The Great Pretender
Hermitage in the Northern Rhone Valley slopes

Many wine lovers consider the 1961 Paul Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle Rouge to be one of the great wines; unfortunately it is very scarce. So is there an equivalent in the offing?

In conversation at a recent wine dinner, the subject turned to the staggering price that a case of 1961 Paul Jaboulet La Chapelle fetched at Christie’s Fine and Rare Wine Auction in London, a staggering GBP123,750 (HK$945187.00) inclusive of taxes and premiums, a European record for a single case of wine. The conversation then turned to the vintages of La Chapelle that might potentially be the equal of the enduring 1961. According to the vintage charts, the 1978 and 1990 are the obvious candidates.

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Red Harvest
Barolo Nebbiolo Grape

A progressive balance of contemporary and traditional techniques have transformed the otherwise unyielding Nebbiolo grape.

For the uninitiated, the formidable Barolo is a full-bodied Italian red wine produced in the Piedmonte region of northwest Italy from the idiosyncratic and indigenous Nebbiolo grape.

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Bordeaux En Primeur
The Chateau La Lagune, France

Red Bordeaux en primeur 2007, an underappreciated, early drinking, mid-term cellaring vintage for devotees, not investors.

En Primeur or wine futures has its logic, after all we are dealing with the most collectable wine in the world, the consumer pays upfront, supposedly at a discount to the projected market price, taking title of an unfinished wine that they will receive in two or three year’s time, the Bordelaise château proprietors achieve a contingent source of finance in an industry that is inordinately capital intensive.

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Blanc check
Henri Bourgeois - Gafencu Men

Within the steep slopes and valleys of Sancerre, Sauvignon Blanc reflects the individual soils and microclimates of its terroirs, and is a world apart from the popular New Zealand wines of the Marlborough region.

The entire world seems to be producing Sauvignon Blanc and the whole world willingly drink it. But wine consumers tend to identify Sauvignon Blanc with the New World rather than the time-honored names of Sancerre or Pouilly Fume in France.

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First Among Equals
Rudesheim Berg Schlossberg, indisputably the top vineyard site in Rudesheim with its slate and quartzite soils

Great wines are hopefully always enigmatic and there are some real gems to be discovered among the 2006 German Rieslings.

While there is a preoccupation with debating the merits of dry or sweet Rieslings, the international consumer has predominantly maintained an orthodox view of German Riesling with a preference for the richer lateharvest styles, particularly the exceptional and unique qualities of Auslese, Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese.

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