Fiona’s Blog

  1. The power of 2018 primeurs
    My “En Primeur” week started with a wonderful tasting at Cheval Blanc which unites the top producers from Saint Emilion and Pomerol in a wonderful evening that is organised by Pierre-Olivier Clouet the chateau’s charismatic technical director. It is a tasting among peers; no judgements are made but it is a great opportunity to tasted each other’s wines. During the harvest we are often in and out of each other’s cellars, experiencing the challenges and the decisions which we all face with each harvest...
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  2. Meaningful wines
    I’ve never been a fan of “dry January” believing that it is not which wine you drink that matters but how you drink. As the long dark nights drag on and the weather is dull, we all need a bit of comfort at the beginning of the year. Moderation is of course important but there is so much more to wine than alcohol and calories.
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  3. The 2018 Harvest in Bordeaux – Weird and Wonderful
    You would have thought that with over 20 harvests under my belt, (for Jacques is it over 40), we have seen it all and it is easy to blithely compare the current vintage to a previous one. The 2018 vintage was so bizarre that even the 2016 vintage which was another “Janus” vintage of one-half year wet and one-half year dry, makes for a difficult comparison.
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  4. Why Family-owned wineries work best
    For the last year, I have spent time visiting ten extraordinary family-run wine estates throughout Europe researching a book on Great Wine Families which will be published this month by Lannoo in Dutch.  I wanted to examine the changes that have happened in the wine world over the last few decades and understand the reasons why some producers have had enormous success and have risen to the top of the wine hierarchy.  What are the ingredients that help some producers survive? 
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  5. En primeur: The 2017 vintage tasted
    Two factors have dominated the press regarding the 2017 vintage in Bordeaux: one is the devastating frost that hit Bordeaux at the end of April 2017 on three consecutive nights...
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  6. Alcohol and Wine
    I read this morning that more than 90,000 people in Belgium have signed up for a month without alcohol, at this year's Tournée Minérale (a play on words for the term “Tournée Général”, meaning a round of drinks).
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