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Anson: Nature vs nurture in Bordeaux wine styles

Jane Anson looks at how vineyard and winemaking decisions have changed the style at three top Bordeaux châteaux in the 21st century, arguing that the romantic idea of terroir as an unchanging slice of earth ignores the reality that it is a managed ecosystem.

What difference do stems, oak barrels, hang time, farming strategies and fermentation temperature actually make to the wine in our glass?

These are not questions that we ask very often in Bordeaux – a region where the image pushed by the châteaux is of tradition, history and continuity, and where vintage is fetishised over winemaker impact.

How Bordeaux wine styles can change: Scroll down for tasting notes of Troplong Mondot, Clerc Milon and Carmes Haut-Brion wines

Tasting notes on Bordeaux 2001 vs 2017: Three case studies

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