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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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    • The label reflects a spot in the hills of Minervois
      The label reflects a spot in the hills of Minervois that gives a curious trompe l’oeil but it could easily be a nod to the great schisty texture in this classy great-value red (£10.50 Rrp). 100% Syrah from the top vineyard site in this area, it has a savoury, meaty, spicy nose, a dense, black fruit palate with an attractive green edge to the fruit.
    • Interesting Vin Santo which is all nuts wood and savoury
      Interesting Vin Santo which is all nuts, wood and savoury in the palate, which contains the residual sugar well and prevents any cloyingness. Colour is light mahogany, Nose is hazelnuts, chestnuts, honey, dried figs, freshly polished wood. Palate is complex, velvety, rich with dense layers of flavour. Nice take on Vin Santo.
    • Bone dry and still surprisingly young for a 2008 Bit
      Bone dry and still surprisingly young for a 2008. Bit of petrol blows off, and nose has hits of white flowers, white peach, pineapple, wet rocks; on the palate there is a multitude of flavours - lime zest, dried pineapple, - with terrific wet slate texture and fantastic acidity of course. I would serve this with food (I had it with whole roasted turbot) rather than aperitif. Very yummy.
    • Interesting direction for marquescaceres  1st vintage of its first
      Interesting direction for  @marques_caceres  - 1st vintage of its first ever Cava. 100% Viura, 10 months on its lees, 7/8 gms residual sugar. Big moith-filling mousse, quickly settles into a steady stream of fine bubbles, nice complexity of notes and flavours - quite savoury and nutty. This is a 50,000 bottle toe-in-the-water for the US market.
    • If you thought Viura was a onetrick pony think again
      If you thought Viura was a one-trick pony think again. Stunning white that will have you pouring a 2nd glass quite quickly! Here Viura is picked from shallow soil on the high slopes of Rioja Alavesa, then aged for 10 months in new French oak with no malo and blended with 30% Malvasia. Light lemon gold in colour, complex, lightly floral nose, with hints of stone fruits, almost no oak aroma. On the palate : mouth-filling, fine-grained texture, nuances of orange zest and lemon zest, hint of oak. Let it open out in the glass, can age further in the bottle.
    • A Ros with a difference  made from Pinot Noir
      A Rosé with a difference - made from Pinot Noir in the Côte de Nuits -with five years on the clock. Pretty nose of wild strawberries with an interesting broad depth to the palate. Great wine to have by the glass paired with fish, vegetable dishes and dessert. Very interesting.