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    Douro’s Soul Wines Debate: why the wines are ideal for the UK

    “There is a deliciousness to these red wines. I am hugely impressed by them. The quality has blown me away.” Just the kind of review any wine producer would want for their wines, particularly if it comes from such as senior a figure as John Graves, on-trade channel director at Bibendum Wine. But Graves was not the only UK panelist in our debate with the Douro Valley’s Soul Wine producers to be impressed with what they saw and tasted. In part two of our report on the wide ranging debate we assess the opportunity for Douro’s wines in the premium on-trade and what steps producers need to take to make the most of them.

    People People: On-Trade

    Sommeliers on Chile: The Buyer & Chono Wines debate

    To try to unravel and understand Chile’s position in the premium on-trade, The Buyer teamed up with Ellis Wines and its Chilean producer partner, Chono Wines, to bring
    together a group of senior wine trade professionals, buyers and sommeliers to debate what are the opportunities and challenges for Chile as a whole. It was the chance for these leading figures to share their experiences with Chilean wines in their restaurants and businesses and look at the kinds of wines from Chile that they are looking to source and select for their wine lists.


    Mionetto and The Buyer Prosecco study tour and report

    Is there a more misunderstood wine category than Prosecco? It might top all the best selling charts, but it is too often dismissed or taken seriously by some professional wine buyers. To help get to know not only the beautiful region of Conegliano Valdobbiadene, but to explore the different quality tiers of Prosecco and the potential they have in the premium on-trade, The Buyer teamed up with leading Prosecco brand, Mionetto, and its UK partner Copestick Murray, to host a study tour with key buyers and influencers of the area and the city where Prosecco truly comes to life – Venice.


    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.


    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.


    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



    Tasting with pictures View All
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    • Fully mature now and repaying the wait  classy and
      Fully mature now and repaying the wait - classy and complex, almost the definition of an ‘intellectual’ wine. It is Semillon- dominant with honeyed cantaloupe and lanolin notes, mixing well with the Sauvignon’s green melon and honeysuckle; quite stocky on the palate, with confit lemon, almond cake, saline notes. Dry, serious, questioning. You might find better value in Pessac but this is still seriously good.
    • This Brunello from Camigliano was wine of the night the
      This Brunello from Camigliano was wine of the night the other day, tasted alongside some impressive, aged claret. It’s still got intense power, but has developed a wonderful savoury character (lambs blood, leather, earth) with the acidity keeping everything in check. There’s complexity - blackcurrant, fig and some pencil on the nose. Wow! This is drinking perfectly now.
    • Sin Cuve Brut Rler Sekt 2014 With high acidity 63
      Sinß, Cuvée Brut Rößler Sekt, 2014. With high acidity (6.3 g/l) and low residual sugar (1 g/l) this is a dry, austere style – made with Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc, aged on the lees for 48 months. The wine was very fresh considering its extended lees, but had picked up some nice savoury secondary flavours of biscuit and bread. There was ripe orchard fruit, tangerine skin and a zingy texture. This could be an interesting alternative to a zero dosage sparkler and would work well with risottos, ceviche and sushi.
    • Great drop of Champagne but still so primary I was
      Great drop of Champagne but still so primary. I was expecting evolution - secondary characteristics - but there was very little. The bubbles are pretty full, the palate is lemon drizzle cake, bitter almonds, creamy mousse; the nose has classic white Burgundy notes of the highest order, but no rush - squirrel this away in the cellar and keep your mitts off - reward will be repaid in spades.
    • If Beaujolais had a Grand Cru site this would be
      If Beaujolais had a Grand Cru site this would be it - steep slopes on a disused quarry, the underling quartz and granite giving the wine real vibrancy and fine-grained, mineral texture. This relatively new biodynamic producer still manages to capture the delightful, fresh juicy fruit of Beaujolais, but using a more Burgundian style - de-stemming, and a long fermentation (in concrete). Taut, racy, bright and fruity. Quite outstanding.
    • From one of Californias fastgrowing New Wave stars Scott Schultz
      From one of California’s fast-growing New Wave stars, Scott Schultz at Jolie-Laide (slang for beauty with ugly features) comes this delightful and unpretentious Gamay. Notes of freshly-picked red berries, a bit of cranberry crunch, nice acidity. Not over-thought or over-wrought- easy drinking that will not hang around on the table.