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Very interesting afternoon today spent speaking to Olivier Dauga, winemaker, and CEO Bertrand Girard of Val D’Orbieu. If you do not immediately recognize the name it’s because this is one of the largest wine companies in France, owning 72 wineries throughout France and making wine from a variety of French regions, notably Bordeaux and the […]



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Visit the 9th Annual “Weekend des Grands Crus”

  Can you think of anything more interesting to due May 17th and 18th 2014 than have dinner at Chateaux Beychevelle, Chateau Figeac, Latour-Martillac, chateau Olivier, Pichon Longueville or La Pointe? Last year wine lovers from over 32 countries came to taste Bordeaux and meet the winemakers, with activities including vineyard tours, and a variety […]



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Visiting Pessac-Leognon – in London!

“It’s so nice to see you!” I said to Christine Perrin Lescuyer, whom I had just seen days before in Bordeaux for En Primeur. Decanter Magazine has some of the best consumer events I’ve ever been to, and this tasting at the elegant Institute of Directors in London was fabulous. Christine’s family owns Chateau Carbonnieux, […]



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Chateau-Figeac Vertical & Lunch

“This 2013 is delightful!” a fellow journalist said, trying the new vintage after a vertical of Chateau-Figeac and Petite-Figeac  starting from the 2003 vintage (with three vintages of Petite-Figeac, including the 2011, 2012, and 2013.) The gorgeous private room of Roux restaurant was so well-attended by the cream of UK based wine writers that should […]



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Ban du Millesime de la Commanderie Du Bontemps April 2, 2014

It was so much fun to see my friend Aline Baly of Chateau Coutet all decked out in a yellow robe for the Ban du Millesime de Commanderie Du Bontemps on April 2, 2014 in Bordeaux. This celebration, first held in 2000, is the Vintage Proclamation and the newest event of the Commaderie du Bontemps. […]



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En Primeur: Checking in With Smith Haut Lafitte

It was great to see SHL Technical director Fabien Teitgen, and owners Florence and Daniel Cathiard at Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte last Wednesday at the Chateau for the tasting of wines from Graves and Pessac-Leognan. I always taste “blind” (meaning that this group does not know what they are tasting until a sheet of wine, […]



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Professor Dubourdieu & Olivier Bernard Discuss the 2013 Vintage

On April 1st, 2013 Professor Denis Dubourdieu from the Institute of Vine and Wine Sciences of Bordeaux University (Oenological Research Unit) gave a presentation to journalists who have gathered to taste the wine of En Primeur about the challenging 2013 vintage. The talk began with a recap of the five prerequisites for a great red […]



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En Primeur: Experiencing Chateau Fourcas Hosten

“Welcome!” is the greeting from the charming Mommeja brothers, Renaud and Laurent, as they welcome me into their incredibly restored chateau that dates from the 18th century, and is designed to replicate the period … yet the original owners, I am sure, never had such incredible luxuries! If you have ever been in the Louvre […]



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Tasting the 2013 Vintage at Cheval Blanc

  The tasting at Cheval Blanc on April 1st was extremely well-attended, drawing journalists from all over the world as well as key figures in Bordeaux such as Kees Van Leeuwn, a celebrated author and professor at Bordeaux Agro. What was different this year, however, was the headline in the little red information book which […]



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En Primeur Welcoming dinner at Chateau Pavie Saint Emilion

Fabulous evening at Chateau Pavie on March 31, 2014, as journalists from all over the world gathered to embark on a week of tasting the 2013 vintage. After a gorgeous outdoor reeption overlooking the vines (including neighbors Chateau Pavie-Macquin and Chateau Troplong=Mondot) guests ventured to their tables. I was lucky to be seated with some […]



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Bordeaux En Primeur 2013: Experiencing Chateau LaFaurie-Peyraguey

“Welcome!” says amiable, dark-haired Eric Larramona, appearing beside the magical gate of Chateau Lafaurie-Peyraguey. M. Larramona oversees the vineyards at this magical first growth Sauternes estate with its varietal of terroirs. It is my third visit to this historic estate, and my first time with a room that has a bathtub overlooking the vineyards. The […]



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Bordeaux 2013: Tasting Listrac, Moulis, Medoc, and Margaux

So here I am on April 3, 2014 at Chateau Labegorce tasting the 2013 vintage of wines from Listrac, Moulis. Medoc, and Margaux. The good news is this: the majority of your favorite wines, despite the challenging vintage, are showing very well at the moment. Though extremely young at this point in time, the majority […]



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En Primeur 2014: Visiting Chateau Carbonnieux

  On Tuesday night I spent a pleasant evening with Madame Perrin and her daughter Christine at Chateau Carbonnieux, a large castle-like wine estate that dates back to the 13th century.  As one arrives it looks like a medieval fortress, with a large gate and several buildings surrounding a beautifully manicured courtyard. I had met […]



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ProWein 2014 A Success

“I do not even bother going to other fairs,” said a Loire based producer, explaining in detail what was so great about ProWein. This year I arrived on the final day of March 25 2014, after all the bells and whistles of the opening and Drinks Business opening party. I feared the mood would be […]



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Le Rive: the pure essence of Terroir

Le Rive: the pure essence of Terroir A few months ago I read an interseting article about Le Rive in Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Docg.  I found it interesting as I had just visited this region a few months earlier. Le Rive an Italian local dialect name which means vineyards planted on steep ground. This word […]



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Celebrating Grands Jours de Bourgogne 2014

“So what do you think will happen to the 2014 Vintage?” I asked every producer I came across at the Les Grand Jours de Bourgogne, created in 1992 by the BIVB and held ever other year in March. The reason I asked with such urgency at this early stage was because the gorgeous golden sun […]



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BYOB at The Leopard in NYC

What can be sweeter than bringing your own bottle on Sunday nights at the Leopard? Since opening in 2011 the Leopard (the former home of the iconic Cafe des Artistes) the restaurant has been a favorite with an assortment of discriminating NYC locals, especially wine lovers. Recognizing this, the Leopard is now offering guests to […]



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Discovering the Wines of Bodegas Muriel

“And here is  the vineyard where we make this wine!” says Eladio Fernandez, export manager for Bodegas Muriel which is now entering the upscale restaurant market in the US and UK. Bodegas Muriel makes an assortment of wines at different price points, yet the Bodegas Muriel brand is the flagship. Among the many interesting things […]



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Visiting Haut Bailly: Expression of Terroir

  The buzzword today in all the wine publications is “terroir” … yet does terroir really matter? After a week spent at the Bordeaux National School for agriculture engineering (Bordeaux Agro) and listening to the “best of the best” in the field speak about terroir, one easily understands that terroir is central to quality wine. […]



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Pasternak Prestige Event: Why Terroir Matters

Okay, so here’s the key question.  Does terroir matter? Pasternak wine imports held a stellar tutored tasting today which included six of their top producers explaining the importance of terroir. Since I just returned from a one week conference at the Bordeaux National School for agriculture engineering (Bordeaux Agro)  all about terroir (and its counterparts, […]