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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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    • Fascinating botanicals from the rainforest on New Zealands South Island
      Fascinating botanicals from the rainforest on New Zealand’s South Island help make this gin exotic, distinctive but still keep it firmly within the gin camp. Liquorice, spiced citrus and warm resin dominate. Named after a 4-foot gold mining legend in the Reefton area called Little Biddy.
    • Really liking this Savvy Blanc from Marlborough Manages to avoid
      Really liking this Savvy Blanc from Marlborough. Manages to avoid all the most obvious routes - tutti frutti, grassy, citrus, sweaty - and delivers a well balanced, ripe but nicely textured , flavoursome, thirst quenching white. There’s notes of honeydew melon, guava, peach, nicely judged acidity; a winery to keep an eye on I reckon.
    • Chardonnay is one of New Zealands strongest varieties if not
      Chardonnay is one of New Zealand’s strongest varieties if not the strongest and the value compared to other great Chard. producing countries is outstanding. With a few years age, the oak here is nicely integrated - a bit of gun flint on the nose - producing a range of complexity and layers of flavours. Medium weight, a bit of ripeness with the fruit, but a gradually intense citrus finish balancing things off well.
    • Delicious Syrah from Hawkes Bay New Zealand 2016 was a
      Delicious Syrah from Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. 2016 was a very perfumed, elegant year; this wine has high acidity (6.8 gms per l) holding the ripe fruit core together. The juice is fermented in an 80 year-old concrete tank, adding a fine, sandy tannin/ structure. Unadulterated style (only thing added is sulphite at bottling).
    • New Cuve from the mighty talents of Michael Brajkovich nice
      New Cuvée from the mighty talents of Michael Brajkovich, nice mix of fruit flavours (ripe orchard fruit), taut acidity, ripe but not too sweet, mousse was quite suppressed, textured saline finish.
    • The 2017 vintage for Pinot in centralotago NZ is shaping
      The 2017 vintage for Pinot in  #centralotago  NZ is shaping up to be one of the - if not the - best vintage yet. The phenolics are so seductive and, drunk young they have a rustic charm but have all the structure in place to age well. This Block 3 is up with the best of the wines sampled this week. Lovely expression of fruit - really silky, mouth-covering tannins, but has firm underlying structure. Cliched perhaps but this is one of those ‘iron fist in a velvet glove’ wines.