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The gourmet union of Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate and Michelin

After Trump’s visit last week in Paris for Bastille Day, another hot French-American topic hits the headlines, this time in the wine business: the French Michelin Guide has taken over 40% of the capital of Robert Parker’s very famous American wine critic company, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (RPWA). Robert Parker long found it was regrettable that wine and gastronomy were dissociated by specialized critics. However, beginning of July, the purchase of 40% of RPWA’s capital by Michelin demonstrates that these two worlds are made to work together. As a reminder, the American critic…

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Where does the sweet taste of dry white wines come from?

In terms of taste, the balance of a wine depends primarily on the level of acidity and its tannic structure, but equally on its sweetness and smooth taste. This usually relates to “sucrosity”, a neologism which describes a sweet taste unrelated to sugar. But where does the sweetness that can be found in fine dry white wines come from, since it is not the product of residual sugars as is the case with dessert wines? Axel Marchal – who holds a doctorate in wine science from the University of Bordeaux – wrote a…

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Jancis Robinson on the evolution of wine since 1985

Last week, the famous wine critic Jancis Robinson published an article on her website in which she analyses the evolution of wine and viticulture around the world since 1985. Some of the factors that emerged from this analysis include the globalisation of the wine trade, "francisation" of grapes around the world, the emergence of New World wines, the globalisation of tastes and wines, and finally, in a kind of countermovement, the promotion of identity and uniqueness of terroir. In 1985, Australia exported only 2% of its wine production (compared to 60% today). This…

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Bordeaux 2014: a question of price

In the aftermath of the 2014 Bordeaux En Primeur tastings, the question on everyone's mind is what prices will these wines be sold for? Every year, the En Primeur tastings draw the world’s media to Bordeaux, who evaluate and rate the wines, trying to identify specific strengths and flaws. Stakeholders unanimously hold their breath until the publication of tasting notes, which award some wines as “excellent”, while others "could improve" and some are even ”banished to the corner...”. Until a few years ago, the most awaited report was that of Robert Parker. But…

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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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