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    Closures Debate: what do you want to put in a bottle of wine?

    Outside of the natural wine debate is there a more contentious issue than the one that surrounds the type of closure you have in your bottle of wine? To assess what leading on-trade buyers and sommeliers now think about closures we teamed up with Vinventions, one of the biggest suppliers of all types of closure from cork to screwcap, to make the issue of closures the latest topic in our Buyer Debate series.


    The Buyer’s Case with Castelnau Wine Agencies

    Every wine as soon as it is made puts its self up for judgement. Be it the end consumer who wants to drink it with their dinner, or the trade buyers and wine critics looking to score, assess and adjudicate on whether it is suitable for listing in the first place. But nothing ventured, nothing gained and Castelnau Wine Agencies was happy to put its range of wines from producers all over the world up to the test in our latest Buyer’s Case project with leading on-trade buyers and influencers in the trade.

    Tasting Tasting: Panel Tasting

    The Buyer’s Case with Cave de Vignerons de Saint-Chinian wines

    The Buyer has been set up to help drinks producers and leading on-trade buyers better understand their needs and where possible work closer together. This is best demonstrated by The Buyer’s Case initiative where we link up with a wine producer or importer and ask leading buyers to taste, assess and offer professional feedback on their wines. Here we turn to the Languedoc-Roussillon and present wines from leading producer, Cave de Vignerons de Saint-Chinian to leading on-trade decision makers.


    The French debate: putting France under the spotlight with Foncalieu

    France might be the best selling country in the UK on-trade, but that does not mean it could not sell. To help better understand the opportunities and challenges facing French wine in the premium on-trade, The Buyer linked up with Les Vignobles Foncalieu and leading buyers from the different types of operator, including high end restaurants, independent wine merchants and national wholesalers all working the French category in the north west of the country.

    Insight Tasting Tasting: Panel Tasting

    New Zealand Debate: the opportunities and challenges

    New Zealand’s enormous success in the UK off-trade, where its Sauvignon Blanc has created a category of its own, has not always been reflected in how many of its wines are on premium on-trade wine lists. The Buyer teamed up with Villa Maria, and its UK partners, Hatch Mansfield, to ask a panel of leading UK buyers to set out the challenges and opportunities for New Zealand in the premium on-trade

    Insight Tasting Tasting: Panel Tasting

    The Buyer’s Case with Les Vignerons Foncalieu

    The Buyer’s Case is a new initiative that gives producers the chance to show specific drinks to key buyers in target channels of the on-trade. For our first Buyer’s Case we teamed up with Les Vignerons Foncalieu and selected key buyers in its main distribution areas in the UK on-trade to show their wines. Here are the results.

    Insight Tasting Tasting: Panel Tasting

    Virginia Wine Project: bringing producers and buyers together

    The Buyer teamed up with Virginia Wine and some of its key producers to help them better understand the needs of the UK premium on-trade and how buyers might relate to their wines with both a business roundtable debate with key players and a study tour of leading London restaurants, wine bars and merchants to see the kind of offers they have and where their wines might fit in.



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    • Not all old vine Semilln comes from South Africa Thishellip
      Not all old vine Semillón comes from South Africa. This is sourced from 70 year old vines in Rio Negro, Patagonia. The cool, dry climate allows the fruit to mature slower, bringing a depth of flavour to the wine without losing acidity. Complex nose, vanilla, citrus, slightly oily texture - flavours of guava, yellow stone fruit and honey.
    • Top notch South African Pinot that has a classic savouryhellip
      Top notch South African Pinot, that has a classic savoury profile. Inviting floral, red and black fruit nose with just a hint of sous bois, bags of fruit flavour, kept in check by firm acidity giving the wine good overall balance (30% whole cluster). Bit of smoky oak and a lifted, sweet creamy edge on the finish. Served with new season grouse.
    • From Basilicata one of Italys smallest regions comes this 100hellip
      From Basilicata, one of Italy’s smallest regions comes this 100% high altitude Aglianico del Vulture grownnin volcanic soils. There are intense flavours of morello cherry, black plum, balsamic, but unlike some Aglianico (esp. from parent group Feudi di San Gregorio) the tannins are surprisingly supple. There is good acidity too (13.5%abv) although it is still very much a food wine. Good it’s had a year in the bottle esp. at the price (£12 ex tax)
    • New top of the range Chardonnay from this relative newcomerhellip
      New top of the range Chardonnay from this relative newcomer in NZ’s Hawke’s Bay. The influence of Puligny Montrachet is evident in the tension and the breadth, the nose has brioche notes from the heavy toast of just 25% new oak, the palate is lovely and clean, that manages to have volume and strength of flavour but freshness and balance. Very impressive for such a young wine.
    • Not available in the UK yet but hopefully this willhellip
      Not available in the UK yet but hopefully this will change. An amber wine made in a qvevri in Georgia from the Kisi grape. As you’d expect with a low intervention, long skin contact wine it has a deep golden colour with profound, stony texture. The nose is complex: nuts, fenugreek, sweet apricot, floral, putty; the palate is layered, semi-rich, semi-sweet, semi-dry with notes of caramel, the finish is dry almost dusty, with a hint of cream. Surprisingly approachable. A highlight of a recent trip to Georgia.
    • 1st vintage for a rising new wave South African hellip
      1st vintage for a rising ‘new wave’ South African - made from 60 yo Chenin Blanc vines this is a stunner and one of the hits of this week’s SA tasting in London. It comes across like a Huet Demi-sec with great precision and balance between opulence and fresh acidity. There are layers and layers of flavour - peaches, floral, nuts. Superb