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Meursault and Marsannay return to the forefront

All French appellations have their "sleeping beauties", those who lack in fame despite their exceptional heritage. Until “Prince Charming” (an investor) comes along, making every effort to produce wines worthy of the pedigree. This has been happening to the châteaux of Meursault and Marsannay since 2012. One such Prince Charming is Olivier Halley, heir to a family shareholder of Carrefour and head of "H Partners" (owner of brands including "Du Pareil au Même" and "Tout Compte Fait"), who bought Château de Marsannay (35 hectares of vineyards in Marsannay and Côte de Nuits) and…

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What are the (true) vintages of the century?

Some wine regions claim to produce a great vintage, or even “vintage of the century”, every other year! But despite these commercial declarations, there are still some truly great vintages – those that entice fine wine buyers, especially at auction. But what is a great vintage? Think about it: a winemaker is able to produce an average wine from top quality grapes, but not a top quality wine from average grapes. A great vintage is therefore one that allows a winery to harvest ‘perfect’, top quality grapes. A vineyard can produce ‘perfect’ grapes…

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Are “old vines” really old?

Chances are, you’ve bought a wine with the term “old vines”, or "vieilles vignes", on the label. But when can a vineyard really be considered “old”? A vine is not unlike a human being. When it is young, between four and eight years old, it has the charms of childhood and the wines are usually mild and full of freshness. Between eight and 14, it reaches adolescence: it grows in all directions and is difficult to control. The viticulturist needs to tame the vineyard to prevent it from producing weak grapes without personality.…

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Sulphur in wine – is it good or bad?

This is a debate that hardly existed 15 years ago, but has now become a controversial topic among wine lovers and especially wine critics. Sulphur, a classic wine preservative, is criticised by some and defended by others. So what should we believe? Sulphur dioxide (SO2) is the most widely used chemical additive in the winemaking process, but also the most controversial, due to its effect on taste and health. Its use in winemaking is to inhibit or kill undesirable yeasts and bacteria, protecting the wine from oxidation. It is used at different stages…

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High bids for Clos de Tart, Côte-Rôtie and Champagne

One of the February Online Auctions at iDealwine attracted particularly active buyers from outside of France. Representing 30 different countries, these buyers bought nearly 50% of the lots sold, with Côte de Nuits, the Rhône Valley and Champagne all reaping impressive results. While Bordeaux’s prices remained mostly stable, there was renewed interest by Asian buyers in Lafite Rothschild, Haut Brion, La Mission Haut Brion, Palmer and Léoville Las Cases. The wines from Pontet Canet were also sought-after and their conversion to biodynamic practices has been particularly instrumental in the rise of prices for…

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Selecting the right glass

The shape and size of a wine glass is very important and while experts believe that a wine shows best in a larger glass, is bigger always better? When tasting (and drinking) wine, it is better to hold the glass by its base, not the body, which will warm the wine and make the flavours too volatile. It is a well-known fact that the tulip shape of a wine glass concentrates the aromas, making them more detectable. The type of material used (crystal compared to “cristallin”, which contains less lead) won’t significantly influence…

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Are aged wines still valuable?

Previous iDealwine auctions recorded impressive prices for older vintage wines. Now is the time to sort out your wine cellar! Online sales at iDealwine saw the prices of some older vintages soar. A bottle of Château Gruaud Larose 1928 sold for €531, while a Beychevelle of the same vintage even reached €826. Not surprisingly, the first growths will always be valuable collector’s items. Latour 1947 sold for €770, with Mouton Rothschild 1918 reaching €767. Sauternes is ageing well and prices are regularly estimated by auctions – a 1929 Climens sold for €826, while…

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Read more about the article Tasting made easy: understanding tannins
Tannins in wine
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Tasting made easy: understanding tannins

The word “tannin” may not be a part of everyday life, but it is often used when tasting red wine. After reading this article, you will understand what it means when someone says a wine is “extremely tannic”, or that after 20 years of ageing, “the tannins became soft!” What is tannin? Tannins are molecules present in grape skins and seeds. These molecules have the ability to react with proteins in your mouth’s saliva during tasting. The tannins precipitate during this reaction, giving wine a certain roughness. The role of tannins Tannins play…

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How much is a vertical of Mouton Rothschild worth?

Château Mouton Rothschild’s labels are annually illustrated by a renowned artist, making it particularly suited to be sold as a vertical. This type of lot, which is highly prized by wealthy buyers, can reach record prices on auction. A vintage vertical of the same wine is a rare and sought-after collection item. Many collectors will therefore patiently collect different vintages of the same wine, hoping to eventually profit from the resale of the batch as a whole. However, not all wines are suited to be sold as a vertical. Mouton Rothschild and Yquem…

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When to sell your wine

Knowing when to sell a wine is just as important as knowing which wine to sell. Our criteria guide below offers some tips on when to sell a particular bottle at an iDealwine Online Auction. 1. The “peak” effect An important consideration when selling a wine is the time frame during which it will taste the best. Auction buyers are generally looking for ready-to-drink vintages and buyers are, for example, more interested in 1990 Bordeaux at the moment than 2010. With a few exceptions, a wide range of vintages – eg. 1995 to…

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