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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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    • Nicely into its drinking window comes this first vintage from
      Nicely into its drinking window comes this first vintage from Pascal Mugneret. Rich, elegant nose: notes of loganberry, blackberry, black cherry with a fresh herb edge; tannins pretty much imperceptible (silky), nice acidity, fresh and fruity, with a real generosity of quality fruit, complexity still there. Simply gorgeous. The bottle seemed to go very quickly! At this stage Pascal was de-stemming all fruit. The Domaine is light with new oak (25%).
    • My word this is good The quality of the fruit
      My word this is good. The quality of the fruit and the freshness are most noticeable. It’s a single vineyard wine from 45+ yo vines in the foothills of Samaniego where the grapes reach a high level of maturity but retain mineral, fresh characteristics. The winery is also very strict about selection. Ruby red; blackcurrants, black cherry, liquorice on the nose; the palate has a wealth of black fruit, fresh, easy going texture with spices and a faint trace of smoke and coconut. 90% Tempranillo 5% Graciano 5% Viura and Malvasia skins. 26 months in new French (80%) and US oak.
    • Scheurebe grape 2015 Auslese from a great producer Light gold
      Scheurebe grape, 2015 Auslese from a great producer. Light gold, deliciously inviting nose of white melon, barley sugar, ripe pears; palate of tinned peach, pear William; moderate acidity but good balance 7.5% ABV - simply stunning. Scheurebe is one of the most successful cross-varietals - Riesling and an unknown other grape.
    • This entry level Gruner Veltliner starts soft with ripe apple
      This entry level Gruner Veltliner starts soft with ripe apple and pear aromas, then its has a terrific lean, mineral, racy acidity in its core. The finish is long with nice ripe fruit overtones. Great texture and mouth-watering.
    • Pale pink Ros from a blend of Syrah and Vermentino
      Pale pink Rosé from a blend of Syrah and Vermentino from Tuscany’s Frescobaldi. Attractive nose of strawberry shortcake, red raspberries; medium weight, ripe grapefruit flesh and white cherries, nice texture and length. Serves well as an aperitif or with salmon, vegetable dishes and fresh fruit tart.
    • On its last legs but still drinking and interesting Light
      On its last legs but still drinking and interesting. Light brown colour; notes of roast coffee, mature wood; on the palate: prune, liquorice, cherry Rumtopf; tannin fully integrated, acidity still there with a cocoa bean finish. From 1999 it was illegal to add white grapes to a Gran Reserva, here there is 5% Viura.