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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.



    Tasting with pictures View All
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    • Great to try this SA Syrah with a bit ofhellip
      Great to try this SA Syrah with a bit of age from one of our favourite producers. There’s a beautiful freshness to the wine, real vitality and moderate alcohol (13.5%). Tasted blind you could be in the Northern Rhône, due perhaps to half the grapes coming from granitic soils. Plenty of black fruit, pepper, and mineral core. Wonderful wine that could easily last another decade.
    • Wonderful white from Sudtirol Alto Adige Italys most Northerly winehellip
      Wonderful white from Sudtirol/ Alto Adige, Italy’s most Northerly wine region. The variety, Kerner, is a cross between Riesling and Trollinger, the German variety normally associated with entry level/ bulk wines. This is first class, fresh, citrus, with a little heat on the finish - a reflection of the South-facing slopes - the altitude and underlying geology bringing complex, mineral flavours and a bright freshness. Delicious.
    • Purple reserved nose at first then leather and leaf Noteshellip
      Purple, reserved nose at first, then leather and leaf. Notes of crisp blueberries, just ripe plums. Great texture and elegant, sandpaper tannins, beautifully fresh for an Argentinian Malbec - from Patagonia and the same winemaker that brought us the Chacra Pinots. Drinking so well for such a young wine.
    • Southern French blend from Broc in Berkeley California  65hellip
      Southern French blend from Broc in Berkeley, California - 65% Carignan, 20% Valdigue, 15% Syrah. This, a 2015 vintage, packs a lot of flavour and wild, garrigue aromas into its 13% ABV. Nice freshness to the wine too.
    • Fascinating to have this blind and a real testament tohellip
      Fascinating to have this blind and a real testament to how good 2003 is despite all the dismissal. The acidity was clearly Pinot, cool climate, but the fruit profile was harder to place. The wine was clearly of an age, beautifully balanced, layers of fruit and complexity and a finish like tying a bow - complete and quite perfect.
    • Unrecognisable as a Corton but still a delicious wine Weirdlyhellip
      Unrecognisable as a Corton but still a delicious wine. Weirdly, this white has decided to take its own path - deep golden/ yellow, rich but without the butteriness and vanilla you could expect. In fact, tasted blind it was closer to aged Chenin - nobody picked up it was Chardonnay.