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Festive Buys
A fruity and vibrant fizz, perfect for Christmas celebrations. Made in the Champagne method, this is crisp and fresh with touches of toasted brioche, citrus flavours and fine, persistent bubbles on the palate. Great as an aperitif. GH Alcohol 12% Gl
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Virginia At A Glance
Producers More than 300 wineries and 400 vineyards Area under vine 1,515.5ha (average vineyard size 6ha) Annual production 90,840hl (2019) AVAs (in descending order of importance) Monticello, Middleburg, Shenandoah Valley, Northern Neck, Williamsb
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Notes & Queries
Why is the alcohol content for Champagne always 12%? Curtis Penfold, London, UK Anne Krebiehl MW says: Champagne used to be a region at the northerly confines of viticulture – producers thus made a virtue out of necessity: the second fermentation add
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Festive Treats
From Champagne Taittinger’s Napa Valley estate, an elegant blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, with 2% Pinot Gris. Pretty nose of citrus and blossom, with subtle creamy toastiness. Fresh, delicate with persistent bubbles, plus brisk acidity. A perfec
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Virginia: 10 Names To Know
From the moment the Vrooman family staked out a tiny vineyard in Amherst in central Virginia (far from the proven soils of the Monticello AVA and higher in altitude than anyone thought wise), friends and lovers of Pinot Noir alike had fingers crossed
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Cinnamon
While you might be familiar with the sight of a festive cinnamon stick bobbing in your glass of mulled wine, some other wines give the impression of cinnamon in their flavours and aromas. This is because cinnamon contains aromatic compounds called es
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Wines Of The Year 2020: Sparklings And Reds
Tthere hasn’t been much to celebrate in the past 12 months. But in challenging times, great wines can always lift the spirits –and our fourth Wines of the Year tasting certainly does that. We asked Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Chairs, key cont
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Tesauro’s 10: Best Of Virginia State
Slater Run’s estate was designed by ampelographer Lucie Morton, the first American woman to attend the viticulture course at Montpellier’s national agronomy school. Made in the Champagne method with 24 months on lees, this has a terrific mousse, arom
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Market Watch
Vintage Port fans have been spoilt for choice recently, but merchants and analysts remain lukewarm about the sector’s investment credentials. It’s an exciting time for vintage Port collectors, from 2018 vintage declarations to the acclaimed 2016 and
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2020: The Year That Was
France’s first ‘dry January’ campaign divided the nation, criticised by several leading writers and chefs as an ‘Anglo-Saxon and puritan obsession’. Australia’s bushfires dominated headlines. Wine Australia said less than 1% of vineyard land lay in f
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ANNIVERSARY BUYS: The Decanter Guide
As I was approaching my Big 5-0, I visited Argentina, hosted by a famous figure in the world of wine. At dinner one night, my host’s wife told me that her husband’s 70th birthday was just around the corner. I declared that I was also about to reach a
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Release round-up: Beaucastel 2019
Château de Beaucastel 2019 was a big-name en primeur release from Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the Rhône in November 2020. At the equivalent of about £550 for 12 bottles in bond (ib) en primeur, Liv-ex said the wine was above market prices for the 2018 and
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LOCKDOWN STORIES: View From The Vines
Surreal. That’s the word many winemakers use about lockdown, a stark new reality that defined 2020: the year that Covid-19 struck. It was like floating in a bubble – your world feels undone, uncoupled’, is how California-based flying winemaker Paul
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SWEET AND FORTIFIED WINES: How To Serve And Preserve
We all know what to do with white, red, rosé and sparkling – but what about sweet and fortified wines? These unmatched, flavour-laden classics – because that is what they are – are often overlooked simply because we’re not sure how, when and with wha
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Billecart-salmon, Cuvee Nicolas Francois 1959
This was the wine that triumphed in a blind tasting of 150 vintage Champagnes organised in 1999 by an expert team led by Richard Juhlin from Sweden. It won first place as ‘Champagne of the Millennium’, and second place was, remarkably, taken by the 1
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Petrus
It says something when you open a bottle of wine that everybody around the table has already declared is almost certainly a fake, and yet it still creates a ripple of excitement. But that’s what the sight of Petrus 1945 on a label does to people – me
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Leftover Lusciousness: Use Every Drop
At Quinta do Noval in the Douro Valley, cook Maria João turns leftover late bottled vintage or vintage Port into a fruity, sweet sauce for pancakes. For four people you need: ‘A generous pat of butter, two tablespoons of brown sugar and a full glass
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The Facts
Bottles produced N/A Composition 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay Yield 36hl/ha Alcohol 12.5% Release price N/A Price today N/A ■
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Petrus: At A Glance
Owner Jean-François and Jean Moueix through Videlot; 20% stake Alejandro Santo Domingo Size 11.5ha Winemaker Olivier Berrouet, second generation after Jean-Claude Berrouet Production About 30,000 bottles per year. There is a rarely seen separate bott
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Distilled by Decanter
The latest limited-release from leading Scotch malt whisky Glenmorangie is inspired by memories of baking and is a celebration of everything that’s good about cake. Finished in Tokaji casks, Glenmorangie A Tale of Cake (Alc 46%) is a single malt base
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Petrus: A Timeline
1785 Belleyme map of Pomerol is published; Petrus is not mentioned 1860s Arnaud family pieces together the plots of vines in the mid-19th century and Petrus is mentioned in local archives as a farmhouse with vines 1878 Petrus is the first Pomerol win
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THREE OF THE BEST Spiced Rums
Blend of aged rums, steeped with native Caribbean bois bandé tree bark and spices including nutmeg, clove and cinnamon. Rich and complex; versatile enough to sip or mix. Great value. Alc 40% A sweeter profile than many spiced rums, due to ageing in b
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Decanter
Managing Director Paul Newman Magazine Editor & Regional Editor (Champagne, Alsace, Loire) Amy Wislocki Content Manager & Regional Editor (US, Canada, Australia, NZ, South Africa) Tina Gellie Digital Editor Eleanor Douglas Editor, Decanter Premium &
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A Sip Of The Exquisite: Anson’s Petrus Picks
£2,900-£3,700 (ib) Widely available Bottled in mid-August 2018, tasted in October 2018. This is already taking on the most amazing slow creep of well-defined, crisp violet, cassis, tight black fruits and fig notes; floral and fresh yet complex and ri
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Worth The Wait: Great XO Cognacs
While 95% of the grapes grown in Cognac are Ugni Blanc, there are two other approved varieties – Colombard and Folle Blanche. This XO was made entirely from the latter two. A nose of grapefruit peel, orange segments, ginger, toffee and wood varnish p
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The Art Of Wine
It’s late January, and snow is still thick on the ground in this, one of the northernmost of Europe’s traditional wine regions. Wrapped up warm against the bitter cold, pickers harvest frozen Riesling grapes destined for eiswein. High in natural suga
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Chablis 2019
umming up 2019, Louis Moreau, president of the Chablis Commission of the Burgundy wine board (BIVB), said: ‘We have been able to produce a top-quality vintage.’ After recently tasting 225 samples that were shipped to London especially for Decanter, m
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Champagne: The Facts
Vineyard area 34,300ha Area by variety Pinot Noir 13,034ha, Meunier 10,976ha, Chardonnay 10,290ha Sub-regions Montagne de Reims, Côte des Blancs, Vallée de la Marne, Côte de Sézanne and the southernmost Côte des Bar Villages/crus 319 – grand cru 1
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Month In Wine
Global trade tension has continued to loom over wine shipments in 2020, but in the US there was speculation that a Joe Biden-led administration might reverse tariff hikes on European wines that, according to some retailers, have driven up prices. Win
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Vintage Conditions: Triumph In Adversity
The 2019 growing season began with a cold, wet January and February, and a cool March. Budburst started in early April and frost was a threat during the month – Guillaume Michel observes that vineyard ‘candles’ needed to be lit several times. June wa
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