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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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    • Who would have thought this light slightly funky red was
      Who would have thought this light, slightly funky red was from the Barossa? Grenache and Cinsault from 50-60 year old vines, 20% carbonic macerated; on the palate it is pretty, fruity with a blackberry Chewit on the finish. Very moreish.
    • Exsommelier and winemaker for Thierry Allemand Clotaire Michal is making
      Ex-sommelier and winemaker for Thierry Allemand, Clotaire Michal is making interesting Gamay from South-facing steep slopes with 40-100 year old vines. Half is whole bunch, 50/50 tank/wood. Nose is complex, red fruit, savoury, herbal; the fruit has good ripeness, elegant with firm structure and a rasp of ruby grapefruit on the finish. Good balance.
    • Tricky one to taste blind the slight richness on the
      Tricky one to taste blind, the slight richness on the nose and backbone of minerality had me in Chablis. How wrong can you be! This is from a single vineyard - 80 year old Carricante - and aged on its lees in steel for a year. The nose was lightly fragrant, floral, touch of sweetness; palate had fine-grained texture, lemon zest, sea spray. Quite polished, finesse, elegant. Not sure I’d pay £45 for another bottle but glad I tried it.
    • Domaine Michel Magnien Marsannay Mogottes  Delightfully light biodynamic 2014
      Domaine Michel Magnien Marsannay Mogottes - Delightfully light biodynamic 2014 Pinot with lots of character, flavour and texture. Light ruby in appearance which belies its firm structure; red and ripe red berries on the nose with hints of flowers and spices; on the palate there’s a touch of liquorice, ripe red berries, toast and a lick of menthol on the finish; beautifully integrated tannins.
    • Minimal handling with this excellent Californian Pinot  slow and
      Minimal handling with this excellent Californian Pinot - slow and cool ferments. Very light ruby; funky nose, ripe macerated red and black fruit, lanolin; on the palate ripe fruit with a fine-textured, bitter citrus, but balanced finish; clearly a New World Pinot but with a terrific energy and edge. Completely approachable now, but has acidity and fruit for another decade.
    • Yummy complex Grner Veltliner from the oldest of Martin Diwalds
      Yummy, complex Grüner Veltliner from the oldest of Martin Diwald’s vineyards, great deal of selection, wild ferment in stone vessels and then two months in acacia barrels; pale straw coloured; on the nose: ground almonds, crushed rocks, whiff of haylage up front; on the palate lemon pith, ripe yellow grapefruit flesh, minerals; more of a citrus style Grüner - lean body, high acidity. Good length on the finish. Lots going on and very tasty.