Jefford on Monday

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Jefford on Monday: Farewell Jef

Jean François (Jef) Izarn

I hate writing this text. While I was tasting at the Decanter World Wine Awards in early May, a friend emailed to say that Jean-François (Jef) Izarn of Borie la Vitarèle in St Chinian had been killed on his tractor. Any accidental, premature death is always tragic, but this one seems to me unusually bitter.

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Jefford on Monday: Talking it over

Champagne

Much of the language used to describe and to sell Champagne is, to put it politely, wildly inflated, and it’s easy to develop an allergic reaction to Champagne guff. Yet even a boiler-plated old hack like me can come to admire the theoretical edifice which those involved in creating and selling expensive Champagne brands manage to create around them.

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Philippe and Sandrine Gayral

If wines were animal species, Philippe Gayral’s range would include the kakapo, the Bactrian camel and Spix’s macaw. All are critically endangered. Perhaps, though, the rare African ass is a better analogy. Like the magical but shrinking wild ass’s skin of Balzac’s 1831 novel Peau de Chagrin, the more success Gayral has with his wines, the fewer remain for him to sell.

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Chateauneuf in spring

The different ways in which white wines can be structured is more various than most of us allow. And the fact that the cool-climate, northern European white has been the dominant aesthetic model worldwide over the last couple of decades is just silly.

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Emmanuel Giboulot

A selfless idealist, fighting for agricultural freedom and new solutions to vineyard challenges? Or a biodynamic fundamentalist making life difficult for his neighbours, friends and colleagues? Mention Emmanuel Giboulot in wine circles, and you tend to hear the sound of knees jerking en masse -- in opposite directions.

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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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