The Buyer was one year old in May and now, while we’re on holiday, it is time to reflect on what an awesome first year it was. We tasted many thousands of wines and met many talented, generous and frankly delightful winemakers. So if you are by the pool or wish you were, settle back and look at this pictorial trip down memory lane as we bring you our favourite winemaker pictures of the year.
The wines of Domaine Francois Raveneau continue to be some of the most sought-after and highly prized in the world. The Buyer was granted a rare audience with Isabelle Raveneau last November at the Chablis domaine, a visit that money simply can’t buy. Today just as in the 1940s, when the domaine was established, the humble vision remains the same – work hard in the vineyard and everything else slots into place.
Alpha Box & Dice is a winery in South Australia that specialises in producing unique wines from alternative varietals – mainly Mediterranean grapes. Justin Keay was so blown away by them at the recent Boutinot tasting that he was intrigued to find out more – especially why they want to make 26 different wines – one for each letter of the alphabet.
BLANKbottle is breaking every rule in the book. It produces 30 different wines a year, with half never to see the light of day again. No label has any information about varietals or blends. One wine was subconsciously blended by winemaker Pieter Hauptfleisch Walser’s brain. And yet these challenging wines are found in some of the world’s trendiest and most exclusive restaurants.
Mike Turner packs his castanets and visits Juvé y Camps in the Espiells region of Penedes and comes back raving about the premium Cava he tasted there. He argues that the current popularity of still Xarel.lo is one reason why premium Cava could be making a comeback on the right lists.
Deciding you need to expand and upgrade your rosé range is one thing, knowing what to buy is quite another. Rosé is not like most wine styles where there are obvious, specific grape varieties to hang your hat on. Yes, there are some big hitters and more well known brands, but the consensus is the rosé category is one where everyone benefits if sales go up. Not necessarily. In the second of our summer rosé pieces with Castel Frères , Richard Siddle, looks at how important the style of rosé is and where it is made in the final decision making process.
When Grandes Pagos de España was established 17 years ago it was to recognise high quality individual Spanish wineries that were outside of the boundaries of traditional appellations. We decided to visit six of them to see if the original criteria were still being applied and taste the standard of the 19 Grandes Pagos wineries that are represented in the UK.
Michelin-starred chef and roving reporter Roger Jones thinks that Barbara Banke and her Jackson Family Wines are building a true legacy to envy in Oregon and singles out the wines of WillaKenzie Estate as ones we all should keep an eye on. Over dinner he tastes winemaker Erik Kramer’s latest vintages.
Travel to some parts of the world, like South Africa and Argentina, and it seems you can’t bump in to a winemaker that has not worked with Michel Rolland at some stage in their history. As a wine consultant he really does rule the world, currently working in over 20 countries. But he could not do so without his team of winemakers and viticulturists – like Julien Viaud, who happens to be both. We caught up with him at Vinexpo
Alto Adige is like no other wine region in Italy. The language is primarily Germanic and the mountains that border Austria and Switzerland bring an unique freshness to the wines that include Gewürtztraminer, hailing from the town of Traminer. Justin Keay travelled there to witness the launch of new wine Epokale, that is aged for seven years in a disused silver mine.