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Behind the Bottle: Clos des Goisses Champagne
Philipponnat’s single vineyard Clos des Goisses is one of Champagne’s most famous vineyards. It is the steepest, directly south-facing vineyard in the whole of Champagne (between 30- 45% gradient), and the hottest site in the region. It is a 5.5 hectare narrow strip (800 metres long and 100 metres wide) perfectly positioned to push the natural ripeness of the grapes to a level ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON February 19, 2020
Top Under-the-Radar Single Plots in Burgundy
For all of us Burgundy obsessives the individual plots conjure up a magical sense of variety in Burgundy. The Grand Crus and even the top Premier Cru wines provide such unique personalities, aficionados can’t help but get attached to particular sites whose terroir speaks directly to them. Whilst there are many great single vineyard sites throughout the Cote d’Or we ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON December 12, 2019
Simonit & Sirch Launch New Pruning Course
BY Gavin Smith,
ON November 27, 2019
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 ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON September 13, 2019
EARLY 2019 VINTAGE INSIGHT FROM BORDEAUX
As we move into September and the final few weeks prior to harvest, winemakers from around Europe are starting to get a good understanding of how the vintage is looking. We spoke to a number of top producers in Bordeaux to get an early insight into what we might expect from the 2019 vintage. We are pleased to report there ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON September 4, 2019
Feel the Energy! – F+R visits the secluded vineyards of Hegarty Chamans
Last week we visited a very special vineyard situated on the limits of the Minervois appellation yet completely secluded, surrounded by forests and lavender fields. The Hegarty Chamans property is a beguiling place and the moment you set foot on the property you sense the almost shamanic power this property holds, and was historically named after. Whilst the Languedoc ...
BY Gavin Smith,
ON July 19, 2019
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
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
Tenerife + its Terroir - in conversation with Jonatan Garçia Lima of Suertes del Marqués
For many of us, Tenerife has more to do with holidays in the sun than fine wine, but there has in fact been a long history of winemaking on the mountain slopes of the northern part of the island, which is much cooler than the tourist hub in the south. The grapes are grown on some of the world's most ...
BY FINE+RARE,
ON May 17, 2019
Chateau Lafleur - Exploring the iconic estate's unique DNA with Omri Ram
It was a great pleasure to spend some time over the last few weeks with Omri Ram, the winemaker and viticulturalist at the helm of Chateau Lafleur - first tasting the new 2018 releases with him at Chateau Lafleur and then again on his recent visit to London. Following the tasting it was no surprise to see the spectacular scores ...
ON May 10, 2019
Chateau Brane Cantenac - Behind the Bottle
Chateau Brane Cantenac has been a consistent performer in Margaux since Henri Lurton took over the property in 1992. But in the last decade the quality has taken another sharp upswing. Even in a mixed vintage like 2014, Brane produced a beautiful wine. 2015 and 2016 were both outstanding and arguably some of the best wines ever made at the ...
ON March 22, 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
Roberto Cipresso: The Master of Marginal Winemaking
Roberto Cipresso is a winemaker with a reputation for extreme marginal winemaking; he is determined to push the boundaries of how and where it is possible to produce wine. We made his acquaintance after being introduced to him by the team at Venissa, the unique vineyard located in the Venetian lagoon. Venissa is just one of Roberto’s many winemaking consultancies, with ...
ON March 15, 2019
Adventures in Winemaking: Establishing a Vineyard in Yunnan
Alex Xu is a fine wine pioneer on a journey to grow compelling Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from his recently planted vineyard (淼庐 Miao Lu) in China's mountainous, southwesterly province of Yunnan. His approach to winemaking is rooted in a love for the place and the process, taking him on adventures across the world of fine wine to perfect his craft. ...
ON February 28, 2019
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
Barolo 2015: Vintage Report
“This is a vintage of absolute excellence right away, with great prospects over time for aging” - Roberto Voerzio “2015 is a thrilling vintage of rich yet vibrant wines” - Giuseppe Vajra “In terms of vinosity and richness it is similar to 2009, while for the complexity and intensity of the aromas it is more similar to 2010” - Roberto ...
ON January 31, 2019
Barolo 2015: The Growing Season
We are very grateful to Ferruccio Grimaldi for his in-depth 2015 Growing Season Report below, identifying the key events and elements that affected the 2015 vintage... The 2014 climatic trend has brought an important water reserve that has favoured the cycle of the vines throughout the 2015’s vegetative year, especially during the warmest weeks of the year. The total rainfall ...
ON January 31, 2019
A Very Social Enterprise: Marco Simonit Visits London's Forty Hall Vineyard
Thursday of this week was a great day to find oneself in a vineyard. The sun was low in the sky on a cold December morning as 35 local volunteers arrived to start the winter pruning. But it was no ordinary vineyard. It was London’s one and only fully-functioning commercial vineyard, found in the outskirts of Enfield at the Forty ...
ON December 14, 2018
Rhone 2017: small but excellent
The Rhone Valley is experiencing a real heyday at the moment with a spectacular vintage in 2015 (particularly in the Northern Rhone) followed by a sensational 2016, (particularly for the Southern Rhone appellations). Both vintages produced fantastic ripeness levels due to long, dry, warm (but not over hot) summers. Combine this with distinctly cooler nights, slowing down the ripening whilst ...
ON November 8, 2018
Understanding Rioja - F+R takes a trip to the Ebro Valley
Rioja is a wine I love, so I was delighted when the team and I had the opportunity to visit the heart of Spain’s most well-known wine region. And reflecting after a few days spent exploring the towns of Haro and Logrono, the wineries of CVNE, Vina Real and Contino and their myriad of mid-harvest vineyards, I grew to learn ...
ON October 24, 2018
Designing It Differently: Five Unique Wineries
Great wineries come in many guises. Cutting-edge, contemporary architecture always turns heads, creating monoliths to winemaking on the landscape. Yet there are also plenty of more understated design features incorporated into chateau cellars that deserve a moment in the spotlight - whether to celebrate their technical innovation, unconventional use of raw materials or even conservation of tradition. From the show-stopping to the subtle, we take a look ...
ON September 28, 2018
2018 Harvest Report
Another early harvest gets under way this week in much of Europe, marking the end of the fourth consecutive warm (or “solar”) year in a row. Thankfully yields are up considerably on last year, due to the devastating frosts that defined 2017 being largely avoided this spring. However, the season has been far from plain sailing for some. In particular, Bordeaux suffered from ...
ON August 23, 2018
Petrus - "The Vinous Holy Grail"
** In our previous producer profiles we’ve focused on the five Bordeaux first-growths. Now, we turn our attention to the equally mighty Petrus, the star of Pomerol and producer of some of the world’s finest – and most expensive – wines. Fame and adoration Ask any wine-lover to name the world’s greatest fine wine, and the answer will invariably include ...
ON August 10, 2018
Remoissenet - New Releases from the historic cellars
Remoissenet renowned for arguably the largest cellar of aged Burgundies on the planet have never released these wines on to the market and this therefore marks an exciting opportunity for the many fans of 2005 to buy wines that have remained unmoved in perfect storage in their Beaune cellars since it was produced. 2005 was one of the most iconic ...
ON June 15, 2018
The Saviour of Terroir?
Is Marco Simonit one of the modern viticultural heroes of our time? Working with the likes of Domaine Leroy and Chateau Y’quem, Marco grew to understand that vine age is central to vineyards expressing their terroir. Without age, the vineyards produce more generic varietal characteristics and not what is particular and special to the region. According to Marco, terroir characteristics ...
ON March 28, 2018
Bordeaux Safari: The Story Behind The Vines
Working the vines is a truly magical thing. We are delighted to launch Bordeaux Safari, an exclusive, first-of-its-kind trip where customers can experience the behind-the-scenes management of a top vineyard, overseen by the very best in the business. As any grower will tell you, great wine starts with great vines. While state of the art equipment and care in the ...
BY FINE+RARE,
ON September 19, 2017
Bordeaux 2015: Bill Blatch's Vintage Report
Industry insider Bill Blatch opens the gates on Bordeaux 2015 En Primeur with his in-depth vintage report... Bill Blatch on Bordeaux 2015 Bill Blatch is a Bordeaux expert described by Andrew Jefford as "the wine world's secret agent." His vintage reports are frequently the most accurate, respected and detailed in the wine trade. Below you will find his verbatim Bordeaux ...
ON March 29, 2016
Tortochot: Burgundy "on the upswing"
With 2014 Burgundy En Primeur in full swing, we take a look at Domaine Tortochot – a Burgundian gem that offers stunning wines and excellent value for money. Quality & Value Tortochot’s wines have been a firm favourite with FINE+RARE customers for some time now. The domain crafts wines in a rich and serious style that offer some of the ...
ON February 2, 2016
Le Pin: A Meteoric Rise
For the latest of our series of ** producer profiles** we focus on Chateau Le Pin **one of the great names of Pomerol and one of the rarest and most expensive wines of Bordeaux and the world… Le Pin - what makes it different.  Founded in 1979, Le Pin has swiftly become one of the world's most exclusive wines. To quote the WSJ: “It ...
ON December 9, 2015
Burgundy 2014 - Vintage Report
Jessica Bryans, fine wine buyer at FINE+RARE, shares her thoughts on the 2014 Burgundy vintage following her recent trip to the region. Read on for vintage analysis, wines to watch and the inside look at what the Burgundians are saying themselves... Region: Burgundy Vintage: 2014 In Summary: Burgundy 2014 delivered charming wines that are quintessentially Burgundian. The whites are of ...
ON December 4, 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
Château Haut-Brion – The Insider’s First-Growth
For the last of our profiles on the Bordeaux first-growths we move away from Medoc to Pessac, to examine Chateau Haut-Brion – a first-growth of incredibly quality boasting no fewer than six 100 point Robert Parker scores. The connoisseur’s grand vin The only first growth of Pessac, this estate is set apart from its rivals in both geography and style ...
ON November 11, 2015
Chateau Margaux - Ethereal Elegance and Grace
After profiling the three Pauillac first-growths, we turn our attention to the last of Médoc, the heavenly, ethereal Chateau Margaux.  Chateau Margaux – A Beautiful Chateau Home to Gorgeous Wines While all of the first-growths have helped shape the history of Bordeaux winemaking, none perhaps has left a legacy quite like that Chateau Margaux. Its stately pavilion is ...
ON November 3, 2015
Tuscany Wine Journal, Day Five: Redigaffi
In the last installment of her Tuscan journal, FINE+RARE buyer Jessica Bryans visits Tua Rita, the vineyard behind the phenomenal Redigaffi, and Fonterutoli. Day One · Day Two · Day Three · Day Four My fifth and final day in Italy dawned bright and extremely early. I felt surprisingly fresh after a late dinner the previous evening with the wonderful Giovanni Mazzei of Fonterutoli at his ...
ON October 30, 2015
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
Château Latour - the Archetypal First Growth?
This week in our series of producer profiles, we examine Ch****âteau Latour****: a first-growth synonymous with excellence, class and the illustrious heritage of Bordeaux. Ch**âteau Latour: The Gold-Standard of First Growths** Château Latour, situated at the southern edge of Pauillac on the border with St Julien and just a quickstep from the sloping banks of the Gironde, is one ...
ON October 28, 2015
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
Tuscany Wine Journal, Day Two: Gianfranco Soldera
Introducing the latest installment of FINE+RARE buyer Jessica Bryans' Tuscany Wine Journal, documenting her whistle-stop tour of all the region has to offe To read Day One, click here.** ** Day Two:** *Gianfranco Soldera, a wine-making legend. *** I woke up at 4:30am this morning and couldn’t go back to sleep. Why? Because, today I was about to meet the legendary Gianfranco Soldera! As any lover of ...
ON October 22, 2015
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
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
Château Lafite-Rothschild - Bottled Finesse
Last week we took a look at Mouton-Rothschild; this week we profile its fellow Bordeaux first growth, the iconic Château Lafite-Rothschild, one of the most famous estates in Bordeaux, if not the world. “The quintessential wine of elegance” Château Lafite-Rothschild is characterised by sophistication and finesse. Neal Martin of the Wine Advocate describes it as the “quintessential wine of elegance”, ...
ON October 19, 2015
Château Mouton-Rothschild – Bordeaux Wine Royalty
We profile the glamorous wild-child of Bordeaux wine-making in the first of our series of posts on iconic producers...  Neighbour to fellow first-growth Lafite-Rothschild, Ch. Mouton-Rothschild is one of the icons of Bordeaux and one of three first growths to be found in Pauillac, home to the most regal and aristocratic of Bordeaux reds.  For any collector of fine wine, it is often ...
ON October 12, 2015
Champagne at Fine+Rare
In honour of National Champagne Week, Chris Kelly shines the spotlight on everybody's favourite form of liquid celebration.  Drinking Champagne is one of life’s great pleasures – making any occasion feel that little but more special. At FINE + RARE we have access to an unparalleled range of Champagnes across the price points and spanning some glorious vintages.  Read on to find ...
ON October 3, 2015
Focus on the Northern Rhone
As the 2014 En Primeur campaign has now come to a close, our focus at FINE+RARE has shifted to the Northern Rhône. An as yet undiscovered region for many, this small vineyard area (just 5% of the entire Rhône Valley’s overall output) undoubtedly produces some of the greatest and most singular wines found anywhere on the fine wine landscape. For ...
ON June 18, 2015
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
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
2011 Barolo: "Intrigante"
Barolo Vineyard Following a vintage like 2010 is not easy.  2010 Barolos are not only of great quality, they were released to a market primed to buy something new, a market disillusioned with Bordeaux, a market looking for quality, value and character.  What the wines of Piedmont offered, and continue to offer is simple: the opportunity to buy, own ...
ON March 19, 2015
A refined, svelte, elegant neighbour to Richebourg
http://vosne-romanee.fr/[/caption] The grand cru vineyards of Vosne-Romanee are arguably the finest vineyards in the world.  Chambertin and Musigny might make a fight of it, though the clump that is La Romanee, Romanee-Conti, La Tache, La Grande Rue, Richebourg and Romanee St Vivant is some very, very serious soil.  Echezeaux and Grands Echezeaux should, strictly, be included here but they ...
ON November 21, 2014
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
A Taste of The Northern Rhone
The northern and southern Rhone, from a vinous point of view, are essentially two quite different regions with a shared name. Some weeks back we covered the southern Rhone in a previous workshop, via its King: Chateauneuf du Pape.  We ended last week with a workshop on the north. This 40-mile stretch of steep, sloped granite hillsides is one of ...
ON October 6, 2014

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