When Mike Turner was invited to a Vinho Verde tasting with a Sarah Ahmed MW masterclass, he thought that this would be very much an in-out affair, associating the category with very little diversification. How wrong could a man be? Having had his eyes well and truly opened to the many quality wines on show, he also predicts that many buyers and sommeliers will soon have their eyes focussed on North West Portugal.
Armed with the new 2013 vintages of The Pioneer Shiraz and The Visionary Cabernet Sauvignon, plus the latest releases of its St Andrews range, Mitchell Taylor was in London to prove a few points about the world-class standard of his wines – released as Wakefield Wines in the UK. Peter Dean attended the tasting at London’s South American Temper restaurant and put the company philosophy to the test – that these are wines that are intended to really sing when drunk with food.
Finding great quality at a price that customers find affordable is one of the sommeliers’ key challenges when it comes to Burgundy. This conundrum has become more acute as prices have risen and volumes have fallen. One of the keys to upping the value-per-cost ratio is to explore the appellations that are not in the core of the Côte de Beaune such as Saint-Romain, Saint-Aubin, Saint-Véran and Saint-Bris, or the Subtle Saints as Vins de Bourgogne refers to them. With master sommelier Xavier Rousset at the helm, Christina Rasmussen went along to a Bourgogne Wines Club sommelier masterclass whose aim was to unlock the secrets of these four appellations.
The wines of the CA Grands Crus’ Bordeaux estates – Château Grand-Puy Ducasse, Château Meyney and Château La Tour de Mons – potentially offer UK buyers great value for money, especially after the financial impact of Brexit. Geoffrey Dean tastes a ten year vertical of the wines from these estates and picks the ones he feels delivers the most.
The packed floor of London’s Hospital Club and the over-subscribed masterclasses at G-String, the name given to Wines of Germany’s annual trade tasting, proved that interest in German wine from the premium on-trade is increasing at a steady level. Although we cannot ever forget the incredible quality-to-price ratio that German Riesling delivers, G-String was also about the Other Grapes of Germany, wines that similarly offer unbelievable value. Peter Dean and Roger Jones report.
Two years ago One George Street was the setting for the annual Champagne tasting day in London. Now, for the second year running, English wine had taken over this prestigious venue to show off how “bloody good” English sparkling wine has become. Not only that, but Michelin-starred chef Roger Jones has had his head turned by a number of classy English still wines as well.
In part 2 of The Buyer’s wine odyssey through the Rhône Valley, Dr Bart Feys concentrates on the Northern Rhône and the appellations of Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage, Côte-Rôtie and Condrieu and picks out a selection of the top wines he tasted during the four-day travelling wine fair that is the Découvertes en Vallée du Rhône 2017.
With the Rhône Valley hitting jackpot after jackpot vintage-wise we decided to send Rhône expert Dr Bart Feys to the four-day travelling wine fair Découvertes en Vallée du Rhône 2017. Armed with his tasting glass, Feys tasted from 9am until 6pm every day, trying the 2014, 2015 and 2016 vintages and making some exciting new discoveries from well known houses as well as from lesser known estates. This is part one of a two-part wine odyssey through the Rhône Valley.
As the spotlight falls today on Wines of Germany’s G String annual tasting in London we step back in to The Buyer’s annals to re-visit an article first published last year that analyses outside of Riesling, the country’s most famous export, what other grape varieties, like Weissburgunders and Spätburgunders, that we should be taking more notice of with this on the ground report from Germany’s heartland.
The Sonoma County Barrel Auction gives wine buyers the opportunity to buy a totally unique barrel of wine from some of the county’s foremost winemakers. Christina Rasmussen travels to the auction, previews the lots, falls in love with a Syrah/ Grenache blend from Westwood, and sits enthralled as auctioneer John Curley shows off the skills that have seen him raise $85m for charity. This is the first of a series of articles written by Christina about Sonoma.