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Term Definition

See Malbec

Cuve close

See 'Tank method'

Domaine de la Romanée-Conti

Abbr. DRC

This vineyard, in Burgundy (France), produces some of the most expensive wine in the world.

Reds (Pinot Noir grape): La Tâche (production c. 1,800 cases/yr) Richebourg (production c. 1,000 cases/yr) Romanée-St-Vivant (production c. 1,500 cases/yr) Grands Échezeaux (production c. 1,150 cases/yr) Échezeaux: (production c. 1,300 cases/yr)

White (Chardonnay grape): Montrachet (production c. 300 cases/yr)


A German term which refers to the finest wines from individual vineyards.


Dessert wine produced from frozen grapes. The water content of the grape is frozen and removed from the grape before being fermented. This concentrates the sweetness of the grape, thus resulting in a sweeter wine.

en primeur

This refers to the practice of buying wines before they are released on to the open market (while it is still in the barrel). This process is common in Bordeaux (France) and some other regions. This can be a risky business as the wine's value has not always increased by the time it is bottled and the wine cannot usually be tasted by the public before they commit to buy it. However, it does enable consumers to purchase wine that will not come to the open market once bottled (because it is snapped up by collectors in the en primeur process) and can offer wines at more affordable prices.

Expert and informed advice should be taken before buying wine 'en primeur' - you can easily get caught out and you can lose money.


The conversion of sugar to alcohol (using yeast).

Therefore, grapes with higher sugar levels usually create wines with higher alcohol (although the winemaker can stop fermentation by, for example, adding sulphur dioxide, filtering out the yeast, increasing the temperature).

Flavescence dorée

A bacterial disease which can kill new vines and reduce the yield in older vines. It is gathering strength in France and is believed to now be a significant risk within many regions of France.


One of the 10 Beaujolais Cru appellations (France).


A white wine grape which is most notably used for the sweet dessert wine, Tokaji. The grape has good acidity levels and is particularly susceptible to botrytis (which concentrates the grapes and makes for sweeter wines). These two factors make it perfect for sweet wine production, and these wines have good ageing potential.

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