Fiona’s Blog

  1. The 2019 harvest in Bordeaux
    Most of us by now are used to the changes that our climate has sprung upon us. Humid winters interspersed with extreme weather conditions: flash flooding, spring frosts and hail, followed by a hot, dry summer. We can really no longer talk about “millésimes solaires” (sunny vintages) as the sun seems to be far less of a variable on vintage quality than it was in the past. Thanks to the drought conditions that we have so often experienced during the summer months over the past decade, when rain comes at the end of the summer, it is a godsend rather than a threat...
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  2. Sustainability – Time to get real
    One of the most considered opinions on a subject that tends to divide people into those who think that sustainability is a very positive move in the right direction and those who think that it is a cop out and not going far enough in the organic direction...
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  3. The power of Tomorrowland
    July being a calm season, I am spending my time writing and it has really made me turn my attention to the whos, whys, whens, hows and whats of the wine business, especially the way we communicate about wine.
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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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