It was the Judgment of Paris in 1976 that put Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars onto the worldwide wine map, but it was the Napa Valley fires of October 2017 that almost wiped it off. In-between these two dates the winery has gained a reputation as one of the world’s top producers of Cabernet Sauvignon led by Cask 23 the blend of its two single, and highly contrasting, vineyards Fay and SLV. Peter Dean met up with winemaker Marcus Notaro to get the inside track of this iconic winery, and understand how Notaro’s winemaking philosophy keeps Stag’s Leap at the very pinnacle of the world’s top Cabernet Sauvignon producers.
“The big bear Calvet is finally awake after many years of slumber.” That summaries Cruz Liljegren impression of major French wine brand, Calvet, after a educational trip to the company’s facilities in Bordeaux. With an ambitious new consumer campaign, and targeted on-trade range and a fresh liaison with a tattooed TV chef does Calvet have the right mix to drive sales and attract new consumers to what it is doing.
If you spent thousands of pounds of your own money and years poring over research papers and taking part in endless hours of tasting, re-tasting and analysis of what’s in every glass of wine you drink, you would not imagine becoming a Master of Wine would then be your passport into becoming a major force in transforming the quality and credibility of mass market, high volume wine. But for an increasing number of Masters of Wine that’s exactly where they are making the biggest difference, says Richard Siddle.
Like a number of other Central and Eastern European countries that have been finding their feet since the Communist era ended in 1989, the Bulgarian wine industry is fast making up for lost ground. A recent London tasting revealed a number of stunning wineries that are mixing tradition with innovation, local grape varieties with international. Peter Dean tasted through the wines, talked to the producers and lists the Top 10 Bulgarian wines you simply have to try.
Steve Daniel at Hallgarten & Novum is a wine buyer who always has his finger on the pulse, none more so than at the New Wave Spain tasting he held in London’s boho Shoreditch district. It was here that wine expert Harry Crowther discovered a range of exciting wines using revived old grape varieties, limited production and innovative winemaking. It’s a far cry from traditional Spanish winemaking and all the more exciting because of it.
It might be the biggest success story the UK wine industry has seen in a generation, but is there a more misunderstood wine category than Prosecco? For all the restaurants, bars and hotels that thrive on the back of Prosecco there are still many professional buyers in the trade who question its quality and value to wine industry as a whole. So where better to go to challenge those perceptions than Venice and the surrounding Valdobbiadene wine region where Prosecco heralds from. Over the rest of this week The Buyer will be teaming up with leading premium Prosecco producer, Mionetto, and its UK partner, Copestick Murray to take a group of leading buyers and influencers show how the local Venetians and Italians enjoy their greatest ever export.
As a wine writer and wine consultant Harry Crowther is usually drawn to the ins and outs and challenges that come with with the vagaries in winemaking. But at a specialist tasting hosted by Torres Chile into different styles of pisco, he discovered a drink that also relies enormously on the growing environment of the wine grape varieties that go into a pisco base spirit, that makes it such a fascinating style of drink to discover.
It was billed as ‘Battle of the Winemakers’ – an evening to determine which wines paired best with a selection of dishes from Mayfair’s 28-50 Mayfair kitchen. Rafael de Haan and Núria Altés, the husband and wife team behind Herència Altés each suggested wines for each course, Núria using wines from their estate, while hubby used wines that he has launched through his négociant business, Bodegas Abanico. Forget the World Cup for a minute if you can as we play oenological ‘Mr and Mrs’.
If you are in the lucky position to have money to invest in new businesses and start-ups then it’s easy to see why a wine project would, on paper at least, be so attractive. Particularly if it meant having a stake in a living, breathing vineyard capable of producing wine for you, which is exactly the route that Phillip Addis, former Great Western Wines chief and his business partners took when trying to find backing for their new winery project, in south west France.
Now in its eighth year, Taste Canada 2018 welcomed 37 producers to London’s Canada House in May to show more than 150 wines across a myriad of styles and price points. But how come all the trade is talking about Canadian wine and are these wines actually any good? Chris Wilson explains why all the fuss and picks out the Top 10 wines from the event just in case you didn’t make it along.