Christian Seely is not a winemaker, but he runs a crack team of fine winemakers all over the world as the man in charge of the wine division of insurance company AXA. But he’s no boring executive; he really, really cares about wine and consistently produces some of the highest-rated wines in the world. Under his aegis, second growth Ch Pichon Baron in Pauillac, for instance, is making wine of Bordeaux first growth quality – partly by cutting production by about a half. His Sauternes property Ch Suduiraut is consistently a top scorer too. Seely’s first love was port and AXA’s Quinta do Noval is another stunning property whose wines now match their setting. He also has experience of wine production in fashionable Burgundy, Tokay in Hungary and, most recently, the Napa Valley. In this episode Jancis grills him about price of fine wine, what constitutes classic wine, and the notorious en primeur system of selling bordeaux before it’s even bottled.

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