Bordeaux 2017

Buying at Justerinis

The Bordeaux Buying Team

Hew Blair, Chairman

Hew Blair, Chairman

Hew’s 26-year tenure as Justerini & Brooks' buying director saw him become the longest-serving in the trade, reputedly with one of the best palates.

Now in his 41st year with the company, he remains as likely to be found in a vineyard in Piedmont, a cellar in Burgundy, a chateau in Bordeaux, or Riesling-hunting on the banks of the Mosel as at his desk overlooking St James’s.

Back in the 1980s, Hew made the decision to go direct to the winemaking talent rather than through import houses. He began with trips to Burgundy, the Rhone and Loire, then onto Germany and Italy.

Hew’s early support proved instrumental in the success of many remarkable names. His close relationships continue with these celebrated producers, including Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair, Bruno Clair, Rene Rostaing, JJ Prum, Domaine Weinbach, Elio Altare and Palliser Estate. In fact, Palliser recently named its 2013 Martinborough Pinot Noir after Hew’s Labrador, The Great Hector.

Hew pioneered En Primeur tastings in London, beginning with the Burgundy 1990 vintage. Today, Justerini & Brooks has an unrivalled collection of greats from Burgundy, shipping from over 50 domaine producers every year.

Hew is a member of the Royal Household Wine Committee, and was recently made a member of The Riesling Fellowship.

Read Hew's Posts on the Buyers' Blog

Tom Jenkins, Bordeaux Buyer

Tom Jenkins, Bordeaux Buyer

Tom handles Justerini & Brooks' relationships with its Bordeaux negociants, and orchestrates the annual Bordeaux En Primeur campaign.

Tom found his way to the world of fine wine through the parting advice from a short stint in financial PR: “you need to find something you love doing and you'll probably be really good at it”. A fledgling interest in wine became a passion, and ultimately a job.

Tom spent a year in the Justerini & Brooks private client team before joining the buying team in 2008. Many years on, his enthusiasm for Burgundy, Champagne, Germany continues, and he loves the buzz of a Bordeaux campaign.

Bordeaux is where wine-making tradition meets the corporate world of business and finance; a paradoxical relationship that is quite unique in the world of wine. For Tom, spending time in the company of the Guinaudeaus, Francois Mitjavile, Denis Durantou and many other growers that Justerini & Brooks is proud to work with dispels any notion that Bordeaux lacks passion. This is still a region bursting with discoveries, constantly innovating and pushing the boundaries.

Read Tom's Posts on the Buyers' Blog

Kate Janecek, Bordeaux Buyer

Kate Janecek, Bordeaux Buyer

Kate grew up in Canada, in a family that appreciated wine. But it was her uncle really, an avid collector, who would prove to be the somewhat unexpected source of her passion. It all stemmed from one unfortunate, yet memorable, moment at the age of 11 when young Kate dropped a prized bottle of her uncle’s Petrus. Suffice to say, his reaction to this unfortunate incident was not one of elation!

The very idea that a bottle of wine could hold so much value and emotion was to be the catalyst that would later lure Kate to Europe, and to pursue a career in fine wine.

Kate joined Justerini & Brooks in January 2011 as our ‘Secondary Market Buyer’ – a role that is tailor-made for her.

Kate’s intimate knowledge of the market, expertise and palpable enthusiasm are a huge asset to the buying team. Through her extensive contacts, she enriches our offering and ensures that the sales teams are never short of rigorously-sourced gems. When Kate is not scouring Europe for vinous treasures, she can usually be found drinking them in Michelin starred restaurants the world over! And it would seem that the power of a memorable bottle has played more than one role in Kate’s life. She cites her best ever bottle as a 1993 CSJ from Rousseau; the wine which her now husband brought to their first date, and ignited an obsession with Burgundy.

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