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    Buying decisions from trend setting trade and The Buyer tastings

    Tasting: Wine

    What wines Roger Jones picked from the Ellis Wines portfolio tasting

    Distinct, exciting, exceptional value – these are just some of the words that Michelin star chef Roger Jones has used to describe many of the wines he encountered at the two-day Ellis Wines portfolio tasting. A wine importer that might not be top of mind by many wine buyers, Jones also found one rare ingredient these days – loyalty – from customers and also suppliers.

    Tasting: Wine

    2016 is the vintage to pick for Lirac, Rhone’s overlooked AOC

    Before phylloxera struck, the wines of Lirac were as well regarded as those from its more illustrious neighbours on the other side of the Southern Rhône – Châteauneuf-du-pape for example. In a special one-off Buyer exclusive Rhône expert Dr Bart Feys tastes 34 of the top wines from Lirac, recommends the top 12 wines he tasted and considers where the wines of Lirac are today, looking all the while at the ravishing 2016 vintage.

    Tasting: Wine

    Framingham and its ‘most thrilling’ New World Rieslings

    Precise, clear, pure, thrilling – welcome to the world class Rieslings of Framingham Wines, produced with a ‘German method’ by winemaker Andrew Hedley in Marlborough, New Zealand, using fruit from some of the region’s oldest Riesling vineyards. Riesling expert Anne Krebiehl MW visited Hedley and discovered some of his techniques – including the use of ‘killer acid’ – as well as sharing tasting notes of some of her favourite Framingham wines.

    Tasting: Wine

    Tim Atkin MW: why VIGNO old vine Carignan is best in class

    Wines From Chile is currently engaged in a charm offensive on the UK on-trade, turning the spotlight on minority interest grape varieties such as Semillón and Carignan to show that their country (the world’s fourth largest exporter of wine) is more than just a bulk producer of international varietals. After the successful Semillón Sessions seminar, Carignan was given a star turn by Tim Atkin MW and Julio Bouchon of Chile’s Bouchon Family Wines, by looking at VIGNO a project dedicated to re-appraising Carignan and to demonstrate what classy wines it is capable of producing. Yes, classy.

    Tasting: Wine

    David Kermode putting on the spritz at Gonzalez Byass tasting

    Yesterday’s annual portfolio tasting held by Gonzalez Byass at RIBA was an opportunity to sample their much-anticipated Croft Twist – a new, contemporary take on the ‘Spritz’ category. The past was revived too in a cracking Vermouth that harps back to the Nineteenth Century for its blend, plus there were plenty of old faces and new in a tasting attended by Mr Vinosaurus himself, David Kermode.

    Tasting: Wine

    Roger Jones: pure wine artistry on display at Enotria&Coe tasting

    Roger Jones our Michelin star chef and ambassador to The Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Awards headed over to look at some wine artists at The Saatchi Gallery where Enotria&Coe held its annual portfolio tasting. For Jones it was a chance to taste some new additions to the range plus catch up with some old faces. In both cases the quality of the wines and spirits was of the very highest class.

    Tasting: Wine

    Chris Wilson on Hallgarten’s off-beat Burgundy wines

    Hallgarten tasked French buyer Beverly Tabbron MW last year to come up with a new approach to Burgundy – seeking out restaurant-friendly wines that deliver on value and price. Chris Wilson met her at Hallgarten’s annual portfolio tasting and tasted through the range of lesser-known wines from largely unfashionable sites, being most impressed in the process.

    Tasting: Wine
    Louis Latour Agencies Long Read

    How winemakers are the real stars at Louis Latour Agencies

    Louis-Fabrice Latour, the 11th generation of the family to head the company, describes 2018 as a year that will face tough obstacles, but one that he is increasingly optimistic about. Tasting our way around the Louis Latour Agencies portfolio he has good reason to be optimistic. The 14 wineries that make up the group not only have some awesome wines and spirits available this year, but they also have a genuine sense of camaraderie and a set of common beliefs – and are all family-owned and family-run estates just like Latour.

    Tasting: Wine

    Hallgarten flies the flag for new wave Spanish wines

    Michelin star chef Roger Jones went to last week’s Hallgarten portfolio tasting in order to check out the new wave Spanish wines that buyer Steve Daniel has added to the list. There are some interesting wines from nine producers, recently discovered by Daniel, including a range of organic wines from Peninsula Vinicultores (Ucles) and wines from Aragon, Ribera del Duero, Montsant, Cuenca, and Majorca.

    Tasting: Wine
    No.1 Family Estate

    No 1 Family Estate pioneers Méthode Marlborough

    When Daniel Le Brun first visited Marlborough, lured by a Kiwi girlfriend, he just knew that this was the perfect region for growing Champagne grapes. The weather conditions do provide some challenges but it gives him and his winery No.1 Family Estate what Champenois would die for – a vintage every year. Anne Krebiehl MW visits Le Brun and gets the full story about the estate – New Zealand’s only winery dedicated to producing sparkling wine. Anne tastes the full range and has to watch Le Brun do the ‘sabre thang’. Without taking a finger off.



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    • From the Island of Hvar off the Croatian Dalmatian coasthellip
      From the Island of Hvar, off the Croatian/ Dalmatian coast comes this 100% Crljenak. Rich, meaty, intense red with aged, slightly dried fruit with fantastic acidity and texture. Very different. Zinfandel by any other name.
    • Impressed by the whites from Lirac  the overlooked AOChellip
      Impressed by the whites from Lirac - the overlooked AOC in the Rhône. Elegant and pure, showing honeyed notes, white flower, yellow fruit concentration, with a nicely rounded mouthfeel with sufficient bite and length to make these a great match for food. This one had a nice fresh, mineral character, slightly lean with a lovely textured mouthfeel. 50% Grenache Blanc, 20% Clairette, 20% Picpoul, 5% Viognier, 5% Bourboulenc For more tips see for a full feature
    • Should that be called Fear of the Pine? Proof ifhellip
      Should that be called Fear of the Pine? Proof if needed that Retsina, from Assyrtiko grown in Thessaloniki, can make a world class wine. Nose of pine (!), fresh sun-dried herbs, lemon thyme, oregano, palate is full and well defined, Sicilian lemon, rind and pulp, fine grained woody texture, elegant finish. Delicious. Would serve as a great by-the-glass wine.
    • Light golden 100 2016 Bourboulenc from the Languedoc Ctes duhellip
      Light golden 100% 2016 Bourboulenc from the Languedoc, Côtes du Brian don’t ya know! Honeysuckle and fennel in the nose, quite full mouthfeel, off sweet citrus - lime zest - quite tannic, fair bit of heat despite the 13% ABV. Really outstanding and good to try this on its own.
    • 2015 was always going to be good for the Languedochellip
      2015 was always going to be good for the Languedoc and so it is proving for this flagship cuvée from Gayda, that picked up a gold at Millésime Bio. Attractive nose of blackberries, blueberries, fresh herb; on the palate lovely backbone of acidity keeps the14.5 ABV finely balanced. This vintage has a bit more intensity and is more easily accessible than some vintages. Standout wine at VINISUD.
    • Best value Pinot in the market? Hard to beat andhellip
      Best value Pinot in the market? Hard to beat, and stands its ground amongst illustrious company. I know cause we tested this blind amongst a bunch of other great Pinots. From Bulgaria with an Italian winemaker this has an inviting nose of strawberries, cherries, cloves, bit of undergrowth. The palate is impressive - nice balance, red fruit, wood, orange rind. Everything is in its right place and good proportion - £12.50!