Raymond Blake

wine writer

Raymond Blake

wine writer

Raymond Blake

wine writer

Raymond Blake

wine writer

Burgundy

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“Sangliers sur la ligne,” said the announcement as the TGV, France’s high-speed train, ground to a halt somewhere between Paris and Burgundy. We got a good view of the wild boar, about a dozen of them, as they left the tracks and sauntered across a field before disappearing into some forest. Then we were on our way again. Read More...
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Taste of Tuscany

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Oh, to be a crow in Tuscany, land of the rolling hill and the ever-winding road. Your destination is glimpsed long before you reach it, particularly if it is a hilltop town such as the multi-towered San Gimignano. Read More...
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Peter Lehmann RIP

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The word ‘legend’ is bandied about with such tiring frequency these days that it is easy to lose sight of its true meaning. But not that easy. Those in the wine world keen to reacquaint themselves with what it really means only have to look at the life of Peter Lehmann, who passed away this week. Read More...
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Brilliant Reputation - Woeful Image

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You may have noticed that World Sherry 'Day' lasts for a week (20th to 26th May). I believe they got that idea from us here in Ireland where St Patrick's Day can last for 10 and, when the Celtic Tiger was roaring loudest, Christmas Day stretched towards three weeks on occasion. Read More...
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The Road to Burgundy

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I first met Ray Walker at Domaine Dujac in Morey-Saint-Denis during harvest 2010, Tuesday 28th September to be precise. I was talking to Jacques Seysses, patriarch of the domaine, and Walker was standing off to one side. Read More...
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ANZAC Dinner

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What better way to celebrate ANZAC Day than by organising a themed wine dinner with wines from Australia and New Zealand, and the food giving at least a nod to the Antipodes? That’s precisely what I did last weekend. Read More...
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Barbeito Madeira

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For thrilling intensity of flavour there is nothing to beat Madeira. Nothing. So there was no way I was going to miss the Barbeito tasting, hosted in Pearl Brasserie, Dublin yesterday by Ricardo Diogo V Freitas and organised by Ally Alpine of Wines on the Green. Read More...
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Bordeaux En Primeur

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The Bordeaux ‘en primeur’ circus is about to swing into action. Here’s my take on it, written earlier this year for publication in the April issue of Food & Wine Magazine:

It might not have made headlines on Sky or CNN but within the cosy little world of fine wine the news last year that Château Latour, one of the superstar names of Bordeaux, was withdrawing from the annual en primeur jamboree set tongues wagging and the twittersphere humming. Read More...
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Wine Fraud!

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Fake: a thing that is not genuine; a forgery or sham.
Counterfeit: a fraudulent imitation of something else.

Call them what you will but the bottles of Domaine Ponsot wines consigned for sale at an Acker, Merrall & Condit auction in New York on 25th April 2008 were definitely not genuine. Most definitely not. Read More...
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Screwcap - Cork's Saviour?

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The cork industry should welcome the Stelvin screwcap closure as a saviour, not a villain. A bold statement, yes, but picture this: when Food & Wine came on the scene 15 years ago cork ruled the roost; never was a screwcap seen in any of our tastings. But it was a despotic rule Read More...
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