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Anybody who has tasted Francois Mitjavile's sumptously individual and esoteric wines might well be forgiven for wondering just how he achieves the sublime balance between ripeness, precision and aromatic complexity that so sets his wines apart from others in Bordeaux. He is a man with a visionary quality, based on firm philosophical beliefs about the nature of true ripeness.

In our interview the question is put to him as to how he achieves this balance and such ripeness without losing any of his purity. The answer is enlightening.

(Added to this, off camera, he rather modestly remarked that the praise or criticism he receives for his wines were really neither here nor there, his being a mere conduit through which vineyard might express itself most naturally.)