After the departure of cellar master Régis Camus, then the death of Thierry Rosset in 2014 aged just 55, it is fair to say that Charles Heidsieck had lost a little of its shine, even though the wines it continued to produce was of the highest order. House director Stephen Leroux was in London yesterday to launch the Blanc des Millénaries 2004, the prestige Blanc de Blancs cuvée that has ‘big shoes to fill’ following the highly praised Blanc des Millénaries 1995. Anne Krebiehl MW was on hand to taste the new range.
It was a surprise in the late summer when the news broke that Paul Schaafsma was to return to the wine industry in the chief executive role at Broadland Wineries. It is even more of a surprise that we find out today that he is leaving his post after only four months to start up his own sales and marketing wine business and taking two of his new Broadland recruits with him. Here’s the exclusive inside line…
The medical profession normally does not want anything to do with wine, but not trained gynaecologist Sorcha Holloway. She has turned her back on stethoscopes to forge a new career as a growing voice for the average wine drinker, who unusually has been able to connect with both the traditional wine trade and wine drinking community on social media with her breakthrough #ukwinehour Twitter chat hashtag that has grown to such an extent that it now has a reach of potentially 350,000 people around the world. Here’s her story…
Freshly retired from the commerce of wine Jasper Morris MW, one of the world’s top experts, if not the top expert on Burgundy, offers a fascinating insight into the unique vintage that is Burgundy 2016. With Burgundy Week having just finished in London, Morris sums up where he sees the strengths and weaknesses of the vintage lie as well as offering buying strategies for the trade and the wine collector.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.