Tag: The Wine Doctor

Aug 08 2011

Bollinger: A Remarkable Champagne for almost all occasions!

Posted on August 08, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Bollinger is the only Champagne that can compete with Dom Perignon for star billing in a James Bond film.  To date, it has appeared in five films compared to Dom Perignon’s seven!

No doubt, the consummate marketer Lily Bollinger, who up until her death in 1977 tirelessy travelled the world promoting the brand, would be pleased that her Champagne is a favourite of one of the world’s most sophisticated and stylish spies!

Of course, Lily herself didn’t shy away from the limelight. She is perhaps most famous for the following oft-repeated quote about when to drink Champagne: “I drink it when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise, I never touch it—unless I’m thirsty.” (Lily Bollinger, 17 October 1961, Daily Mail, The Wine Doctor).

But as Chris Kissack of the Wine Doctor notes, Lily’s marketing prowess was just one of her many skills: “She was a hard taskmaster, personally directing operations in both vineyard and cave, everything from harvest and selection through to fermentation and blending. It is perhaps not surprising that much of Bollinger’s success today is traced back to her exacting methods.” (Bollinger, The Wine Doctor).

Bollinger was founded in 1829 by German businessman Joseph Jacob Placide Bollinger, who partnered with Athanase Hennequin de Villermont and Paul Renaudin. The Germans were huge fans of Champagne in the early 19th century and other famous German nationals, including Johann-Josef Krug and Charles Heidsieck, also founded their own great Champagne Houses during this period.

The individualistic style of Bollinger Champagne is partly due to the fact that it is one of the few Houses to ferment all of … Read the rest

Feb 02 2011

Chateau Haut-Brion: A Long List of Firsts

Posted on February 02, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

The first estate to lend its name to the wine

Château Haut-Brion, located just outside the city of Bordeaux, was the first estate to lend its name to the wine. It is the benchmark estate for the Pessac-Léognan. appellation of Graves and the only estate outside of the Médoc to be ranked in the famous 1855 Bordeaux Classification, when it became the fourth member of the original Premier Grand Cru or First Growth category – sharing company with its illustrious Left Bank neighbours to the north: Château Latour, Château Lafite Rothschild and Château Margaux.

An illustrious history of Royal and American Connections

Today the estate is owned by the Dillon Family and under the direction of Prince Robert de Luxembourg. Prince Robert is a direct descendant of  France’s King Henry IV and the great grandson of Clarence Dillon, the American financier who bought Château Haut-Brion in 1935.  In fact the estate’s royal and American connections go back centuries.

The cellar book of England’s King Charles II was the first written mention of Château Haut-Brion in 1660. (King Charles is believed to have developed an affection for the wine while exiled in France.) Thomas Jefferson, at the time the American ambassador to France, visited the estate in 1787, perhaps through the introduction of Prince Charles-Maurice de Tallyrand-Perigord, the distinguished international diplomat, who briefly owned Château Haut-Brion at the beginning of the 19th century.

The first estate to introduce a new style of wine

In the 17th century Château Haut-Brion invented a new style of wine that was popularised in London by the Pontac Family, the then owners of Haut-Brion. They established a very fashionable eating tavern, Pontack’s Head, where some of the greatest luminaries of time, including diarist Samuel Pepys, wrote about the ‘new French claret.’

Over the past 75 … Read the rest