Neville's Blog


How Southern Italian wines can now vie with the best

Masterclass “A showcase of Southern Italy’s finest” – Richard Ballantyne MW   It wasn’t so many years ago when the wines of Southern Italy were being sent up to the North to bolster up some of the weaker efforts of Italy’s more prestigious wines. Indeed, varietals such as Fiano d’Avelllino

David's Blog


Monthly winery profile updates for July/August

We have now been providing our Club behind the label members with monthly updates ahead of the publication 11th edition of Wine behind the label and this month marks the first full year of these. Here then is the full list of updates including the recent bi-monthly upload for members

Wine News from around the World
Legal Cannabis Poses a Long-Term Risk to All Beverage Alcohol Categories in the U.S.

This is a report from the ISWR, who track total beverage alcohol trends through granular volume, value and forecast data and insights spanning over 150 countries. 37% of Alcohol Drinkers in Legal Cannabis States Also Consume Cannabis, Expected to Grow as Marijuana Acceptance Expands   New York, NY – Though legal cannabis is currently only a fraction of comparable alcohol sales, a newly published study shows that the risk to beverage alcohol is expected to expand as cannabis acceptance and consumption grows, particularly among beer and spirits drinkers. The report

Gianfranco Soldera dies at the age of 82

One of the most controversial of Brunello’s wine producers, Gianfranco Soldera has just died at the age of 82. His estate of just 8ha produced wines sourced from some of Montalcino’s best slopes (next to Gaja’s PIEVE SANTA RESTITUTA), the grapes are grown organically with great effort going into not only maximising the fruit quality but also enriching the ecosystem. The winemaking was natural with no temperature control, and a long and rigorous maceration precedes a stay of (often) more than five years in large oak botti. The resulting wines

Cornas legend passes at 93

Auguste Clape was a true legend of not only the appellation of Cornas but of the whole northern Rhône Valley. He passed away this month at the age of 93. Terraced Cornas vines key to the quality of the Clape wines Clape made traditional Cornas of remarkable quality, complexity and the ability to evolve with long ageing in bottle. His son Pierre-Marie and grandson Olivier continue to do so. The wines, particularly the reds of the Rhône region have become both trendy and increasingly pricey in recent years. This wasn’t

A significant auction of old DRC wines

A significant auction of old DRC wines are coming up for auction by Sotheby’s in New York on October 13th This October, Sotheby’s will present rare Domaine de la Romanée-Conti wines from the personal cellar of Robert Drouhin in a dedicated auction of 100 lots.  This exceptionally-rare selection was acquired by Mr. Drouhin and his father, Maurice, directly from DRC, mostly during their time as the Domaine’s exclusive distributors in France and Belgium – a highly-covetable attribute that amplifies the collection’s pristine provenance. In addition to legendary vintages from the world’s most

Contrôles de l’absence de francisation des vins importés

I couldn’t help but chortle when I read an article in about the DGCCRF (the French wine police) finding that some retailers and restaurants are passing off Spanish wine as French. You can read the whole article on What was particularly funny to me was the reporting that “results of the latest investigation could provoke a sense of vindication among wine unions in Languedoc-Roussillon, which have complained in recent years about the flow of cheap Spanish wine into France; also claiming that some of it was not being labelled

Ackerman Group rebrands with orchids

On 7th December 2017) the Ackerman Group, the largest Loire owned and based négociant company (2016 turnover 44.7 million euros), announced a rebranding exercise. The rebranding is designed to highlight their top of the range wines under the banner – Orchidées Maisons. Over a number of years Ackerman has been busy expanding its activities by acquiring other Loire négociant businesses such as Donatien-Bahuaud in the Pays Nantais as well as individual domaines such as Château de la Varière in Brissac-Quincé in Anjou, sparkling wine house Monmousseau in Montrichard in Touraine and

Ch. de Fieuzal will release no wine from the 2017 vintage

Château de Fieuzal, one of the top cru classés in Pessac-Léognan, owned by Lochlann Quinn and his family, has announced that there will be no wine released  from the 2017 harvest because of severe frost damage to its crop on 27th April.   It’s rare when a producer decides not to release ANY  of its wine on to the market when they consider that its not good enough which makes us applaud their integrity – which sometimes has been singularly lacking in the world of wine.   Two other instances stand

A first at Château Clerc Milon: TED, a prototype robot designed for high density vineyards

‘Ted’ the robot at Ch. Clerc Milon. Credit: Baron Philippe de Rothschild Château Clerc Milon reports on the first trials in its Pauillac vineyard of TED, the first multi-purpose straddling electric robot specially designed for soil cultivation of high density vineyards. The trials mark the culmination of an ambitious project that started with a desire to address a particular issue. Vineyard work involves a number of time-consuming and laborious tasks, such as mechanical weeding beneath the rows. Baron Philippe de Rothschild, the owners of Ch. Clerc-Milon, therefore decided to take part

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