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    Insight

    One Step Beyond: Download the full landmark conference report

    When The Buyer came together with Sophie Jump to organise and hold the inaugural One Step Beyond Conference in early March the focus was 100% on analysing the most disruptive changes in consumer behaviour and technology. Little did we know that just over two months on so many of those changes have now been put on fast forward because of the Covid-19 outbreak. Here is the full report from what was a breakthrough conference for the drinks, retail and hospitality sectors. A day that brought experts from outside the industry’s comfort zone and gave them the platform to set out what we can all expect from consumers and technology in the future. Predictions that are already being seen in how fast businesses and consumers alike are responding to the challenges of Covid-19.

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    Insight

    The Buyer’s Case: Top buyers put Boisset FGV wines to the test

    The hardest job for any wine producer, no matter how prestigious or respected, is getting their wines in front of the right buyers who can ultimately make the difference in getting their wines on to the lists of the restaurants and bars that really matter. That’s what The Buyer’s Case project does. Link producers looking to build distribution in the premium on-trade and specialist retail sector with key buyers in those channels. Here’s how major French producer, Boisset FGV worked with The Buyer on its own Buyer’s Case initiative.

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    Insight

    California Buyers Trip Part 2: the wines and styles ready to export

    Having the opportunity to go to California and meet over 100 producers in an intense five days of tasting doesn’t come around too often. But it proved to be an invaluable exercise for the group of leading wine buyers from both the UK and Irish on and off-trade markets. In Part One of our report we looked at their general feedback on why they wanted to go on such a trip. Here in Part Two we drill down into what they really thought of the wines and the opportunities of giving them a chance in the markets over here.

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    Insight

    California looks to bring right producers & buyers together

    If you are a wine buyer for a leading importer, restaurant group, or independent merchant then there are times of the year when you are no doubt spoilt for choice with invitations to go and visit different regions and countries. But which are ones are going to be the most useful, effective and important to your buying needs? It’s what made the recent California Wine Institute event for leading UK and Irish buyers so different. And relevant. Rather than take a group of buyers on a bus around a select group of producers, the Institute brought the producers to the buyers for a series of back to back tastings hosted in the same venue. It meant the busy buyers were able to see over 100 wineries across five days of intensive tasting and take a deep dive into the kind of wines being made across the state. What’s more the producers did not currently have distribution in the UK or Ireland, or both, and had to have wines, with volume, that could the hit the main commercial to mid premium price points. The Buyer’s Richard Siddle, who helped to identify and recruit some of the buyers invited, was also there to get an insider’s take on how it all came together.

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    Opinion

    South Africa Restaurant Safari – 9 buyers, 18 wineries, 2 Land Rovers

    Here’s a conundrum for you. How do you get nine of the UK’s leading wine buyers to meet 18 winemakers in four restaurants in different parts of London in under five hours? Well, throw two Land Rovers into the mix and you are half way home. It’s certainly how The Buyer teamed up with Wines of South Africa to take a group of top buyers on a tour of London restaurants, and the chance to meet some of South Africa’s best winemakers at the same time. Eating, tasting, chatting along the way. Buckle up and join us on the ride…

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    Insight

    Buyer French Debate: Rise of Crémant & other sparkling wines

    In part one of The Buyer’s debate, alongside Business France, between leading importers, merchants, restaurants and wine producers from most regions of France, we focused on the rise in and importance of organic wines. The tasting and discussion also looked at how different styles of sparkling wine are now really coming to the fore, and how Crémant, in particular, is presenting a real premium alternative, ideal for promoting and driving in the premium on-trade.

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    Insight

    Buyer Debate: the opportunity for French organic wine

    For the latest The Buyer Debate we teamed up with Business France to bring producers from different regions of France together with key buyers from across the premium on-trade to look at two key growth areas not only for French wine, but the premium wine category as a whole: organics and sparkling wine. It was an opportunity to meet, taste the wines and then explore why French winemakers are increasingly turning to organics and sparkling wine production. Whilst assessing just what it is leading UK wine distributors, merchants and restaurant and bar owners are looking for when taking on a new French wine supplier. There was a lot to cover. So much so that we have broken down the report into two parts. First up we look at the rise in organics and both the opportunities and the challenges there are in making and selling organic wine.

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    Insight

    Behind the scenes on The Buyer’s Vouvray Restaurant Tour

    It’s one thing tasting wine professionally it is quite another to go on an eating and tasting tour of top London restaurants to experience food and wine in the same way your customers do. Which is what The Buyer’s most recent restaurant tour was all about as we were able to introduce different styles of Vouvray wine to a tour of buyers covering wine merchants, sommeliers, importers, consultants and journalists. As we publish our full report from the event, Richard Siddle picks out the highlights.

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    Insight

    Buyer debate: Indies put Ribera del Duero through its paces

    Even for a wine region that is as relatively small as Spain’s Ribera del Duero it’s important to taste as many wines as possible if you are going to truly understand, experience and enjoy its enormous diversity, says wine writer and critic, Tim Atkin MW. To help do just that, but also debate and share what leading UK buyers think of Ribera del Duero, The Buyer teamed up with the region’s generic body, a panel of top wine merchants and Atkin himself to see what opportunities there are in the burgeoning independent retail and wholesale sector.

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    Insight

    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.

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    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.

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    Insight

    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.

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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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    • This is a spectacular Elisabeth Salmon make no mistake, it just oozes pure class from the first pour to the last drop. It is delicate, refined, complex, finely detailed and stylish with a capital S. At first sight it is clear we are dealing with a serious Rosé Brut here. The colour is a deep salmon pink/ copper hue with saffron highlights. There is real luminescence in the glass with a steady bead of fine bubbles. The nose is complex, aromatics include lemon and orange peel, redcurrant jelly, ripe red apple, rose petals, raspberry pavlova, rhubarb, watermelon, salty air. The mousse is ample on the attack with red berry fruit on the front palate – redcurrants, wild strawberry – then hints of ripe peach, oyster shell, blood orange ending with a citrus twist (tangerine, lemon zest) and a refreshing hit of saline on the back palate. Very long length. Structured
    • Monteforche Lo Sfuso di Collina 2020. Love this discovery – a 100% Cabernet Franc from Veneto, made with carbonic maceration. The wine was served chilled with food (worked with fish) wild and deeply fruity, lively, lots of extract and concentration but is not heavy in the glass – the freshness of the grape, the whole-bunch and the youthfulness of the vintage all made for an energetic vin de soif. There was a very gentle effervescence and a real freshness to the core, with a leafy Cab Franc grip on the finish. The wine was fermented with indigenous yeasts, is unfiltered and unfined with no sulphites added so it has a ‘natural wine’ bent but – and it’s a big but – it tasted like the grape variety it’s made from.
    • Foxhole’s schtick is that it is made with grape spirit, made from surplus English grapes that would have been discarded – thereby ticking the sustainability box with a marker pen tick. This Very Special gin is different from the regular HYKE gin but is clearly in the same family and (without tasting side by side) not immediately clear how. There are 19 botanicals used in this gin and they are different to the regular gin, with lavender, Earl Grey and grapefruit taking centre stage and regulars like orris root, juniper and liquorice also playing key roles. But surprisingly (I didn’t get this on a blind taste) and a bit weirdly there is a drop of homemade brandy added to the mix. This is aged brandy and, once known it’s discernible in the structure and depth of the liquid neat, it works, and quite clearly can be played with by mixologists.
    • The 2018 vintage heralds a change of winemaking and image for this premium Chilean blend. Winemaker Gabriel Mustakis, whose first vintage this is, has increased the amount of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend (from 71% in the debut vintage 2003 to 95% in 2018) and reduced the Carmenere which, along with Cabernet Franc and Syrah, make up the other 5%. Ironically, this vintage compared to the super-ripe fruit-forward 2015, has less of the typical cassis fruit bomb Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon feel and more herbal, savoury and ferrous notes creeping in, making this a more complex and enjoyable wine. To look at the wine is deep ruby, opaque; the nose has an appealing wildness, wild blackberry fruit and a strong herbal note – pine almost – with a ground, earthy savoury Indian spice, smoke, tobacco, a ferrous quality. It’s really intriguing! On the palate, the wine is seductively smooth, velvety tannins,
    • A family-run estate that was only established in 1986 but has steadily grown to 14 hectares. The soils here are 60% clay and 40% limestone which have been described as the soils of the Côte de Nuits, even though Santenay of course is at the bottom of the Côte de Beaune. True or not you certainly get the gutsy power of the North, the fruit profile veering more to black cherry and wild blackberry rather than red fruit, as you might expect this far south. Pale to medium ruby; the nose has fruits of the forest, red liquorice, iris; the palate is wonderfully handled through a pre-fermentation cold soak in cement which you can feel on the textured mouth, the wine than has 12 months in barrel (20% new). There is a gorgeous depth and purity to the fruit, ripe and delicious with a clipped, tidy, citrus peel finish. I
    • Great example of Yalumba’s expertise in the Barossa, with a fruit-forward, structured GSM with attention to detail made in reining back the alcohol (14% abv) and the concentration – ending up with a dependable, balanced, food-friendly dry red. Medium ruby, semi-transparent; Fruity aromas of blackberry, raspberry, rhubarb and cinnamon bark with a heady spice element; the palate is smooth, juicy and rounded on the front palate with blueberries and rich chocolate, the structure and acidity making their presence felt mid-palate and on the finish. Tannins are ripe and silky. Nice bit of crunch with a grippy edge, possibly from the small percentage of whole bunch Grenache included in the blend.
    • 2012 was a solar year, with the warmth and sunshine hours in the summer making up for the cold, frost and hail events during the winter and spring. Champagnes from 2012 are open, generous and accessible and this classic Dom Perignon is no exception, a vintage that welcomes you with open arms. The wine is pale to medium gold, an abundant mousse leads into a fine steady bead; the nose is unmistakeably Dom Perignon with the dial turned towards the riper end of the scale, a complex and varied set of aromas whose immediate impression is one of homogeneity and harmony and then with time and thought breaks down into its constituent parts – a mix of fruit, toasty and vegetal – there’s a flowery autolytic character, peony, Mirabelle plum, apricot, lemon-infused rye crumb, there’s a vegetal character and a minty lift The palate is vibrant with zingy acidity, nicely
    • Latest and third release in Castelnau’s prestige cuvée series that is a one-off blend aimed at showing off the House’s expertise at blending reserve wines, in this case a blend of wines hailing from 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012, the cepage being 15% Chardonnay, 55% Pinot Noir and 30% Pinot Meunier. The name C.M 1993 refers to the Col de la Madeleine whose altitude is 1993m, and was the highest peak ascended in the Tour de France in 2013 – the year the Champagne was made. Castelnau is the exclusive Champagne served backstage at the Tour. To look at, the wine is deep gold with a fine bead; ripe, voluptuous nose with an attractive mix of ripe orchard fruits with toasted and spice notes. There is a lot of complexity here with immediate hints of quince, peach, vanilla cream, crystalised ginger; aromas then turn to baked apple, leather, cocoa, a
    • This limited edition series of rosé from Kopke is well worth catching up with if you haven’t already. Made from Tinto Cão grown in the Cima Corgo subregion of the Douro, 400 metres up on schist soil. After a soft, whole bunch press the wine is fermented in steel (80%) and used wood barrel (20%) and matured for six months with a weekly batonage. The variety has good structure, acidity (6g/L), freshness and ageing potential with smooth, firm tannins. It’s a fascinating wine from start to finish. The colour is a gorgeous medium-pale copper-pink with saffron highlights; the nose is vinous, complex, with notes of hibiscus flower, yellow plum and pomegranate. In the mouth it is medium weight, elegant, textured and silky, fresh, slightly unctuous, with a touch of fresh almond on the finish. So deceptive… it seems subtle at first and then reveals more and more on the nose
    • There are some wines that are simply so tasty and effortless that you might as well put a straw in the bottle – this is one such wine. From Celler La Gutina in Alt Emporda, which is just across the border from France near Girona, it is a blend of old vine Grenache 80% and 20% Cariñena grown on granite, pressed (20% whole bunch) into underground tanks without temperature control, then aged in steel and bottled without clarifying, correcting or filtering. The wine has an attractive mix of red and black fruit on the nose, black cherry, Mediterranean herbs; the palate is fresh, pure and rounded with liquorice and a mineral quality added to the mix of cherry, bramble, mulberry. Although it’s a dry wine the fruit has a sweet quality. Really delicious.
    • Not sure there is a more refreshing alcoholic summer drink than white port and tonic. I like the fact that in this limited edition bottle of Churchill’s Dry White Port it has a recipe to encourage people to make it, and it works a treat. The wine can also be drunk chilled neat as an aperitif or used gastronomically – with balls of melon sorbet for example. Fruit for this wine comes from granitic soils, the grapes (Malvasia Fina, Rabigato, Codega and Viosinho) are 100% whole bunch foot stomped in lagares, fermented on skins and then aged for ten years in seasoned oak casks. Sugar is kept to 40 g/l which gives it a distinctive dry edge, although neat it is gently sweet. On the eye the wine is deep orange gold; the nose is seductive and complex with notes of orange, nuts and wood; the palate is unctuous with
    • This 100% Chardonnay has bags of character – the fruit comes from South-East facing clay-limestone soils at the base of the slope, where it’s picking up a lot of mineral that, combined with the citrus acidity in the wine balances superbly the ‘bass notes’ of the rich, bold body of the wine. Medium gold in colour; the nose is ripe, rich and nutty – showing off its slow fermentation in oak barrel and 12 months ageing in barrel (20% new oak). The aromatics are bold, the palate is luxurious, silky, slightly oleaginous, but still has a grainy texture and minerality to it. There’s an ease to the wine but it also has firm structure and considerable acidity underpinning it- lovely lip-smacking rich citrus finish.
    • 70/30 Chardonnay/Pinot Noir prestige Cuvée Champagne using most of its Chardonnay from Montagne de Reims which gives it its mineral core. Shiny pale to medium gold; Racy mousse initially, which soon settles down into a steady fine bead; The wine opens with a strong sense of the wine’s minerality – crushed rocks – you find bracing sea air, green orchard fruit, Poire William, lemongrass, spring flowers, fresh coconut flesh, almond. With time in the glass, the wine adds generosity and greater complexity revealing a promise of just how more magnificent this will become with little hints of ginger and rye crumb. The first attack on the palate is at once athletic and youthful, fresh, crisp, precise; the balance is sublime and nigh perfect between the linearity, and nervous tension of the wine and a slight oleaginous character; flavours are pixilated with hits of crisp apple granita, mango, green pineapple with
    • 2020 Vermentino from La Cappelletta Portofino. Italian white wines, especially the coastal Vermentinos are becoming quite ‘the thing’ and this fascinating example will only serve as grist to the mill. It is the first time this wine has been made available in the UK since the Duchess of Westminster, Natalia Grosvenor rejuvenated the abandoned vineyards that sit 200m above this iconic harbour. The only wine that is allowed to bear the name Portofino, it has only been sold locally until Gambero Rosso gave it two glasses for the 2019 and 2020 vintages. To look at the wine is medium gold; the nose has new lemon blossom, Mediterranean herbs cooling in the evening sun – lemon verbena, oregano, thyme; the palate is fresh, bold, delicately fruity, balanced with decent acidity and texture; the style is just off-dry but the fruit is pure (grapefruit, lime zest) with that vinous quality that Italian
    • This is your classic £10 dry mineral Picoul. Medium straw coloured; attractively floral and fruity nose – honeysuckle, citrus fresh sunny herbs, sea air; the palate is refreshingly crisp and zesty, the winemaker described it as “Apple tart made with Granny Smith” which is spot-on as it has that green apple flavour but also tropical notes and other tastes coming in, and also a sturdy backbone of acidity. The wine has a nice salinity to it, and a citrus skin texture on the finish which makes you want to reach for another glass. Surprisingly complex given the price point. Classic Picpoul de Pinet which pairs well with oysters, shellfish and rich cheese.
    • From the largest owner of Grand Cru and 1er Cru vineyards in Chablis, comes this archetypal Chablis village wine that, as with every year, Fevre manages to truly reflect the vintage. In this case pretty much perfect. The fruit is grown on marl and clay limestone, Kimmeridgian soil, hand-harvested, fermented with indigenous yeasts with 5-10% wood fermented and the same proportion aged in 6 year old French oak barrels – this for the micro-oxygenation to bring complexity to the wine. The wine is then aged between 12 and 24 months. Medium gold, the nose has a touch of toastiness from the wood; the palate is light and fresh, with real purity to the flavours – all steely and citrus-acidity driven, touch of dairy creaminess too. Lovely mineral core to this wine – if you wanted to show someone what a classic Chablis is then this is it.
    • En Rama sherries are a relatively recent phenomenon but they have already become a key heralder of that beautiful time of year when spring fades into summer. ‘En Rama’ for those who do not know means ‘raw’ which, in sherry terms, describes the original state of the sherry – in La Gitana’s case, drawn direct from the barrels in the cathedral-like cellars of San Luis. This Manzanilla is made from 100% Palomino grapes, grown in the highest altitude vineyards in the ‘sherry triangle’ and then aged under flor in old American casks for eight years, with only 35 barrels used for each release. Amazing really the quality and detail of the production for just £15.95 RRP. As per usual the wine is fresh as you like, smooth, golden-hued with salty, olive brine notes – perfect on its own, slightly chilled served alongside a few salty nuts. It is also a
    • Warm, rounded, ripe Valpolicella Ripasso which still has great balance and dryness to give it plenty of gastronomic potential. The wine is made with the old ripasso technique – refermenting Valpolicella wine (that is made in October) on the marc of Amarone and Recioto – or using the skins of Amarone like a ‘tea bag’ for 8-10 days. The wine is matured for up to two years in large format Slovenian oak and bottled for another six months. To look at the wine is transparent medium garnet/ cherry red; the nose is complex, fruity and spicy with notes of red cherries and red berries with a minty/ eucalyptus note that helps maintain the freshness. The palate is full and round but well balanced by the acidity and structure with a good degree of texture, there are just-ripe raspberry and redcurrant jelly flavours, liquorice, pepper and a real zing to the
    • The good thing about warmer vintages like 2018 is that sites which were once considered marginal by wine connoisseurs are turning out authentic and expressive wines like this beautifully fresh Pinot Noir. It comes from a 12 hectare estate, the vines growing in fine silty soil overlaying gravel – and you can feel that coming across in the micro-fine texture of the wine, which also has 12 months barrel-ageing (25% new) to thank for. Pale ruby red, transparent; this has intensely pretty and bright aromas of red berries, raspberries, violets, redcurrant jelly; the palate is so accommodating – no rough angles, precise, focused, textural – and simply so delicious. There is decent structure there and good balance. This is a good example of the quality of Pinot Noir you can get from a Bourgogne appellation with a geographic denomination – ie. one up on quality and concentration, but not quite
    • Something to watch the Giro d’Italia with. Magnificent and expressive Brunello from a five star vintage – showing off a combination of hard work in the vineyard and also near perfect weather. Over the past 30 years, the winery has overseen a replanting of all its vineyards across 54 individual parcels, based upon which clones work in which plots and soils. Consulting winemaker Eric Boissenot has helped create the cuvée from the individually vinified parcels. Near perfect weather conditions with cool temperatures in August, in particular, allowed the tannins and aromas to have enough time to develop. Picking started in mid-September and ended in October. To look at the wine is medium garnet/ cherry red; the nose is a combination of dark red cherries, sweet tobacco, cedar, red liquorice, a vegetal element; the palate is beautifully layered and textured, fresh, medium weight then reveals itself further and further, ripe imperceptible