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Jefford on Monday

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Bruichladdich DuncanMcGillivray

I didn’t know what to expect. No, let me rephrase that. Having thought at some depth about this subject, ever since I wrote Peat Smoke and Spirit back in 2004, I did know what to expect -- but this was a good-humoured debate in the London Gastronomy Seminars series, the cream of the capital’s gastronomic elite sat listening, and I had asked for a vote at the end. Although it was the relationship between malt whisky and place which was at issue, all of this has a bearing on the wine world, as you’ll see.

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Jeffordvines

"This rain," said winegrower Thierry Navarre, staring cheerfully out of his cellar windows at the forbidding clouds swirling around the mountain opposite, "couldn't have come at a better time." It was exactly two weeks before the spring equinox. The pruned vines were tense, crouched like cats, ready to leap into life as the sun returns for its next northern circuit. The river Orb roared under Roquebrun bridge, spinning and eddying through its gorge, swamping the riverbank trees and turning the old watermill into a tall stone island.

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Jefford on Monday: Auction Fever

Premiere Napa Valley Auction

Why buy wine at auction? After another affluent year in the salerooms, it seems as if auction purchasers enjoy paying over the odds - and that's before they've found handfuls of extra money for the alarming buyer's premium (and local taxes). Acker Merrall & Condit claimed to have set "145 world auction records" at its Hong Kong sale on November 4th to 5th last year, while some of the prices reported in Decanter magazine's monthly 'Auction news' over the last 12 months suggest that the paddle wavers simply don't bother with - or forget all about - their homework.

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Celia Welch Jefford

Do men and women make wine in a different way from one another?

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Jefford on Monday

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Award-winning writer Andrew Jefford's Monday column on Decanter.com

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