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    Insight

    Jackson Family debate on Californian Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

    It’s nice talking about and throwing the spotlight on new wine regions and emerging styles of wine and little known grape varieties, but at these times of the year restaurant and bar customers are looking for the classics and the tried and tested. Which is why for our latest major debate we teamed up with Jackson Family Wines to look at what leading wine buyers, sommeliers, distributors and merchants think about Californian Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

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    Insight

    Special Report: Sonoma County Vintners London Wine Bar Tour

    Organising a wine tasting where all your guests are sitting in one place can prove to be a challenge at times, so you can imagine the potential for things to wrong if you then invited those guests to go on a tour of restaurants and bars around London, tasting different wines, matched to each outlet’s food along the way. It certainly made for a very different, fun, highly informative and memorable day for wineries from Sonoma County Vintners and our panel of “tour-ists” willing to go on the adventure with us.

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    Insight

    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.

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    Insight

    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.

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    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.

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    Opinion

    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.

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    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

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    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.

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    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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    Instataste

    Tasting with pictures View All
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    • 2015 vintage of this Cabardes blend of 50 Cab Franc
      2015 vintage of this Cabardes blend of 50% Cab Franc, 40% Syrah, 10% Merlot. Vibrant, spicy nose of orange zest, herbs, pepper, ripe black fruit; palate easy going but with a nice wet stone texture and quite punchy tannins. Deep rich red fruit, with young tobacco leaf, spice, green orange peel. Needs time in the bottle but showing great potential.
    • Lively young foodfriendly red from the Spanish DO of Montsant
      Lively, young, food-friendly red from the Spanish DO of Montsant (that almost entirely surrounds Priorat but is not as well known) this is a Garnacha/ Carignan blend - lean, and on the early-picked side. Fermented with natural yeast in concrete tanks, aged for three months in old barrels and two months in concrete tanks. Young, crunchy red fruit, high acidity, raspy texture, but good balance and rounded finish. The nose is a bit funky/ almost bretty but that blows off in the glass.
    • This 40yearoldvine Oregon Gewrztraminer is always named after a Nina
      This 40-year-old-vine Oregon Gewürztraminer is always named after a Nina Simone song, vintage by vintage. Clean, light on the eye; spicy inviting nose; palate has a richness and full gingery flavour that is underpinned by a spine of acidity that they get at high elevation. Acacia, orange, ginger on the finish. Delicious and seriously impressive.
    • Garnet light to medium weight 2009 Volnay blackberry floral liquorice
      Garnet, light to medium weight 2009 Volnay, blackberry, floral, liquorice, touch of tar on the nose; great texture and spicy nose, balsamic, redcurrant, raspberry, light easy finish.
    • La Dama is a new 10 hectare Venetian estate for
      La Dama is a new 10 hectare Venetian estate for Bibendum’s Italian portfolio. Gabrielle Dalcanale and his wife Miriam Haylage try to go as natural as possible - mixing New Wave Valpolicella with tradition (they are not going for too much extraction). This Classico is very approachable in youth, it has an open fruity core (morello cherry), is dry, light, fresh, with a good backbone of acidity and well managed tannins. Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella, Molinara grapes.
    • From one of the best Cru in in Etna region
      From one of the best Cru in in Etna region, this is Nerello Mascalese with a little bit of Nerello Cappucio to add colour. Vinified in concrete tanks and aged for six months in large format oak. Quite light ruby; violets, smoky palate, plums, mace; on the palate is raspberry, cherry, liquorice with a lovely, lean texture, dry edge, good grip. I liked the white too which is 100% Carricante.