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Jefford on Monday

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Andrew Jefford 2005 CIVB advertising campaign for Bordeaux wines

French wine's increasingly effective lobbying arm is called Vin et Société. After a tendentious success in October last year, it has recently launched a new campaign – to try to clarify some of the vagaries of interpretation surrounding the Loi Evin. This one deserves complete victory.

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Jefford on Monday: Learning On The Hill

Mounir Sawma

Few regions have had worse luck with the weather over the past four vintages than Burgundy: a 30% shortfall in 2010; 25% down in 2011; only half a crop in 2012 and 2013. That makes one-and-a-half missing harvests in four years. Or, if you prefer, about 1.5bn potential euros swirling off down storm drains, or quietly collapsing in a fluff of mould.

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Jefford on Monday: Drunk On Time

Jefford Madeira vineyard

It was almost Christmas, and I was running a fever. This, oddly, seemed to heighten rather than diminish sensual acuity. There was an end-of-term feel at the Madeira Wine Company, and I'd arrived towards dusk, too; those in charge of the tasting room gestured towards the reference shelves of ancient bottles, all of them open, indicating that I should try what I wanted, while they chatted with the peaceable lack of urgency you often find on islands, once the day's last boat has left.

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Jefford yeast

I've always been a moral relativist, and as time goes by I seem to be becoming more of a vinous relativist, too. There are some wine questions which just don't have a wrong or right answer. Take yeast, for example.

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Jefford on Monday: A Chill In The Air

Jefford infloresences Yquem

Vines flower with radical discretion. My second visit to Bordeaux this year coincided with the beginning of flowering: that shy lifting of the cap (in fact a fused bonnet of petals), revealing the five yellow pollen-dusted stamens and the green pistil (composed of stigma, style and ovary) at their heart.

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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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