What could be more of the moment than 100% old vine Cinsault, grown at altitude, vinified with minimal intervention in 150 year old cement tanks with natural yeast and filtered with dried thistles – thereby making it vegan-friendly? The twist is that this is how the wines of Domaine des Tourelles have always been made. Superbly-made wines at fantastic value prices. Peter Dean taste-tests them with Faouzi Issa, winemaker and co-owner on the winery’s 150th birthday.
After tasting his way through the Wines From Spain event, Justin Keay was surprised to find a number of his favourite Iberian wines missing from the event. Here he talks about the wines he keeps returning to from Spain’s ‘holiday islands’ of Majorca, Lanzarote and Tenerife that he feels have one foot in ‘new Spain’ as well as another foot firmly rooted in Spain’s older viticultural traditions.
It is a direct link to the consumer through its retail outfit that gives Lea & Sandeman insight into what wines do and do not work, says co-owner Charles Lea. Celebrating 30 years in June this year, and just receiving a Royal Warrant from HM Queen Elizabeth 2 last week, Lea explains to David Kermode that it is this insight that has allowed Lea & Sandeman to see, for example, that millennials are finally waking up to German Riesling and realising it isn’t at all bad.
To celebrate 30 years of trading, UK wine importer Armit is hosting a series of tastings and events. At the first of these Chris Wilson talked to Armit’s head of marketing, Jonathan White, about the importance of Italian wines to the Armit portfolio and how both Italian and Burgundy has picked up in sales where Bordeaux has declined.
We could lie and say that it was always Chris Wilson’s intention to focus just on the best new Italian vino bianco from the recent Il Collettivo tasting – an event that brought together, for the second year running, an exciting mix of Italian wines from five of the UK’s hottest wine importers. But we would be lying. Chris did try all the whites and selects his Top 10 with full tasting notes below. But why are there no reds rated? We’ll let Chris tell you his feeble excuse. It beats ‘leaves on the line’ that’s for sure.
It is just over 30 years ago that Planeta planted its first vineyards in Sicily. Since that time the company has helped take Sicilian wine into the realms of fine wine, with its top range of wines made with Nero D’Avola leading the charge. The Buyer caught up with Planeta winemaker Alessio Planeta at a sommelier masterclass in London to discover more about Sicily’s number one red varietal and taste first-hand how the wines age.
Although many wine buyers know Indigo as an expert of wines from Iberia, Chris Wilson discovered a whole treasure trove of wines from the rest of Europe and the New World at the Indigo annual portfolio tasting, held in London. In picking out his personal highlights Chris found plenty of evidence that these wines had restaurants and wine bars front of mind.
As the jamboree of the Bordeaux En Primeur tastings begin this week, the message from La Place de Bordeaux is that, despite the reduction in yield, the Bordeaux 2017 vintage is very serious, if not an exceptional one. Geoffrey Dean attended the La Place tastings and caught the mood of the châteaux owners, brokers and importers as an entrée to the following fortnight’s main course of sampling.
The annual Cyprus wine tasting event in London was an opportunity to discover many excellent wines being made by producers finding new legs out of old varietals. It seems that Cyprus is an exciting country for winemaking these days largely because the younger generation are in it to make a living and have also travelled the world, picking up tips from Old World and New World alike – realising what international markets want in the process.
All seven Vineyards of Hampshire wineries were at the annual tasting held in the wine cellars of London’s Stafford Hotel, showing 21 of their wines – 18 of which were sparkling. Chris Wilson was knocked for six by Hambledon’s Première Cuvée, bowled over by Jenkyn Place’s 2010 Rosé and seriously impressed by Danebury Vineyard’s still wines, not least because they are still making wines from the envelope-pushing Germanic grapes from English wine’s infancy. But it was the Blanc de Noirs that really stole the show, and could arguably be the strongest suit for some of English wine’s most prestigious wineries.