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What is the Difference Between Right Bank and Left Bank Bordeaux Wine

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There is a big difference between wines from the Right Bank and Left Bank, or should I say, there are several important distinctions between Bordeaux wines from the Left Bank and Bordeaux from the Right Bank. The terroir and soil are different. The percentages of grapes planted are not the same. The culture of each region differs and because each area has its own unique style and character, as you might expect, the wines are quite different as well. The wines from each area taste, smell, feel and age differently. And that is just to get things started. So, as you can see, there are very important differences between wines from the Left Bank of Bordeaux, when compared with wines from the Right Bank of Bordeaux.

A Guide to Ducru-Beaucaillou

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The Saint-Julien second growth’s roots run deep.

Penfolds Pushes the Boundaries of Winemaking

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Australia’s premier winery mixes three top vintages into one exquisite wine.

Saint-Émilion’s Most Expensive Wines

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The Right Bank appellation of Pomerol is home to Petrus, one of Bordeaux’s most expensive wines; but how does neighboring Saint-Émilion measure up when it comes to price? Pretty well, depending on your point of view.

A Guide to Armand Rousseau

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Excellent vineyards and a commitment to terroir make this noted producer a magnet for Burgundy lovers.

New Mouton Art Label for a New Mouton Generation

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The most celebrated art “museum” in wine is the Château Mouton-Rothschild label collection, and with the unveiling of the 2015, it’s a gallery that now holds some 70 works. It also has a new curator: Following the 2014 death of Bordeaux legend Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, youngest son Julien de Beaumarchais de Rothschild has guided the artist selections. 2015 marks the first full vintage of a new generation at the Bordeaux first-growth, and for it, de Beaumarchais de Rothschild has tapped German artist Gerhard Richter.

Climate Change: the Death of Terroir?

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The climate debate is pretty much over for the wine industry, and the focus has shifted to mitigation.

The Small Village that Houses the World’s Best Champagne

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Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, an unassuming village in the Côte des Blancs, provides Chardonnay for Krug and Champagne Salon. But what makes this region so special?

The Magic of Blanc de Blancs Champagne

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Elegant Chardonnay-based Champagnes, blanc de blancs come from chalk-rich soils in the Côte de Blancs. Discover bottles showcasing the best of this style.

What’s the difference between French and American oak?

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The question

Spotlight on: Guigal Cote Rotie la Landonne 2009

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“Much more upfront and easy to read than the backward 2010, the 2009 Cote Rotie la Landonne is an insanely beautiful wine. Smoked meats, game, black olives, charcoal, black raspberries and pepper all literally soar from this beauty and it hits the palate with a massively concentrated, almost over-the-top decadence that’s impossible to resist. Despite its wealth of fruit, it has a huge core of tannin and needs 4-5 years at a minimum. Like the 2010, it will have a half-century or more of longevity.”

Bordeaux’s St.-Emilion Mandates Sustainable Viticulture

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Starting with the 2019 vintage, every bottle of St.-Emilion wine will have been made from grapes grown with sustainable farming methods, such as organic or biodynamic viticulture. The local wine council for four Bordeaux appellations has passed a measure mandating sustainable farming. Any wine not farmed sustainably may only be bottled as generic Bordeaux.

Fine Wine Might Be One of the Safest Investments for Your Money

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Fine wine might be one of the safest investments for your money for relatively modest amounts up front, liquid assets can deliver excellent returns when diversifying your portfolio.

Napa’s Colgin Cellars Sells Majority Stake to French Luxury Titan LVMH

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Bernard Arnault’s Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton group adds a Napa cult Cabernet star to their growing luxury-wine portfolio.

Burgundy’s Hospices de Beaune Raises $16 Million

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On the strength of enthusiasm for the 2017 vintage, the annual charity auction soared to a new record high. Nearly 800 barrels of 2017 vintage Burgundy were sold at the Hospices de Beaune auction.

Neal Martin leaves The Wine Advocate for Vinous

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New York, NY – 11/20/17 –Vinous, the world-renowned wine publication, is proud to announce that Neal Martin, the lead critic at Robert Parker Wine Advocate and one of the most recognized names in wine writing, is joining the Vinous team as a Senior Editor. “I have admired Neal’s passion, dedication, work ethic, talent and knowledge since I first met him in 2006, when we both worked alongside Robert Parker,” said Vinous CEO and founder, Antonio Galloni. “Neal brings to Vinous a unique combination of experience and wit that I am sure our readers will greatly enjoy. I am thrilled to be working alongside Neal once again.”

Spotlight on: 2010 La Conseillante

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“A brilliant effort from this property, known for the sheer elegance and finesse of its wines, the 2010 La Conseillante offers back-to-back monumental efforts, particularly given the remarkable 2009. This estate has been on a hot streak of late. The 2010 is a slightly bigger, richer wine, but without losing its floral, elegant mulberry, black raspberry and sweet kirsch notes. Combine those with some licorice, subtle new oak and a hint of forest floor, and the result is a medium to full-bodied, rich, complex wine that has striking aromatics and perfect balance in the mouth. Forget it for 3-5 years and drink it over the following 30.” – reviewed by Robert M. Parker, Jr. in 2013

A Changing of the Guard at Bordeaux’s Iconic Lafite Rothschild

Domaines Barons de Rothschild

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Domaines Barons de Rothschild

Saving the World with Smith Haut Lafitte

Chateau Smith Haut Laffite

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Chateau Smith Haut Laffite

Spotlight on: L’Evangile 2005

L'Evangile label

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L’Evangile

Napa Getting Back to Business

Napa Valley grapes

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Wine Auction Sales Continue to Climb in 2017

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In the third quarter of 2017, global sales of fine and rare wine at auction (consisting of sales in the U.S., Hong Kong and London markets) totaled $53.7 million, up 8.7 percent from last year’s $49.4 million sum in 2016’s third quarter.

Spotlight On: 2010 Chateau Le Pin

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Made from 100% Merlot (one percent for each rating point I’ve assigned), this wine is explosively rich and compelling. Dense plum/purple, it boasts the remarkable delineation and freshness that are hallmarks of this vintage. From a much smaller production than normal because of Merlot’s poor flowering, the very hot, dry growing and harvest conditions, this is a super-endowed, very rich Le Pin with its exotic new oak largely buried behind its extravagant concentration, power and richness. I don’t know what its natural alcohol level is, but I suspect it is pushing 15% in 2010. Rich, tannic, but exceptionally well-endowed, this is a sublime example of Merlot at its very finest. Forget it for 5-7 years (which is somewhat unusual for Le Pin) and drink it over the following three decades.

Chateau Troplong Mondot Sold For Record Setting Price!

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Big News! Make that very big news. In breaking news, Chateau Troplong Mondot was sold to SCOR Group by Xavier Pariente, the owner of Chateau Troplong Mondot. The SCOR group is a massive French Insurance Company that was formed in 1970. This is their first investment in Bordeaux. While details on the transaction are a closely held secret, the rumors are that price paid was close to 180 Million Euros! That is a record setting price for land in St. Emilion at close to 5.5 Million Euros per hectare.

Buyer pays over $50,000 for a rare bottle of Penfolds’ Grange Hermitage

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In 1951, South Australian winemaker Max Schubert created a small volume of experimental wine in the Adelaide suburb of Magill.

Spotlight On: Chateau Latour 2000

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The 2000 Latour (a relatively abundant 14,000 cases compared to what they produced in 2009, 2008, or 2005) is “packed and stacked.” The extremely rich, black/purple color to the rim is followed by a wine with some subtle smoke, loads of minerals, a hint of vanilla, and plenty of creme de cassis as well as roasted meat and a slight scorched earth character. Broad, savory, and rich, the wine seems to be about 5 years away from full maturity and should drink well for at least 40-50 more years. A great effort, probably eclipsed only by 2003 and 2009. My original ratings appear to have been dead on the money for both of these efforts from Chateau Latour.

Bordeaux’s Most Expensive Wines

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It’s not often “Bordeaux” crops up in the same sentence as “bargain” – especially in an article about expensive wines – but there is a case to be made that, when it comes to value, Bordeaux punches above its weight.

Do you think you are a wine expert?

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Do you know your Cornas from your Albariño?

Spotlight On: 2005 Palmer

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Its bigger sister, the 2005 Château Palmer (53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 7% Petit Verdot), is one of the great efforts of this superlative vintage. Floral notes mixed with blackberry, cassis, plum, licorice and spring flowers soar from the glass of this dense ruby/purple wine. It is medium to full-bodied, surprisingly opulent (it has a big percentage of Merlot), long, multi-dimensional and textured. This wonderfully pure, stunning wine once again performs as a first-growth. It should drink well for the next 20-25 years.

Get to Know the Grand Crus of Alsace

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The prerequisites for great wines often include cool climate, ample sunshine and unique soils. Add grape varieties that express those characteristics and winegrowers who aim for the highest quality, and greatness is within reach. All of those elements come together in Alsace.

Michelin Guide Purchases 40% of Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

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A century ago, the Michelin tire company expanded into guidebooks to help motorists find hotels and restaurants on their travels. Its ratings (sometimes controversial, often attacked as stodgy) have since become an indispensable shorthand for ranking the world’s top restaurants.

Madame Lalou Bize-Leroy, Burgundy’s Most Powerful Woman

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The first time I met Madame Lalou Bize-Leroy about ten years ago, I was intimidated by this diminutive figure who was at least four inches shorter than me. Her snow-white, shoulder-length hair was pulled back in a low pony tail and her piercing blue eyes, the color of clear summer sky, seemed to look right into your soul.

Angelus Expands Second Label, Le Carillon d’Angelus

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Vinexpo Bordeaux Kicks Off This Week

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For the first six months of every second year, whispers circulate around the wine community of Bordeaux—will you be going to Vinexpo? Winemakers and merchants begin preparing for this sizable professional event weeks and sometimes months in advance. This year Vinexpo Bordeaux kicks off on the 18th of June and lasts through the 21st.

Only 10% Price Increase for Haut-Brion, Mouton Rothschild 2016

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Chateau Haut-Brion, a Bordeaux wine estate on the southern edge of the city, and Chateau Mouton-Rothschild, further north up the Gironde estuary, held price increases to less than 10 percent for their 2016 vintage, compared with double-digit jumps set by rival growers, according to Liv-ex data.

Buy These Bordeaux 2016 Wines Now, Guarantee Provenance

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Gold May Glitter, But Wine Is Doing Just Fine

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One has a history of being steadfast and dependable, and known for setting an historic, globally respected economic standard. The other is an epicure’s delight: a sophisticated, delicious and always sumptuous indulgence. Still, in spite of their obvious differences, gold and wine, two of the savvy luxury investor’s most sought-after properties, have kept a closer pace with one another over the last ten years than with other luxury assets such as silver, jewelry or fine art. That is, until now.

The Year of the Horse Brings a Galloping Rise in Red

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The Chinese have a popular saying that “a good horse never turns its head to eat the grass behind.”  So perhaps it’s befitting that on January 31st, 2014, millions of people across the globe will ring in Chinese New Year’s Year of the Horse, lending them the opportunity to shake off the tired remnants of 2013’s Year of the Snake and make a fresh start inspired by the horse’s blend of confidence, grace and a touch of adventure.

Investments of Passion Still Reign Supreme

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In the face of a compromised global economy, made even more fragile by a problematic credit crunch that has plagued the financial arena for nearly a decade, the number of the world’s High Net Worth Individuals, or HNWIs, has, surprisingly, seen a solid and impressive surge.    Wealth-X, one of the world’s most definitive and accurate wealth intelligence firms, reported that 2012 showed a 5% increase in the number of people who met the firm’s definition of true “ultra-wealth,” that being, the possession of net assets meeting or exceeding $30M.  Further, the report predicts that the next ten years will yield an even greater growth of HNWIs, reflecting a 50% cumulative increase in people reaching and crossing this $30M wealth barometer.  Still, the capricious economic problems which continue to impact the financial landscape have prompted even the super-rich to seek investment channels that pose less risk but nonetheless meet their appetite for glamour and diversity.  Despite its reputation for being a potentially volatile “investment of passion,” fine wine continues to perform exceptionally well among the elite investor.

Still in Love with Lafite

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It’s no secret that Lafite and China’s wine collectors have been locked in a fairly intense love affair for the last several years. This relationship created an almost unprecedented demand – and skyrocketing price tag – for the wine that Baron Eric de Rothschild, owner of Château Lafite Rothschild, calls “the girl you want to marry and spend your life with.”  Although there are certainly other Bordeaux First Growths which are as desirable, not one has come close to the power of the enchanting Lafite in capturing the imagination of the Asian oenophile.

Maximize your Wine Investment’s Value

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Smart investors looking for a reliable way to diversify their portfolios are increasingly turning to fine wine. With annual returns averaging 10-15% over an impressive sixty-year period, this luxurious item offers strong reassurance of a great return on your capital.

Love of Fine Wine in China Continues, Auction Proves

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As auction season enters full swing, another record-setting event in Hong Kong shows us just how vigorous the Chinese appetite is for investment in fine wine. At Sotheby’s auction, 9 out of 10 lots went to private Asian collectors, and 12-bottle cases of Lafite and Petrus smashed their already high estimates. This is excellent news for Bordeaux investors, which comes on the back of last month’s reports that during the last year Bordeaux exports to China have risen dramatically.

Record-Setting Auction Season Shows Bordeaux is Back

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Acker Merrall & Condit Companies, one the world’s most prominent wine auctioneers, broke wine sale records in Hong Kong recently with the results of their auction on September 21st and 22nd. This fall’s auction season has kicked off to an exciting start, with eight auctions already netting over $30 million in the month of September alone.

Saint-Émilion Re-Classification Rocks the Right Bank

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After eighteen months of work supervised by the Institut National des Appellations d’Origine, or INAO, the re-classification of the Bordeaux wine region Saint-Émilion has been approved. For wine investors, the most interesting change is the promotion of Château Pavie and Château Angélus to the highest possible rank. According to an INAO statement, the upgrade was granted in recognition of “their consistency in quality and their quest for excellence.” The Saint-Émilion appellation previously only held two Premier grand cru classé A wines: Château Ausone and Château Cheval Blanc. The addition of two more wines to the highest Saint-Émilion grading is surely the result of improvements in viticulture , which have led to an increase in the frequency of great vintages in recent years.

SWAG

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As money-printing and inflation threaten to devalue the US dollar, diversifying your investment portfolio with Silver, Wine, Art or Gold—a collection of alternative investments that author Joe Roseman has dubbed “SWAG”—may be a very wise decision. SWAG has been described by Reuters as “real assets that just might outperform if official policy causes the money supply to surge.

No More En-Primeur for Latour

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Château Latour, one of only five Bordeaux estates to be ranked ‘Premier Cru’, announced a radical decision earlier this year to pull out of en-primeur (wine future) selling. This will make 2011 the last vintage ever to be released by Latour while still in the barrel.

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