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Spring is here; bud burst in the vines in St Emilion

The vines have burst their buds in the vineyards of St Emilion and the new year, 2012 starts (while producers prepare to show their latest baby, 2011, to the world’s press and buyers). The young leaves uncurl showing the a small green growths which will turn into the flowers. It is about average timing but infact … Continue reading

Thoughts before the 2011 Primeurs Bordeaux

The record 25 to 30°C experienced in Bordeaux the last week or so means that the vines should burst into bud this week. The beginning of the 2012 vintage when most minds are focussed on preparation for the primeurs for 2011 that begin 1st April. What will the 2011 wines be like? At harvest many … Continue reading

First Taste of 2011 in Paris with wines from oenologists Duclos, Pauquet and Toutoundji

Café Salle Pleyel, 16 March 2012 Here are some of my favorites from the 30 or so producers supported by these oenologists attending this press tasting; Château Béard La Chapelle, Saint Emilion Grand Cru 2010; This predominantly Merlot wine is voluptuous and rich with its intense blackcurrant and black cherry fruit, ripe yet keeping the fruit’s … Continue reading

Branaire-Ducru’s Seven Hour Lamb Recipe

8-10 people Leg of lamb, calf’s foot, Diced bacon (100g), 6 carrots (sliced), 2 tomatoes, 3 onions, 6 clovesof garlic, Mixed herbs, Meat stock (50cl), olive oil, 6 cloves garlic, 20g butter, salt, pepper Oven 120-150°C Bone leg of lamb and roast it in butter and oil in oven Fry and season the onions, tomatoes, … Continue reading

My Favorite 2010 Wines En Primeur

Last year in the first week of April I tasted a wide range of wines from the 2010 vintage and found the wines to be outstanding and generally a notch above the sensuous 2009 vintage. I think the 2010 vintage to be as good as 2005 across the board with its concentration of ripe fruit, … Continue reading

What makes Bordeaux unique in the world of wine?

First published in the Gilbert & Gaillard International Magazine BORDEAUX Ask any wine consumer the name of a wine region and chances are they will say Bordeaux. Why this is so is not clear but has something perhaps to do with its size, the early recognition of its natural factors giving it a long history … Continue reading

Wine Grower Portrait; Françoise Sirot-Soizeau, Château Closiot, Barsac Sauternes

“Open door” in the world’s most famous sweet wine region First published in the Gilbert & Gaillard International Magazine An open sign hangs on the wide blue gates of Château Closiot. “When we are at home, we are always ready to receive visitors even at harvest-time” says Françoise Sirot-Soizeau, third generation owner of this four … Continue reading

Château Lascombes: the end of an era and the beginning of the next

First published in the Gilbert & Gaillard International Magazine The Summer of 2011 will go down in the history of Margaux’s Château Lascombes as a memorable one with the gala dinner celebration of the Fête de la Fleur at the property to mark ten years of ownership by American investment fund Colony Capital. It will … Continue reading

The New Cru Bourgeois “The Renaissance or Demise of Medoc’s historical classification”

First published in the Gilbert & Gaillard International Magazine Everyone has heard of the 1855 Grand Cru classification of the Médoc, many recognize Médoc’s other classification, the Cru Bourgeois but it was only recently that it was officially recognized. We follow the fall and rise of the Cru Bourgeois classification and hear from the new … Continue reading

Family Business ; Clément Fayat, Vignobles Fayat

Wine Business Decisions; from Head to Heart First published in the Gilbert & Gaillard International Magazine Clément Fayat, best known as president of the multi-billion civil engineering group BTP, bought his first vineyards in 1969, the 23 hectare property of La Dominique which neighbours one of St Emilion’s most famous properties, Cheval Blanc. Bought initially … Continue reading