The Times Literary Supplement
Bordeaux wine expert Jane Anson has released a comprehensive guide to the region, titled Inside Bordeaux. The guide, published by UK merchant Berry Bros & Rudd and priced at £60, aims to offer fresh insights into 'the chateaux, their wines and the terroir'. It includes 65 new maps and 20 appellation overviews, as well as more than 800 estates indexed using Anson's own ranking system.
Few wine books can be described as category busters. This term refers to the situation where competitors are totally outflanked in business: someone is doing something so well, or has such good first-mover advantage, that they rule a particular category, and can’t be beaten. There are three that have done this in the past: Hugh Johnson’s World Atlas of Wine; Jancis Robinson’s Oxford Companion to Wine; and the Vouillamoz/Harding/Robinson collaboration Wine Grapes. Now there’s a fourth: Jane Anson’s Inside Bordeaux.
Jamie Goode, Wineanorak.com
This is an excellent book and a must-own for any wine lover. The producer profiles are compact with detail and Anson’s feet-on-the-ground knowledge shines throughout...
What comes across throughout is Anson’s desire to share her insights and finds. She is very notably not a self-aggrandising writer: her prose does not smugly ooze, “Look at me! See what knowledge I have and what judgments I can make because I own this field!” Rather, she is someone whose eye is on her readers and the pleasure they might derive from her advice. This book is sprinkled with heartfelt recommendations. I happily browsed for hours, late into many nights.
Victoria Moore, Daily Telegraph (May 2020)
The best book yet on Bordeaux has just been published: Inside Bordeaux by Jane Anson.
Elin McCoy, Bloomberg News
This excellent, scholarly book… Inside Bordeaux goes broad as well as deep. Anson has visited and/or tasted 800 châteaux, and while the great properties are covered in impressive detail, from north to south and east to west, Lalande-de-Pomerol to Francs Côtes de Bordeaux, the smallest commune and property is also given attention. Anson injects warmth and humanity into her descriptions.
This is a work of formidable scholarship, well-indexed (always a sign of serious purpose) and backed by some of the most eminent academics working in Bordeaux today. Eschewing the weighty academic style in favour of accessibility, it sets out to bring a new perspective to the world’s most famous wine region and it succeeds. This is a book no Bordeaux lover – or wine lover of any stamp – should be without.
Adam Lechmere, Club Oenologique (April 2020)
The in-depth – and unusually scientifically accurate – analysis of Bordeaux’s subregions that really sets this book apart from any previous publication on the region, and makes it a remarkable study tool. Anson’s châteaux entries disclose her unmatched understanding of the region and intimate insight into its producers. Each single proﬁle is a personalised account of the people behind the labels, their wines, their philosophies, and their stylistic choices. Inside Bordeaux is the most complete, up-to-date, and scientifically informed book on Bordeaux currently on the market. Nearly two decades of work as a Bordeaux insider, paired with the extraordinary level of detail that characterises each page, make this book a genuinely invaluable tool for any wine student, enthusiast or sommelier serious about the region.
Jacopo Mazzeo, Imbibe
The Times Literary Supplement
Mankind in its long passion may have learned another wisdom than Rex Mottram’s, but Charles Ryder’s Clos de Bèze 1904 certainly helped. And great Bordeaux is arguably nobler still. Seldom do I review a work that is the definitive study in its field, but Jane Anson’s Inside Bordeaux: The châteaux, their wines and the terroir (Berry Bros and Rudd) is undeniably that. The combination of a discerning palate, authentic local knowledge, candour, unresting, unhasting and complete coverage, idealism, commercial acumen, handsome layout in 670 quarto pages and superb maps of locale and soil types speak not just of attachment but of allegiance. It even gives you a report on every vintage since 1855: helpful! Read it next to Roger Scruton’s I Drink Therefore I Am (Bloomsbury), and defy the Mottrams of our age. In vino veritas: are any of his modern equivalents authors?
Jonathan Clark, The Times Literary Supplement (November 2020)
Ms. Anson, a columnist for Decanter magazine, has lived in Bordeaux since 2003 and seems to know every square inch of it. What makes this book different is her focus on what’s under the surface. For generations, Bordeaux and Burgundy have presented two rival paradigms for organizing and understanding a wine region: Bordeaux has focused on producers, essentially brand names, while Burgundy has concentrated on place, or terroir. […] Bordeaux itself has been rethinking its approach, training its eye more and more on topography, soil, bedrock, drainage and all the other elements of terroir. Ms. Anson’s conceit is to approach Bordeaux from a terroir perspective, with a deep dive into the underlying geology of the region, which turns out to be much more complex than is often imagined. […] Ms. Anson’s profiles of producers are extensive and opinionated, rendered with gentle understatement. Best of all is how contemporary this book feels. Climate change is ever-present, as is her emphasis on the growing number of producers who have turned to organic or biodynamic farming.
Eric Asimov (November 2020)