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Domaine de l’Hortus: Introducing the Naked Venus

Andrew Jefford tastes ‘the enduring classics of a recovered tradition’...

There’s no reason why a beautifully sited vineyard should produce outstanding wine. Vines are eyeless, as well as aesthetically illiterate; what matters to their stomata is the play of light, wind and warmth on their leaves, and the comfort and sustenance they can draw from their anchored roots.

A dull, stony rise in the Médoc may be vastly superior, in terms of vine performance and fruit balance and complexity, to an entrancing slope in Provence or the Cape.