With close to an estimated 900,000 producers to choose from it’s not surprising Italy is seen as one of the hardest countries to source from. So news that what claims to be the country’s first full service Italian network of wineries, Vinità Italia, is launching in the UK, should be of interest to on-trade buyers, whether they are Italian specialists are not. We take a look at what it has to offer.
It has taken near on 30 years but US whisky legend Don Sutcliffe, and Willie Phillips, former managing director of The Macallan, have finally come true on a promise they made in 1987 to make a whisky together. The result is The Exceptional range of crafted Scotch whiskies which are now available through Marcin Miller’s Number One Drinks Company.
Morris Wines in Rutherglen and Seppeltsfield in the Barossa Valley are two iconic Australian wineries that both make premium Aussie fortified wine, have recently changed ownership and hail from the Nineteenth Century. The Buyer took to the road and visited both wineries and sampled some extraordinary fortified wines.
Does concrete egg fermentation make a better Chardonnay than barrel-fermented? What does pure malolactic fermented wine taste like compared with wine without malo? How does the same clone work across two different vineyards and how do two different clones work across the same vineyard? Can you taste the difference between hand-harvesting and machine harvesting? What does a year in oak do to Cabernet Sauvignon and how about different pump over devices? In a fascinating Masterclass, Bruce Cakebread, President of Cakebread Cellars brought barrel samples of six wines to London to find out.
So, if money was no object and you were building a modern winery from scratch, where would you build it and what would it end up looking like? Before meeting Mark Le Roux, winemaker at Stellenbosch’s Waterford Estate, Peter Dean wonders if this purpose-built winery in South Africa isn’t pretty much the blueprint for the perfect modern winery.
It is one thing travelling all the way to New Zealand to take part in the Pinot Noir NZ 2017 event, it is another using it to drive your New Zealand wine sales. But that’s the challenge facing Philip Gregan and the New Zealand wine industry to arm and excite sommeliers and on-trade buyers with stories they can tell when they are back home
Peter Dean discovers how a new generation of Australian winemakers in McClaren Vale are reinventing Grenache into a more modern, lighter style. Once Australia’s most planted grape and now accounting for just 1% of Australia’s wine production it’s a fascinating tale of how a wine can change from a fully-extracted fruit bomb into an expressive wine that is more focussed on terroir and vintage variation.
While sommeliers and wine buyers flock to the various Australia Day tastings that are occurring this week in the UK, Geoffrey Dean reports from Mudgee, New South Wales, a region that has been producing wine since 1822 and, he argues, deserves much greater recognition for the unique quality of its wines.
Following a tip-off, Roger Jones our Michelin-starred chef and mild-mannered reporter, heads off into the hills of South Africa’s Stellenbosch to become the first UK wine writer to meet Lukas van Loggerenberg, a winemaker who Roger believes is an exciting new discovery and worthy of every plaudit you can throw at him. Has Roger already found the most exciting discovery of 2017?
If you were to visit Chȇne Bleu today, tucked in to the foothills of Mont Ventoux, it would be hard to imagine a site that had been abandoned for years. Not only is it now a beautiful home for Xavier and Nicole Rolet, but it has been transformed in to a vineyard producing wines that have been awarded Super Rhone status by the world’s top critics. Nicole Rolet shares her story with The Buyer.