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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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    • Words cannot accurately describe the extraordinary complexity and layers of
      Words cannot accurately describe the extraordinary complexity and layers of flavour in this Chablis Grand Cru. Looks-wise it wasn’t overly evolved; on the nose we were clearly with Old World Chardonnay (tasted blind), possibly a Montrachet; there were notes of white flowers, sea shells, fresh nuts, apple peel; on the palate there was minerality but the wine does not pivot around it like some Chablis, rather more integrated into broader flavours of ripe citrus, honey, touch of creaminess - that came in waves and changed over the hour we tasted. Finish is medium long and tingly. Still so fresh, with more years ahead of it. Simply fantastic.
    • Interesting to have Albario from the South of France
      Interesting to have Albariño from the South of France - it’s clearly Albariño but has more weight in the mid-palate. Pure pear drops, sea spray on the nose; nice citrus attack with tart lemon flesh, lemon confit; medium bodied dry, reasonable length, with a juicy, fruit core. One of the more top end wines from cooperative Foncalieu.
    • Theres a lot of tension that crackles with energy in
      There’s a lot of tension that crackles with energy in this ultra-dry Riesling. It feels like you’re going to get a hit of residual sugar from the nose – it’s very fruity and pretty – but on the palate the citrus is taut, crisp and fresh; a great year for Riesling in Eden Valley. This shows how. 11.5% ABV
    • A real revelation  just didnt know he made a
      A real revelation - just didn’t know he made a Rosé. It’s a Loire Pinot that has the serious poise of a Burgundy - think Clos de Lambrays. There is a savoury strawberry quality (hulls rather than flesh), raspberry, redcurrant. Nice acidity and balance, little lick of cream on the finish. A wine that will question why you don’t drink more Rosé.
    • 40c heat in July characterised 2015  the berries didnt
      40c heat in July characterised 2015 - the berries didn’t grow much which has led to a fruity character, lot of freshness, acidity, lean body. All 3 single vineyard wines are very light in colour, pure, precise, with an appealing, open perfumed character. There is a riper fruit expression, particularly red Sicilian orange, botanical rather than floral aromas (lemon thyme, hay) and a citrus peel bitterness that pairs well with the acidity. All three wines so pure, elegant and polished.
    • Always punches above its weight  still young but drinking
      Always punches above its weight - still young but drinking well (going to keep the rest of the case for a few more years yet). Light straw coloured; toasty nose mixing honey and white blossom (really opens out a day or two after opening); on the palate a precise attack of citrus: sweet lemon and lime flesh, finishing on dry lemon zest.