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A century ago the appalling louse phylloxera munched its way across every vineyard region on Earth. The only place that escaped was Chile. When European vineyards were replanted, they overlooked the carmenere grape. This was rediscovered in Chile five years ago, lurking unacknowledged amid fields of merlot. Now Chile is in a ferment of making use of 'the forgotten grape of Bordeaux'. And a very good thing, too; the 99 has a juicy, spicy, peppery flavour.
Jebsen: 2926 2240
When Don Lorenzo Garcia got his land grant from the Spanish throne in 1597, there were already grapes flourishing around the crystal waters in the wells of the Parras Valley in northeastern Mexico. Today, modern equipment, classic French grapes and talented young winemakers give this Mexican estate a fine reputation. The 99 could be a strong Californian chardonnay, with bold, buttery characteristics.
Links Concept: 2802 2818
Why's champagne so expensive? I asked Antoine Roland-Billecart from the famous House of Billecart-Salmon. The answer almost made me drop my flute. A hectare of land in a prime part of Champagne costs $4 million, he says. You get 10,000 kilograms of grape a hectare, which works out to about 6,000 bottles. That works out to about $700 a bottle, just for the land. How can you make money? 'With difficulty,' he says. This 95 cuvee Elizabeth rose is not cheap but it's a beautiful wine for very special occasions.
Kedington Wines: 2898 9323