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Auction Report: Strong enthusiasm for Petrus, La Chapelle 1961 & top Champagne

Going against the grain, on a market where Bordeaux wines have remained stable for many months, one wine has stirred up the auctions, and wine enthusiasts - Petrus. The last online auctions of 2015 included the traditional prestige bottles. This year, Petrus has made the headlines, with at least 150 bottles of precious Pomerol sold in their original wooden cases, alongside bottles of big name Champagne, an extremely rare 1961 Hermitage La Chapelle and wines from the Romanée Conti estate. Let’s take a look at the astonishing prices. A rare series of Petrus…

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Climate: winegrowers fear the consequence of a mild winter

In recent weeks, widespread enthusiasm about the quality of 2015 vintages has given way to growing concern about the current mild winter and its implications for the 2016 harvest. Winegrowers had been saying it months before their optimism spread throughout the wine sector when the harvests were over: 2015 was an excellent year for almost all France's vineyards. The long period of warmth in June and July, tempered by the rain in August and followed by good temperatures in September created the ideal conditions for grapes to ripen. There should not be any…

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Will corked wine soon be a thing of the past?

Research is moving apace to try to resolve the problem of corked wine which leads to millions of hectolitres of wastage per year– something winegrowers and wine enthusiasts alike could happily do without. We review the alternatives available and scientific progress in this area. Every year, 1-3 % of bottles sold are corked when opened. Fortunately, this rate has tended to go down in recent years due to continuous improvements in cork manufacturing techniques. Treatments used on cork and corks have been enhanced to prevent the growth of the molecule responsible for cork…

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China will be the top wine-consuming country by 2027

According to calculations by Coface (a French export credit insurer), China will be the top market for wine in the world in 2027, ahead of the United States, France, Italy and Germany. World wine consumption should rise by approximately 10% in the same time-frame, but will double in China (to 30 million hectolitres). China currently ranks fifth in the world for wine consumption with 16 million hectolitres drunk in 2014, but a dozen years from now, it will be in first place (it is already the leading consumer of red wine). Wine consumption…

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The history of grape varieties – Episode 2 – Bordeaux (part 2/2)

This is the second episode of our saga dedicated to the history, genealogy and main characteristics of grape varieties. Today we conclude the historic grape varieties of Bordeaux with Petit Verdot and Semillon, as well as two that have almost disappeared from the vineyards: Malbec (or Cot) and Carménère . How do we identify grape varieties? There are three techniques used by specialists to determine the origin and kinship of a grape variety. The etymology. Understanding the source of the words that were given to a grape variety can give interesting clues. However,…

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