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    Californian wine
    People People: Supplier
    Jon and Chris Carson

    C&C Wines: what is “London’s best kept secret” all about?

    It’s a very nice compliment to be known as the London’s “best kept secret” by some of your customers, but it also suggests you might be missing out on more business from restaurants and bars if more knew what you can do. Here Christopher and Jon Carson open up on just what it is about Carson & Carnevale that some in the trade don’t want you to know about. It could, for example, be the fact it can offer minimum six bottle orders, six days a week in London. Richard Siddle finds out the full behind the scenes story…

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    Tasting: Wine
    Astralian Cabernet Sauvignon

    Australian Cab. Sauv. excels in global comparative tasting

    Australian Cabernet Sauvignon was centre-stage at a global comparative tasting of 12 different Cabernets, including wines from Bordeaux, Chile, California, South Africa and Tuscany. And, although Wine Australia which was hosting the event, said that there would be no winners, one could clearly see the quality and diversification of regional Australian Cabernets, writes chef and wine expert Roger Jones, with each region showcasing its unique quality and style, and showcasing to the global audience the quality of Australian Cabernet.

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    Awards
    palais coburg 2

    Star Wine List of the Year Awards – world’s best wine restaurants

    “This is the end of our lockdown tour of the world,” is how Krister Bengtsson, founder of Star Wine List, introduced the International Final of an awards programme that has travelled the world during the global covid lockdown rewarding the best restaurants and bars and the teams behind them, including the inaugural UK Awards co-hosted with The Buyer. Here are the results of the main international categories chosen from the winners in each of the European and Asian country events which saw Vienna’s Palais Coburg win the overall Grand Prix award.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Piper Heidsieck Rare 2008

    Régis Camus & the pleasure of Rare Champagne Millésime 2008

    Today’s release of Rare Champagne Millésime 2008 is indeed a rare event. In the 40 years since this prestige cuvée has been produced only 11 vintages have been released. Régis Camus, head of winemaking, explains the selection process that goes into making the wine and why its signature characteristic – minerality – is down to choosing two thirds of the Chardonnay from Montagne de Reims rather than the Côte des Blancs. “These Chardonnays are really like wild horses – you need to take them, keep them and blend them with others just to cool them down – otherwise they will have too much vivacity,” he says. Peter Dean took notes as well as gives a full review of the 2008 and the 2006, which it is was shown against.

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    Opinion
    2020 Bordeaux Long Read

    Michael Schuster’s swan song 2020 Bordeaux en primeur report

    In his swansong annual en primeur report Michael Schuster, the only UK-based wine critic to jump through all the necessary hoops to go and physically taste at the châteaux this year, examines Bordeaux 2020. Having covered Bordeaux en primeur for every campaign since 1982 (bar one), Schuster is better placed than most to place this exceptional but variable vintage into an historical context. In this extract from his 20,000-word World of Fine Wine report, Schuster looks at 10 headlines from the vintage, explores the changing ideals within Bordeaux and gives some recommendations on what we should be buying.

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    People
    chickpeas

    Raul Diaz’s recipes: Garnacha with chickpeas & chorizo

    Raul Diaz continues his monthly series analysing different grape varieties and then breaking them down to analyse what styles of food and recipes you can follow that make the most of their unique characteristics. This time around he turns his attention on Garnacha and makes the case for why this is one of the most versatile grape varieties for any cook to work with, from big meat dishes, to fish soups, and never better expressed than when paired with chickpeas and chorizo.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Green Spain

    ‘Green Spain’ discoveries from Txakoli, Galicia and Bierzo

    With first rate masterclasses spread across three months, the new-look Wines From Spain annual tasting has been an unqualified success, writes Justin Keay. Despite the restrictions in it being virtual-only this year, the event did a great job of unlocking just some of what this diverse wine-producing country has to offer. It was the Green Spain masterclass from Sarah Jane Evans MW, however, which really showed a completely unexpected side to Spanish wine. Keay picks his favourites as well as Top 10 wines from the Importers Highlights tasting.

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    People People: Producer
    york gin

    How the York Gin team made a gin the city could be proud of

    It seems every city has their own gin these days, but the team behind York Gin set themselves a high bar when they looked to create a gin that would live up to the history and traditions of York, one of England’s oldest and most famous cities, and be a gin the city could be proud of. Three years on and the founding team, who first came up with the idea in their local pub, can look back on a brand that has picked up gold medals and expanded into different flavours and styles.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Iain

    How Ormarine is pushing the envelope with Picpoul de Pinet

    Two new Picpoul de Pinets from Cave de L’Ormarine – one lees-aged the other barrel-aged – are the latest examples of how the market leader in this region of the Languedoc is trying to break into premium on-trade and independent wine shops. English master of wine Iain Munson is behind the drive, trying to bring more depth and complexity to Picpoul de Pinet, a wine noted for its freshness, consistency and affordability. But how does the wine behave under wood? and is there a real demand for another ‘icon’ wine from the Languedoc? Especially when the strong point of the wine itself is that it is so easy-going and quaffable?

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    People People: Producer
    corinne chevrier

    Corinne Chevrier: leading the way for female Bordeaux winemakers

    “Women are having more and more of a say whether it is in viticulture, winemaking, tasting, sommelier. It may be necessary one day to have a parity policy – otherwise there will only be women.” Corinne Chevrier is proud and excited by the changes she has seen in the role, respect and influence female winemakers and growers now have in the traditional world of Bordeaux producers. Here she shares her experiences working in wine and how she has helped to put her mark on Bordeaux winemaking with the wines she makes at Château Bel-Air La Royère.

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    People People: Producer
    rosanna piqant

    What to learn from Piqant’s AI coffee match making service

    We’ve seen a number of drinks retailers and suppliers introduce a variety of schemes that help wine drinkers pre-determine the kinds of wines they will like based on their tasting preferences. Well here’s a similar concept from the world of coffee and how Piqant uses artificial intelligence technology to help coffee lovers identify the styles, flavours and tastes they want in their coffee and then select a range of coffees for them to trial at home. Co-founder Rosanna Nibbs Senise explains how it works and what lessons we can learn from it in the drinks industry.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Tom Gilbey

    Victor Smart: a socially distanced evening tasting with Tom Gilbey

    Tom Gilbey is a man who wears many hats. His family is of Gilbey gin fame and also claims to be the first English people who bought a château in Bordeaux. Most recently Tom has been spreading his wings during lockdown, doing virtual wine and cheese tasting events. Victor Smart took charge of a four bottle box including Buyer favourites Domaine Gayda, as well as some well-matched cheeses. So what was it like doing this socially-distanced tasting in the garden in April Victor?….

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    People People: Producer
    still in cask team smiling

    Still In Cask: transforming our engagement with aged spirits

    There are some ideas for a new business that seem so obvious you can’t believe someone has not thought of it before. Like Still In Cask. A business model based on the idea of having a blockchain powered website on which distilleries from all over the world can put up casks of aged spirits for people to buy individual cask shares worth one bottle each for as little as £20. Be it a whisky, rum, tequila or whatever aged spirit a distiller might want to offer. It hopes to open up spirit investment to the everyday spirits lover and, in particular, attract a new younger generation of spirits drinkers, and give distilleries the chance to get much needed cash into their business. It’s all the idea of the team behind craft distiller, Circumstance Distillery, Liam Hart and Danny Walker who are working in partnership with Illy Jaffar, managing director of Kinetic and formerly of Pernod Ricard, and entrepreneur Zak Hirt, to what they call “democratise” the ownership of cask spirits whilst creating and bringing together a community of spirits lovers online. Richard Siddle hear’s how it is all going to work and how the the idea first came out of The Buyer’s first One Step Beyond innovation conference last March.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Bandol rosé

    Elizabeth Gabay MW on the unique qualities of Bandol Rosé

    One of the benefits of Bandol Rosé for the on-trade is that it becomes more gastronomic with age, so leftover bottles at the end of the summer can be used for a few years yet. In a wide-ranging tasting of the new 2020 vintage, world rosé expert Elizabeth Gabay MW, puts this to the test by comparing the flavour profile of the new wines with ones from three previous vintages. Clearly different from Provence rosé, Bandol 2020 is made from 60% Mourvèdre, and has a distinct juxtaposition of fresh fruit and more intense complex notes.

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    Opinion
    Aperol Spritz came from nowhere to create a drinks category of its own

    Dan Hooper: how you market a brand no one has heard of

    How do you market something that no one has heard of? Good question and one that Dan Hooper, co-founder of the YesMore drinks marketing agency looks to answer as he sets out the steps any new brand needs to take if you are looking to not only launch a new product, but start a new category as well. Be it Seedlip, Jagermeister or Aperol Spritz, the drinks sector is full of brands that have created very successful niches of their own through great products, but arguably even better marketing and promotion.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Rall Wines

    Why Rall Wines is one of the most exciting in New Wave SA

    Donovan Rall is one of the most exciting winemakers working in South Africa today. He first started to get on our radar back in 2017 at the now legendary New Wave tasting held in London’s Shoreditch and, since then, has started doing even greater things both with his white blends and single varietal wines. Seeking out forgotten, old vineyards that dot the landscape he coaxes vines back to health and then uses all manner of vessels to vinify and age his wines. Six of the new Rall Wines vintages were tasted at an online event – with one journalist, in particular, having a spot of bother….

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    Insight
    provence table glasses

    How Provence is taking success of its rosés to the next level

    It’s hard to think of a wine region that has enjoyed better success than Provence in the last 10 years. The region has experienced consistent double digit growth year in year out as more of the world has woken up to the charm, elegance and quality of its rosé wines. In that time, major brands have emerged and have helped drive Provence’s unique message and image. Here, Richard Siddle talks to Jeany Cronk, founder of Mirabeau and board member at the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Provence (CIVP), and Caroline Benetti, communications manager at the CIVP about the Provence success story and how the generic body works with Provence’s winemakers to drive the region forward.

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    People: Producer
    Chris Wilson

    Chris Wilson on launching and selling out of his debut wine

    Chris Wilson always felt that his Bacchus 2020 – the first wine he has ever made – would be a popular choice, but in just a few days the entire allocation had sold out. Wine scribe-turned-winemaker, Wilson describes the first day of letting ‘strangers’ into his tiny windmill winery, Gutter & Stars; the power of media; some cute marketing ploys and the ‘2nd album syndrome’ – the old music industry fear that it is all well and good charting with your debut album, but what are you going to follow it up with?

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    Conference Opinion
    sustainable wine roundtable

    Tobias Webb on uniting the wine industry to tackle sustainability

    Sustainability in wine has long been an issue that the industry as a whole has skirted around, leaving it mostly to individual producers or generic bodies to take the lead. Well with Tobias Webb the sector might finally have the central figure, the driving force to bring so many of the world’s efforts to tackle sustainability together. It is also something he does in other sectors and believes he has the experience to know how to do that through his Sustainable Wine company, a new cross sector Sustainable Wine Roundtable and a conference next month – the Future of Wine Americas. He explains how he hopes he can drive the sustainability agenda forward.

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