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French winemakers attack French supermarkets for stocking cheap Spanish wine

Some French winemakers show no signs of calming down in their dispute over what they see as cheap Spanish wine imports destroying their own domestic market. There has been another wave of attacks and disruption over the last couple of weeks as French retailers have now been targeted by more militant French winemakers for their […]

European Union wine subsidies favour the bigger wine producing countries

New research has revealed that when it comes to handing out subsidies and support it some of Europe’s wealthiest and most established wine countries that get better than countries you might think are more in demand. A new study published in the Journal of Wine Economics, shows it’s the EU’s riches countries that receive the lion’s […]

World wine volumes down to four year low as bad weather hits vintages around the globe

The overall global wine production for 2016 is going to be 5% smaller after adverse weather conditions have hit most parts of the southern hemisphere. The situation has been seen as further evidence of climate change, with South American countries, including Chile and Argentina particularly badly hit. The estimates have been made by the International Organisation […]

Beaujolais leads new French export drive in to the UK and reports strong 2016 vintage

It seems the UK wine drinkers are falling back in love with French wine, which will a mixture of comfort and frustration to producers reeling from the worst vintage in the country since 2012. Latest wine export figures from Business France show Beaujolais was up 18% in volume and 20% in value between 2014 and […]

Chablis 2016 vintage expected to be 50% down on average

As the full picture from the 2016 harvest becomes clearer, Chablis, the key white wine producing area of Burgundy has announced its harvest is going to be down by 50%. But what is being picked will make good quality wines, according to the BIVB Chablis. The harvest is so down after a near calamitious 2016 […]

Château de Fargues Sauternes

A rare wine with a price to match. An average of only 15,000 bottles are made annually from 15 ha of vines owned by the Lur-Saluces family of YQUEM fame. The property did not produce any sweet wine until 1943 but this is one of the finest examples of Sauternes now made and one of […]

Château Duhart-Milon Pauillac

Intriguingly, this Rothschild property is also part-owned by the Chalone Wine Group from the USA (now owned by drinks giant Diageo), which established its reputation with the CHALONE winery in Monterey, California. There is no doubt that the 50 ha of vineyards have benefited greatly from the Lafite input since the property was purchased in […]

Château Doisy-Daëne Barsac

This is a Barsac marked by its elegance rather than its sheer weight or richness. It can be piercingly aromatic, though, and very intense. Of a completely different order – richer and fuller – is an occasional very limited cuvée called L’Extravagance. It is only produced in exceptional vintages, including 2010, 07, 05, 03, 01, […]

Château Doisy-Védrines Barsac

This is the biggest of the three Doisy properties with 27 ha. In contrast to DOISY DAËNE and most other fine Barsacs, this property tends to produce wine with more overt luscious honeyed fruit. It is very impressive, retaining an elegant finesse in lighter years when the wine carries less sheer weight. There is 5% […]

Château Dauzac Margaux

André Lurton had controlled this property for its insurance company owners until 2013. Now management has been taken over by Laurent Fortin who is instigating a change towards biodiversity. There are 46 ha under vine here and production is just shy of 25,000 cases, so it is a sizeable operation. The style is supple and […]

Château Coutet Barsac

Very good property and near neighbour of CLIMENS, although the wine here doesn’t quite reach the same heights. As well as Sémillon, which accounts for 75% of the blend, and Sauvignon Blanc, there is a little Muscadelle, just 3%. There is no doubt that there is a marked aromatic character in the wine in addition […]

Château Cos d’Estournel Saint-Estèphe

One of the greatest wines of the Médoc and the premier château in Saint-Estèphe. Purchased from Bruno Prats by the Taillan Group, who also own GRUAUD-LAROSE, in 1998 and then by Michel Reybier in 2000, Jean-Guillaume Prats remained in charge of the property and enhanced the exceptional standards laid down by the Prats family there […]

Château Couhins-Lurton Pessac-Léognan

André Lurton is now a major proprietor in the Graves, Entre-Deux-Mers and Margaux. At this tiny 5.5 ha Pessac property he produces less than 2,000 cases of very stylish white a year from 100% Sauvignon Blanc. No Sémillon is planted here but the wine is barrel-fermented in 50% new wood and aged with bâtonnage and […]

Château Clerc-Milon Pauillac

Moderate-sized property, with some 30 ha of vineyards and production running at just under 15,000 cases a year. The Cabernet Sauvignon component is quite low at less than 50% and 35% of the vineyard is planted to Merlot. As a result the style is very rounded and surprisingly approachable for Pauillac. While overshadowed by its […]

Château Clarke Listrac-Médoc

Listrac, like Moulis, is quite a long way inland from the Gironde and the soil here has even less gravel than it does nearer the estuary, which will always hinder the admirable efforts made here. This property with increasingly old vines outclasses almost all of its neighbours but there remains a slightly coarse note. However, […]

Château Cissac Haut-Médoc

Cissac is still made in a traditional, firm Médoc style but it is very fairly priced and generally wellcrafted. But, although structured and austere when very young, it is increasingly rounder and suppler than of old with a little age. Wooden as well as stainless steel vats are used for fermentation and an increasing amount […]

Domaine de Chevalier Pessac-Léognan

An important and sizeable producer, noted particularly for its splendid white. The production of this is very low, with just 4.5 of the 37.5 ha vineyard planted to Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon. There is a high proportion of Sauvignon (70%) in the blend. Barrel-fermented and aged, it is a remarkably fine and elegant white capable […]

Château Chasse-Spleen Moulis

Chasse-Spleen, along with POUJEAUX and MAUCAILLOU, is one of the only wines in the Moulis AC really to perform with any consistent class. The property is sizeable, with just under 85ha under vine. The wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. With the odd exceptions (1997, 94 and 91) this property […]

Château de Chantegrive Graves

This property consists of 50 ha of red varieties and 38 ha of white, with production now quite substantial at over 40,000 cases a year. Four wines are produced. A good red with a fine balance of dark fruit, cedar and subtle oak is joined by a regular white Graves, an easy, fruit-driven style fermented […]

Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan

This a tiny property and, like HAUT-BRION, located amongst the suburbs of Bordeaux. Just 4.5 ha are under vine, with an unusually high proportion of 50% Merlot, along with 40% Cabernet Sauvignon amd 10% Cabernet Franc. Dedication to quality has delivered impressive results since the late 1990s. Vinification in small vats enables plots within the […]

Château Carbonnieux Pessac-Léognan

Good red and particularly white Pessac-Léognans come from this property which will be run now by Philibert and Eric Perrin after the death of their father Antony in late 2008. Production is substantial for the appellation at over 30,000 cases a year. The white is good and has performed well. Some skin contact is allowed […]

Château Camensac Haut-Médoc

The quality of this property has gradually improved since it was acquired in 1964 by the Forner family. Much of the vineyard has been replanted and there is now a relatively high proportion of Merlot (25%) contributing to the style, which is round, forward and accessible. The wine spends between 17 to 20 months in […]

Château Cambon-la-Pelouse Haut-Médo

Impressively structured Haut-Médoc that has been on much improved form since 1999. The property is fairly substantial with 64ha of vineyards and sur-prisingly for the Médoc the mix of varieties planted is 50% Merlot to 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, with the remaining 15% Cabernet Franc including 2% Petit Verdot. As a result, the wine tends to […]

Château Brown Pessac-Léognan CC

This château has shown considerable improvements since it was purchased by Jean-Christophe Mau in 2004. Aided and abbeted by consultant Stéphane Derenoncourt, it has now moved on to a different plane. There are 23.5 ha under vine for the red wine and 4.5 for the white. The white (70% Sauvignon, 30% Sémillon) shows finesse and […]

Château Caillou Sauternes 2ème CC

This is one of those confusingly labelled properties which takes the Sauternes AC although it is located in Barsac. There are two cuvées of the principal wine, the regular Caillou and a barrel selection, La Private Cuvée, produced in top years. Fermentation is in a mix of new oak and inox and ageing is between […]

Château Beychevelle Saint-Julien 4ème CC

Beychevelle is a sizeable property with 90 ha of vineyards planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and a little Petit Verdot. It is a Classed Growth with a reasonable, rather than spectacular track record over recent years. At its best the wine shows real finesse, splendid purity of fruit and very subtle oak, not […]

Château Belgrave Haut-Médoc 5ème CC

Purchased by Vignobles Dourthe in 1980, it was only with the 1998 vintage that this property really began to forge ahead. During the past two decades the vineyard has been replanted. Cabernet Sauvignon dominates the blend, with a tiny amount of Petit Verdot. Now that the vines are maturing, the wine is evolving from the […]

Château Bastor-Lamontagne Sauternes

A consistently fine, small to medium-sized operation which has performed admirably over a long period, providing the essence of Sauternes at an affordable price. As well as Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc, Michel Garat has just a small amount of Muscadelle to add aroma. The wine is barrel-fermented for an extended 3–4 weeks with around 15% […]

Château d’Armailhac Pauillac 5ème CC

Like its prestigious neighbour MOUTON ROTHSCHILD this château is also owned by Baronne Philippine de Rothschild. At its best, in top years like 2010, 09, 06, 05, 03, 00, 99, 98 and 95, this medium-sized property is undoubtedly producing ★★★✩ Pauillac. When conditions are less favourable, though, the wine struggles a little. Grown in relatively […]

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