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    Buying decisions from trend setting trade and The Buyer tastings

    Tasting: Wine

    Why 150 years of pride and passion is key to the wines of Henschke

    In this world of corporate buyouts and mass globalisation, the continuity that family ownership brings cannot be under-estimated when we look at the success of a company. Chris Wilson compares the 100+ years of his local Cambridge ironmongers Mackay with the continuing success of Barossa winemakers Henschke, and argues that it is the honesty, hard work and care that you can rely on when a family stamps its name and reputation on a product. A full new range tasting of the Henschke wines follows in the company of winemaker Joahnn Henschke, including the new vintage release of Hill of Grace 2013.

    Tasting: Wine

    Journey to the centre of the terroir – wine aged and tasted in a real cave

    We’re all used to referring to a wine cellar as a cave. But when Peter Dean signed up to a wine tasting in a cave in the Ardèche, little did he realise that cave meant cave – 57km of underground caverns with stalactites, stalagmites and barrels of wine that have been aged for over a year 100m below the vines to give them a unique character. Oh, and the blind-tasting was literally that – lights off.

    Tasting: Wine

    How to teach terroir with a bike: Ogier in Châteauneuf-du-Pape

    It was a fun way to let journalists and sommeliers spend a morning in the Rhône, travelling by e-bike from one vineyard to another in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. But Ogier had a serious point to prove – that you can easily display the four main terroirs of the region by vinifying four Grenache wines made in exactly the same way but from different soil types; producing the finished wines and then letting journalists taste them in their natural habitat to see if they could taste the difference.

    Tasting: Wine

    Cartology 2017 heralds new phase for SA’s Alheit Vineyards

    Since 2011 Alheit Vineyards has become one of the hottest wineries in South Africa with flagship wine Cartology arguably the most highly sought after wine from South Africa. Small, ancient, dry-farmed vineyard plots of Chenin Blanc & Semillon have been tracked down and nurtured to produce these wines, which are made by Chris & Suzaan Alheit in their winery in Hemelrand, Hemel & Aarde Ridge, Walker Bay. All these wines are limited in production but Imogen Taylor was lucky enough to taste a vertical of every vintage of Cartology 2011-2017 – because Chris Alheit believes the 2017 marks a turning point for Alheit.

    Tasting: Wine

    Peter Richards MW on Tri Nations Challenge as Chile takes on NZ

    As the Tri Nations Wine Challenges enters its fifth year, so we ask Peter Richards MW to comment on the wines of Chile and New Zealand as they battle head to head across six wine categories. For Chile it was the first time the country has entered the competition. How would it fare, especially in the Pinot Noir and Sauvignon categories? The results were a close run thing.

    Tasting: Wine

    David Kermode discovers Charles Heidsieck’s ‘finest bubbles’

    David ‘Champagne Charlie’ Kermode realised that he had met his match when we asked him to taste through a range of Charles Heidsieck Champagnes at a tasting dinner in North London. Tasting the range with new and old vintages, Kermode had to doff his cap and admit that Heidsieck is the real deal. He also got to meet the team behind The Finest Bubble, our ‘6th emergency service’ that can get a bottle of the finest fizz to anywhere in London within two hours. Maybe it should be our 1st emergency service?

    Tasting: Wine

    12 ‘native grape’ beauties from Bibendum Italian tasting

    How do you solve a ‘problem’ like Italian wine? So many indigenous grape varieties, so many DOCs, so many difficult names to navigate yourself around, no generic Italian wine body… and yet there are so many fantastic Italian wines made that tasting your way through an Italian event is always a voyage of discovery. Such was the case with Bibendum’s most recent tasting – the first of a series of events called Tasting Editions, which allowed the company to show off their Italian portfolio – highlighting the indigenous grapes of Italy.

    Tasting: Wine

    Who are Roger Jones’s ‘king and queen’ of Aussie Riesling?

    Earlier this summer our roving contributing editor and Michelin star chef, Roger Jones, found time to catch up with two people that, for him, make the best Australian Riesling. In fact, Roger argues that it is because of them that he first started falling in love with Australian wine per se; Louisa Rose is the chief winemaker at Yalumba which includes the Pewsey Vale Vineyards while Jeff Grosset owns and runs Grosset Wines.

    Tasting: Wine

    How Domäne Wachau is helping to revive Austria’s wine scene

    After fighting off hordes of Riesling-fuelled Austrians at biannual wine fair VieVinum, Justin Keay decides to visit Domäne Wachau, a wine producer that managed to stand out from the crowd. There he gets to discover a winemaker that is successfully achieving high quality across its range – from top end single vineyard Riesling and Grüner Veltliner to mass market regional blends that are being sold through Lidl.



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    • A recent addition to the Corney  Barrow portfolio and
      A recent addition to the Corney & Barrow portfolio and quite a coup as this Hawkes Bay winery constantly over-delivers and seems to go from strength to strength. The fruit was whole bunch-pressed to 228 litre Burgundian oak (25% new), wild yeast, no malolactic fermentation with the wine remaining on the lees for 11 months. Medium gold in colour, the nose is a deliciously rich blend of lime marmalade, pineapple flesh, fresh butter and honeycomb; the palate is medium bodied and rounded at first taste then a crisp, smash of citrus piles in with pink grapefruit, lemon oil, lime zest with a refreshing, linear acidity forming a backbone that holds it all together. Contemporary New World Chardonnay that punches well above its weight and is a great food-match.
    • You dont normally associate a 145 ABV Californian Bordeaux blend
      You don’t normally associate a 14.5% ABV Californian Bordeaux blend with summer but then this is strictly evening fare and very classy it is too, coming as it does from Christian Moueix’s Dominus Estate where it is the third wine. It is predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon with Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot in the mix which adds to its freshness. The wine is open, rich and hedonistic with black fruits, red cherry, mineral and dark chocolate. Surprisingly approachable so young with soft, luscious tannins. A really good introduction to the Grand Vin.
    • 2015 vintage Light goldengreen stunningly inviting and complex nose with
      2015 vintage. Light golden-green, stunningly inviting and complex nose with notes of bitter almond, lemon oil, mildly toasty wood, mince meat tart, iced fingers buns; beautifully smooth, finely grained tannins on the palate, pure white orchard fruit, a splash of lemon squash, then lime pith giving it a little acidic, salty lick on the finish. Really enjoyable and punches well above its weight.
    • 2015 vintage of this Cabardes blend of 50 Cab Franc
      2015 vintage of this Cabardes blend of 50% Cab Franc, 40% Syrah, 10% Merlot. Vibrant, spicy nose of orange zest, herbs, pepper, ripe black fruit; palate easy going but with a nice wet stone texture and quite punchy tannins. Deep rich red fruit, with young tobacco leaf, spice, green orange peel. Needs time in the bottle but showing great potential.
    • Lively young foodfriendly red from the Spanish DO of Montsant
      Lively, young, food-friendly red from the Spanish DO of Montsant (that almost entirely surrounds Priorat but is not as well known) this is a Garnacha/ Carignan blend - lean, and on the early-picked side. Fermented with natural yeast in concrete tanks, aged for three months in old barrels and two months in concrete tanks. Young, crunchy red fruit, high acidity, raspy texture, but good balance and rounded finish. The nose is a bit funky/ almost bretty but that blows off in the glass.
    • This 40yearoldvine Oregon Gewrztraminer is always named after a Nina
      This 40-year-old-vine Oregon Gewürztraminer is always named after a Nina Simone song, vintage by vintage. Clean, light on the eye; spicy inviting nose; palate has a richness and full gingery flavour that is underpinned by a spine of acidity that they get at high elevation. Acacia, orange, ginger on the finish. Delicious and seriously impressive.