beautiful hamlet of Ama in the southern tip and highest point of the Chianti Classico designation. Here you will find the exceptional Castello Di ...
ON July 5, 2019
Chateau Margaux - Talking Terroir with Aurelien Valance
Chateau Margaux - Talking Terroir with Aurelien Valance
Chateau Margaux is one of the world’s most iconic and historic wineries, producing some of the finest wine in the region for over 600 years. Despite its historical roots it has never rested on its laurels, remaining at the forefront of top Bordeaux wine production. More than ever, the owners and team are committed to retaining its reputation, investing huge ...
ON November 22, 2019
Hugh Johnson: the wine whisperer
Hugh Johnson: the wine whisperer
Since he started writing about wine in the 1960s, Hugh Johnson has sold 20 million books. As a new edition of The Story of Wine is published by Académie du Vin Library, Sophie Thorpe talks to the best-selling author about a lifetime spent telling – and selling – the stories behind every bottle “Turbot,” Hugh Johnson says, the sense of ...
BY Sophie Thorpe,
ON October 1, 2020
Burgundy 2019: the critics' verdict
Burgundy 2019: the critics' verdict
The world’s leading wine critics have spoken, and their verdict on Burgundy 2019 is in. No one was short of something to say about the fascinating year. Here, we round-up what they said about the vintage Wine Advocate – William Kelley There was such demand for Kelley’s official report on the vintage that the Wine Advocate site momentarily crashed under ...
BY Sophie Thorpe,
ON January 22, 2021
The Alchemy of Affinage With Cheese Guru Bernard Antony
The Alchemy of Affinage With Cheese Guru Bernard Antony
Eating cheese and drinking fine wine is really one of life’s little pleasures. The skills in matching the right cheese with the right wines is no easy task and something taken very seriously amongst the world's finest wine and cheese makers. One name that kept cropping up when speaking to winemakers about wine and cheese pairing was Bernard Antony, a ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON February 5, 2020
Fine Wine Glasses - Function versus Aesthetics
Fine Wine Glasses - Function versus Aesthetics
Fine wine demands the perfect glass to provide the ultimate sensory experience but the resting place of the final pour has long been neglected. But it’s all change.  FINE+RARE talks to Europe’s leading glass makers from the 250-year old Austrian family-run firm Riedel to the young dynamo behind Grassl, which launched in 2018. We also speak to Master of Wine ...
BY Rebecca Gibb MW,
ON April 29, 2020

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