Wednesday 8 August 2012

Paolo Baracchino 91/93

Magazine ONOS Italie            
Avril 2012 dégustation primeurs 2011

"Ruby red with intense crimson tints.
Pleasant bouquet with an abundant variety of intense aromas: graphite, cherry, mint, chocolate, tanned leather, a delicate touch of rubber and strong hints of liquorice, plum, tar and violets. A palpable touch of Virginia tobacco on the finish.
Lovely fresh sweet plum on the palate veering to slightly ripe Morello cherry.
Nicely balanced wine; the acid outweighs its alcohol.
The tannins are round and velvety and completely fill the mouth (6/6). Long with violets on the finish.
The 2010 displayed black truffle on the bouquet and on the palate, which I could not find in the 2011.
In my opinion this 2011 outdoes the already pleasing 2010 and the 2009, whose wood was a little too distinct.
The ripeness of the fruit has improved.
In general terms for me, too much wood and jam do not make a good wine.
Fortunately, this chateau does not have this sort of problem."

"I like Mr Paolo Baracchino a lot. This very cultured Italian gentleman from the world of wine and gastronomy is very distinguished and has an extraordinary ability to describe the aromas and tastes of wines. On my opinion he excels even more with aromas than with tastes, for which in my view  JM. Quarin leads. Both tasters are shining examples and I would encourage you to read their comments, whenever you get the opportunity, not to follow them blindly, but to help you develop the yardsticks with which you can assess and form an opinion about wines according to your own taste and hone your own analytical skills, so you can choose the best wines for your cellar. " Guy Meslin

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Lafleur Laroze

Lafleur Laroze 2009 recently won a silver medal at the “Feminalises” competition in Beaunes, awarded, as the name implies, by an all-woman jury. The organiser asked me for a comment on the wine.

Lafleur Laroze is the second wine of Château Laroze.
It is a Saint-Emilion Grand Cru.

"Intense garnet robe.
Elegant, fairly strong bouquet with a complex feel, and sweet vanilla and fresh red fruit aromas with a little liquorice.
Soft attack which grows to fill the mouth with noticeable, smooth tannins, which are like nectar on the palate. This wine has volume, depth and taste! It is a good idea to let the wine breathe a little to highlight the sweet tannins.
The tannins carry right through to the finish, which is fresh, but they have blended in enough to be really enjoyable. The palate aromas are the same as on the bouquet with some extra slight notes of pepper and sweet spice."

Even if a winemaker may not be the most objective when describing his own wine, nevertheless, I think this comment isn’t too far from the truth."

Wednesday 11 April 2012

Laroze 2009 Decanter 4 stars: 17.25/20

Last issue of Decanter magazine about tasting notes of Grands crus Classes and 1er GCC de Saint-Emilion on vintage 2009:
"Abundant ripe,fresh cherry, toasty oak and perfume. Fresh in the context of the vintage with chewy tannins, admirable concentration and a good kick of acidity. Delicious. Good raw material. Lush, broad and succulent."

Laroze is placed at the 11th place amongst the 61 wines tasted.
Great for us!

Monday 30 January 2012

2011 Afternoon tasting

We were tasting the batches of 2011 this afternoon with our consultant oenologist from Hubert de Bouard’s team.
It was the first general review after malolactic fermentation and I felt the same sensations as when we were tasting the grapes from the vines in August and September. I said and wrote at the time that because the grape pips were so ripe so early as a result of the very dry conditions, there was no astringency and the tannins were soft without being dominant. I said I expected a 2011 vintage with soft tannins.
This is exactly what I tasted today.
The tannins are soft and clear-cut, the body is very well endowed and there is still fresh, ripe fruit on the palate. This is not a muscle-bound vintage, but one that is sensual and soft with clear-cut aromas and tannins. It is beautifully elegant and smooth, and glides across the palate very comfortably, which makes it so attractive.
This will be an easy vintage to approach that is accommodating and sociable, enjoyable early, but also worth laying down for quite a while, because it has the acidity to age well.
In fact 2009, 2010 and 2011 make a fine trilogy!

Tuesday 17 January 2012


Often the climate excesses give the specifities of the vintage. What where they in 2011?

Wednesday 27 July 2011

The grapes are starting to colour up

The collection point of all the drains in the various plots of my vineyard has been dry for some weeks now, since the beginning of July during my summer break. I didn’t note down the date at which it dried up in 2009, but it was in mid-August! The vines’ growth cycle is also well ahead of itself, so the fact that my pipe has dried up and the grapes have begun to change colour is logical, because at this time of year the vines need to stop growing and switch to ripening their fruit.
For that to happen, the vines need to undergo hydric stress.
What’s special about this vintage is that has already dramatically lacked water and undergone very high temperatures at the end of June, when the grapes started showing signs of being burnt. At the mid-way point in the grapes’ colour change, we are already extremely tight in terms of water.
Fortunately over the last few days, the Bordeaux area has been subject to irregular, serial rainy spells in which very varied quantities of water have fallen from place to place. For example my work colleague, who lives near La Réole on the banks of the Garonne River and whose family owns a vineyard, recorded practically 30 mm (1.2 inches) of rainfall over the last 24 hours, while at Laroze in the middle of Saint-Emilion I only saw 1 mm! I ate my heart out! The rain hasn’t finished yet: we’ve had 20 mm (3/4 inch) since the beginning of July. The temperatures are cooler, the vines can breathe again and the humid air and windy weather is good for the colour change, when the grapes turn from green to red, then dark blue. 20% of the Merlot grapes have already changed colour.
Of course, the vines absorb water through their leaves and even if the ground still remains dry deep down, the humidity in the air and the showers are enough to supply them with what they need for now.
Again, none of all this tells us anything about the quality of the vintage. I personally hope we get a lousy, rainy July, which isn’t too hot, with fine weather at the end of the summer for ripening and the harvest, but I’m not sure the weather forecaster cares about what I wish …

Tuesday 14 June 2011

The water reserves in the soils

This morning the collection point, which is fed by the water from all the vineyard drains was flowing with the volume of a 20 mm pipe, whereas at the same period last year, I noted a flow equivalent to a 60 mm pipe. Last year, the flow went down to 20 mm around 25 July, which means that we are a full month’s useful water reserves short in 2011!
The frequency and volume of the rainfall in July and August will be decisive for what follows. Today the vines look well, everything appears to be normal, even if it is very early. We only observe slower growth and a slightly lighter green in the leaves than usual.

A few showers

10 June 2011: Thirty millimetres of rain fell this week between the 5th and 10th of June. This constitutes a good watering mid-term that gives the vine some respite, enabling it to continue to develop comfortably.

The Mildiou

8 June 2011: The first cases of the most important disease to affect vines in the Bordeaux area – downy mildew – only appeared on the 7th of June with the much-awaited refreshing rainfall.
This disease is basically linked to warm temperatures and humidity. The major drought conditions at the beginning of this year only delayed its appearance. As a result, we have not had to spray the vines as much, which of course is a good thing.

Friday 10 June 2011

See the Spring Newsletter

Informations about the climate in 2011, how the flowering was going, the general evolutions about Laroze. Go to the letter.

Wednesday 1 June 2011

Gault et Millau 17,5/20

Very subtle, floral with gorgeously elegant structure. The sheer delight of fresh, tender fruit with hints of benzoin. (Pierre Guigui)

Thursday 19 May 2011

B.BURTSCHY 93/100 16/20

Dark colour. Intense nose, elegant. All in elegance and length on the palate, straight, superb very pure finish.

DECANTER 16,5/20

More structured than the '09 but without exaggeration. The tender side of Laroze still shows. Lovely fruit expression. Good length. Harmonious. Drink 2016-2025.

Tuesday 3 May 2011

Bettane-Desseauve 16-17

A pretty wine, superbly balanced with nothing heavy about it. Lovely rich fruit, smooth, more-ish, elegant length.

Sunday 1 May 2011

Revue des Vins de France 15.5-16.5

Clear progress in the quality of the tannins. They are often a little harsh on the palate, but they are smooth and mellow, which makes this year’s wine very attractive. They are also particularly ripe. With its explosive fruit aromas this wine has gained enormously in roundness. Philippe Maurange.

René Gabriel

Château Laroze : 17
Lafleur Laroze : 16

Niel Martin 86-89

This is certainly displaying some sur-maturite on the nose with touches of fresh prune and fig. The palate is full-bodied with chewy tannins, moderate acidity, attractive purity and showing more refinement and composure towards the sinewy finish. Tasted March 2011.

Monday 11 April 2011

JM.QUARIN 16,50-16,75/20

My best score given to this estate’s wines “en primeur”.
This is the most subtle Laroze I know.
Dark, intense, beautiful robe. Elegant, fruity, ripe, smooth, subtle bouquet. Smooth attack, mellow as it develops, very hedonistic, the wine fills out to become rich and airy. Packed with aromas, its finish is long, complex and elegant. Delicious and more epicurean than ever. A great success.

Wine Spectator. James Mollesworth: 89-92

Shows more toasty spice and vanilla aromas, with the core of plum and blackberry fruit staying in reserve for now. Yet there’s solid length, with good grip on the finish. (ndlr: tasted in the US)

Saturday 2 April 2011

James Suckling 91-92

He tasted and published his commentaries far before others and made many jalous...

Roses and berries, with hints of milk chocolate. Full and velvety.

Press Review on Laroze 2010

It is the beginning of the tastings of the vintage 2010 for the professionnals and journalists.
Their commentaries will regularly be published here and will also be accessible on a sheet "press review" on the web site of Laroze.

Tuesday 26 October 2010

The last grapes:

In fact we did not start harvesting the Cabernet Franc again until 20th October, finishing them the following day including the Cabernet Sauvignon.
On the 22nd, we organised our end-of-the-harvest “Gerbaude” celebration with the 58 people, who took part over a lunch-time buffet. It was a relief and great satisfaction to have been able to wait for the grapes to ripen properly while being able to already taste some wines in the making in the tanks with the characteristic tenderness of the ripe tannins just as we like them to be.
We have a great vintage in our hands with outstanding colour, good acid levels and tannins just at the right point of ripeness. It’s up to us now to craft a truly great wine!

Friday 15 October 2010

Cabernet franc.

We finished to pick the merlot grapes last wednesday 13th and will start to pick the cabernet franc next monday oct 18th. The last year we finished to pick the cabernet franc late was in 2008 from 14th to the 16th of october with a very good result. We had picked the cabernet sauvignon at the same date but this year we are going to wait them a bit more as long at the leaves of the vignes keep healthy (it means before automn makes them yellow of frost burns them). Don't forget that we are on an early soil and that most of our neighbours have finished the picking.
The temperatures have dropped at night down to 5°C and the maximum during the day is 17 to 20°C, so the maturation is slowed but there is plenty of light during the day with a beautiful blue sky so the vignes still work and the maturity is still progressing. The grapes are very healthy with no botrytis.

The first tank of 2010

We started picking the Merlot on 8 October and we will finish on Wednesday 13. We will see on Wednesday if we start the Cabernet Franc of if we wait a little longer. They have improved noticeably since the last rain we had. The 10 mm of rainfall this weekend will do them good.

This morning, we tasted the juice from the first tanks of Merlot, which are just starting to ferment. They are already full of colour, which is a sign the grape skins were extremely ripe and the aromas are really top quality to make a great wine. We are clearly in the range of ripe fruits. This is very promising, but the yield of fruit is low.
In the photo you can see the grapes sliding gently into the tank.

Monday 27 September 2010

Last news before picking

27/09/2010 : The last rainfall of last thursday and friday (sept 23 and 24) gave us 13 mm of water which realease the vignes from drought at the door step from the picking. I already noticed that the last rain started to tender the skins of the berries and make them growing bigger which is a good sign. Since last friday (sept 24), the temperatures dropped down and should stay at a low level all this week with minimum T° of 5°C and maximum T° around 21°C which is about 5 degrees lower than the average. This is not going to speed the maturity of the grappes. It looks like the picking day is going to be later than expected. Some heat would help the maturity to come quicker; instead we need some more time.

Monday 21 June 2010

2010 vintage. How is it going?

It is about time we reviewed the current vintage. It is now June and a few things have happened, so the emerging 2010 vintage can be contemplated with a certain degree of perspective.
Last winter was what I call a proper winter. It was cold like winters should be and the cold lasted right through to the end. I don’t follow rainfall from October to February, because the rain gauge breaks when it freezes, but it seems, in looking the stats that we had a normal a amount of rain.

We didn’t have any real warmth until April, when a good ten-day spell of heat kick-started vine growth. Up to then the vines still had a distinctly wintry look about them. We quickly returned to cold weather at the end of April and at the beginning of May, which was sharp and longer than usual, and really halted the growth of vegetation. We got through the period when frosts can do damage at the end of April, but only by the skin of our teeth at the full moon on the 28th. May really only started to warm up in its second fortnight, but we didn’t see growth take off as clearly and vigorously as we would like at this time of year. The vines began to flower in the last week of May at Laroze, where the ground is warm and early. The Merlot vines flowered in damp conditions which were colder than average, but the fine weather and normal temperatures finally returned the following week with a breeze just right to promote good fertilisation of the flowers. The earliest Merlot vines will doubtless display poor fruit set and “hens and chickens”. The later Merlot will be good, as should all the Cabernet, which flowered splendidly. The Merlot vines flower longer over time.
At the same time there was an early lack of water in the ground, which slowed initial growth down even more. Rainfall was significantly low in March, April and May, when it rained 30% less than the seasonal average, which is enormous. This represents a shortage of about 100 mm of rain in these three months that begin the growth cycle. One of the consequences of this is that the goodness in the organic material that was spread on the plots of vines that were lacking a little in vigour in spring, did not penetrate the soil, so the vines did not receive the boost at the time when they most needed it. As a result, growth is quite irregular in mid-June with a lot of bunches on stalks, which are sometimes a little short and with too few leaves, which will not be enough to feed all the fruit adequately. The bottom line is there are too many mouths to feed and not enough food on the vines which didn’t get enough water and warmth at the right time.
So the specific characteristics of the beginning of the 2010 vintage are a winter that lasted and spring drought, which will leave their mark in different ways depending on the different terroirs and what happens next in the ensuing seasons.
It is quite unusual to see drought setting in so early, with lawns already slightly brown and underground drain outlets showing so little flow.
The hydric stress of the vines that we hope occurs in August so that the fruit ripens well, is coming a month and a half early. This will have an impact depending on the weather that follows.
However, we don’t want the 100 mm of missing rain to fall now or lasting bad weather to set in. We hope that storms will deliver the water required at regular intervals so that the vines will be regularly fed, but without any damage from hail or flooding.
We will take what God sees fit to give us and the different terroirs’ water retention capacity will do the rest.
Whatever happens, the intelligence of the winegrower also has a role to play and we will adapt what we do in the vineyard to promote the retention of water in the soil and reduce transpiration loss by trimming lower parts of the vines and destroying the patches of grass between the rows.
I was a little taken aback a few days ago to see that some of my colleagues thought that everything was fine as the year begins. They could well receive a rude awakening later on.
Every year is different and if the conditions are identified properly and well understood by the vinegrower, he can reduce the impact on the quality of the fruit and optimise the quality of the wines produced. This is what our profession is all about and what is at the heart of the passion that drives us to live so close to Nature and work in conjunction with her.

Friday 30 April 2010

Press review Laroze 2009

Clic on the title to get the total press review for Laroze 2009.

Robert Parker

A fruity, elegant, soft St Emilion meant to be consumed over the next 6-8 years, the 2009 Laroze exhibits sandy, loamy soil notes intermixed with hints of toasted herbs, sweat black cherries, and currants. This easy-going wine will have broad appeal. 86/88

(It seems like Mr Parker is the only one to have missed the real qualities of this wine...(G.Meslin)

Wednesday 28 April 2010

Notes on the notes

I’ve finished reviewing the press response to the 2009 primeurs, or at least those I am aware of. In overall terms, the general message is that Laroze’s position amongst the Saint-Emilion crus classés has moved upwards with an average score of 16-17, which is very good from the journalists who habitually give fairly low scores, and a little low for those who tend to mark higher.
I often feel there is a mismatch between the quality of the tasting comments, which are enthusiastic and the score, which still remains quite inhibited, as if the journalist was afraid of letting go. It is a lot easier for them to be more generous with strong, well-known brands, because there is no risk for them except that of over-evaluating the wine. They have to stick their necks out to be generous about Laroze. So I have a clear vision of how I need to work with them to get them to know Laroze better, especially the older vintages, which often display surprisingly long-lasting youth in their aromatic freshness. Jean-Marc Quarin is an example: author of an enormous in-depth review of Bordeaux wines, having published his 13th report today, was the first commentator some years ago to discover that Laroze was capable of producing some fine successes.
The arrival of Hubert de Boüard in Laroze’s team of technical advisors brings visibility and credibility for journalists, which will reassure them and strengthen their belief that Laroze is a fully reliable Saint-Emilion, which it would be a shame to omit from one’s cellar.

Tuesday 27 April 2010

La Revue du Vin de France 16/17

Magnificently well-made vintage. Dense, very floral, complex bouquet. Full and sensual on the palate with tasty tannins. Nice and ripe, but remains very fresh. The wine has become bigger and riper, and the tannins are much smoother.16/17 (Philippe Maurange)


This cru classé, located between Libourne and Saint-Émilion has been using organic methods for a while now. Now advised by Hubert de Boüard, Laroze has held on to its pure, non-pretentious style, while smoothing the edges of a wine that can sometimes be a little abrupt. 16,5-17/20

Wednesday 21 April 2010

Niel Martin Primeur 2009

« Tasted at Angélus.This has a very ripe, apricot, fig and black cherry scented nose that has noticeable warm alcohol. Very plush and with a lot of creamy new oak. The palate is very supple and rounded on the entry, slightly lower acidity than others, harmonious with supple black cherry, boysenberry and date; lush and generous towards the finish. Tasted March 2010.” 88-90.

Wednesday 7 April 2010

James Suckling

Blueberry and mineral aromas. Follow through to a medium body with fine tannins and a medium finish.

Decanter rating 2009

Three stars only for Laroze but with 16-plus, which is the best score in the three stars category, just a little step before to get in the four stars.
Within the 57 Grand Crus Classés, it puts us back to the 20th position. JM.Quarin put us in the five/seven best wines.
"A very pretty wine this year. Ripe, fragrant,gentle and restrained. Supple fruit with a fine tannic frame. Drink 2014-2024"

Thursday 1 April 2010

Laroze invited at Angélus

This week as the 2009 primeurs are being tasted, we are at Château Angélus with Hubert de Boüard, amongst the wines made on family estates and the growing number of properties where Hubert is involved as an advisor - today about 20.
I asked Hubert in 2009 to join our technical team at Laroze and to help us build a higher profile with journalists, wine importers and distributors worldwide. These are the people, who are coming to Angélus this week from all over the world. Some are getting to know Laroze for the first time and others are seeing it again from a different perspective.
We are hoping that this cooperation will make Laroze better known and recognised for the premium quality of its wines, and help us to build a greater reputation.
The setting of Château Angélus, its renown and the wonderful conditions for tasting here are certainly steps in the right direction.

Laroze is also present at Château Grand-Pontet, where the wines of the 46 Saint-Emilion Grand Crus Classés are on display.

Tuesday 30 March 2010

JM.Quarin Laroze 2009

The best score I have given this wine en primeur
Laroze is an outsider in Saint-Emilion – you just need to take note of the quality today of the 2003, 2005 and 2008. So Guy Meslin continues to improve his quality patiently, thoughtfully and discretely. He clearly seeks to achieve long-term results: Laroze is often better at the end of ageing and in the bottle than as a primeur. I tasted all the separate batches very enthusiastically, then the final blend three times with the score this high.
The robe is dark, intense and pretty. The bouquet is elegant, fruity and subtly woody. It is initially smooth and melts in the mouth, then develops to become broad and juicy with finely chiselled texture. There is similar precision in how the fruit is expressed. The mid-palate is very juicy and the wine ends up full of flavour and impossible to spit out. It has a very strong impression of pulp and is more hedonistic than the 2005

Friday 12 March 2010

A long, cold winter

A long, cold winter still with temperatures well below zero in the week from 7 to 13 March and morning frosts down to minus 7°C. This suits us fine, because it delays the start of growth in the vines and lessens the risk of damage from morning frosts in April. This year the April full moon falls late in the month and a last cold snap could always surprise us around the 28th, when it comes.

Wednesday 6 May 2009

Gold Medal: Laroze 2006

At « Concours Mondial de Bruxelles », the past april 25,26,27th. This international recognition places Laroze 2006 at the rank of the very best wines produced around the world. We are very proud of it!

Monday 4 May 2009

Gold Medal: Laroze 2003.

Women and wine: a very wide subject full of promise. During the "féminalise" competition on 23 April, the exclusively women tasters saluted the great quality of the 2003 vintage. This is a delightful nod to my family history because the Laroze estate was founded by a woman in 1882 (my great, great grandmother) and handed down by another in the 60’s (my grandmother).
Our soils of silica on top of clay produces wines, whose rich, powerful tannins meld into a subtle and elegant mouth feel that suits the feminine palate.
Women with good taste are not too keen on hard, rustic tannins and they are quite right.
I would like to thank all the lady tasters and wish this competition a fine future which I hope will become more and more international.

Laroze Primeurs tasting: 15-16/20

The château produces a modern, flattering style of wine. The 2008 seems to be of this pattern with a solid, no-nonsense attack, and lovely volume. It is big on the palate, the fruit appears to be very ripe, slightly crystallised and the imposing tannins are still a little sharp. The whole thing needs to meld, and then the wine will be appealing and lavish.
RVF (La Revue des vins de France)

Thursday 9 April 2009

Laroze 2008 Primeurs (16)

Guy Meslin continues to develop quality, offering us his 2008 that has the same lineage as the 2005 and 2003.
The bouquet is intense and pretty. The nose is distinctively fruity with floral and creamy undertones. It strokes the palate, then becomes silky and pulpy, while taking on size in the middle. It goes on with heaps of flavour and a hint of very ripe raspberry. It really builds up then finishes long, smooth and quite complex. It has lovely aromatic and tannic layers on the palate, without any harshness in the least.
The estate was hit by hail on 28 July, which made the fruit very irregular, even on the same bunch. M. Meslin told me he spent €85,000 to select the best grapes, and for the first time, 15% of the wine was sold off as generic. The final yield was 28 hectolitres per hectare. Blend: 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. Alcohol content: 13.2°.
Jean-Marc Quarin

(fifth best score of the Grands Crus Classés. I think that this score should be higher considering the quality of the comment)GM.

Laroze 2008 Primeurs (87/90)

Grape, blackberry and tare aromas follow through a meduim body, with firm tannins and a solid finish. A compact wine.
(I can't really recognise Laroze 2008 in this comment...)GM.
James Suckling (USA)

Chateau Laroze 2006 (90+)

An outstanding Laroze that’s showing even better now that it’s bottled ! It boasts creamy plum aromas intermingled with crème de cassis and broad liquefied-mineral notes, as well as an opaque plum-ruby color. Superb intensity, a medium to full-body, finessed, and deeply penetrating with plum/berry flavour and a seamless finish. It could further improve from here given its delicious complexity of flavor. One should not overlook this effort.

Alan Duran (February 2009)

Chateau Laroze 2007 (86-87+)

The tender and ripe Laroze delivers sweet plum notes intermixed with cherry, pebble, and notions of crème de cassis aromas. Opaque ruby in color, medium-bodied, plum infused, and low in acidity. It looks set to be a charming vintage to cellar and consume over the next 12-15 years.

Alan Duran (February 2009)

The hail on july 28th 2008

A quick look back on this climate calamity which devastated 30% of the vineyard. It damaged one side of the bunches and disturbed the normal maturation of a certain quantity of berries which were still intact. It was important to be able to seperate theses berries in different vats. So at the end of august, at a time where we had no certitude on the issu of this vintage except that august was cooler than usually, and the financial markets where pointing down, I decided to invest 85 000€ in the system to sort out the berries.
This system can seperate the berries which are less matured than the others by a very simple and clever density control of each berry. The result in terms of quality of work was worth the money we put in.
This hail didn't affect too much the global yield but forced us to declassify 15% of the wine produced in basic Saint-Emilion instead of Grand Cru Classé.
So the 4100 litres of wine produced by hectare gave only 2800 litres of Grand Cru Classé.
This decision saved the quality of Laroze 2008 and will improve it in the future vintages.

In fact, this decision which I basically had no choice about, once the weather had done its damage, and which forced me to take out a loan in the middle of violent stock market turbulence, had a positive impact on the quality of the harvest, not only because it totally erased the effects of the hailstorm, but also by refining our wine’s taste profile.
I expect this enhancement in quality to be confirmed in future vintages.
So the moral is, if you believe in the quality potential of your terroir, and your fundamental guideline is that every bottle of
Laroze must be quite simply delicious, you take the right decisions even in a hostile economic context!
And that’s why I have a bone to pick with the cork suppliers, the majority of whom are incapable of doing what is necessary – but that’s another story, so see the article below.