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Odilon de Varine: ‘Viticulture is the change, not the climate’

It is changes to viticulture, and not global warming, that is bringing riper flavors to Champagne, according to Gosset cellar master, Odilon de Varine.

At the launch of the brand’s inaugural Blanc de Noirs in London last week, de Varine stated that climate change had not yet affected the character of the grapes in Champagne, and that riper fruit was a result of improved vineyard management.

Philippe Raoux in his cellar at Château d'Arsac. Photo: Tom Mullen

Philippe Raoux is a precise and relaxed man. He dresses impeccably and organizes his sentences—as well as his office and estate—tastefully. Despite being shorn away from his native land in youth, then scoffed at by a small clique of neighbors, he consistently and affably transforms the Médoc wine region of France into a more open, vibrant community.

Offers are expected to begin rolling out soon and will almost certainly be on a first-come-first-served basis.

Royal Tokaji has released an extremely limited amount of Aszú library wines from the first decade following the company’s founding in 1990.

Famously co-founded thanks to the drive and support of wine writer Hugh Johnson after the fall of communism in 1990, Royal Tokaji has now released fewer than 2,000 bottles of 5 and 6 Puttonyos wines from that first decade from its reserves.

Christian Seely produces 13 still wines at Quinta da Romaneira, including a 100% Petit Verdot.

Having spent the last 25 years reviving historic Port house Quinta do Noval, Christian Seely is turning his attention toward the Douro’s red wine mission, flagging Petit Verdot as one of the “most thrilling” international varieties to have emerged.

The new half-bottles form part of the new Blueprint Wine range, a complete relaunch and redesign of the retailer’s mid-level own-label range.

Waitrose has added a range of half-bottles to its own-label range, which offer greater choice for consumers mid-week, as part of a refresh of its mid-tier range.

Six of the most popular wines in the mid-tier will be available as 37.5cl half-bottles, but Waitrose said it may extend the range.