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    Screenshot 2021-12-24 at 10.40.26

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! It’s time to drink…

    “Hold the Front Page!” As The Buyer team looks to take a few festive days off we would like to thank you all, wherever you are, for all your support and time reading and sharing our articles over the last 12 months. It’s been another rollercoaster year for everyone in the drinks, hospitality and retail sectors around the world and the tireless producers and supply chain that supports them. We hope we have been able to help make some sense of it all and can only sit back and applaud how every sector in this amazing industry has once again responded with the ultimate professionalism to every hurdle thrown its way. We hope you now have some time to stop, relax and enjoy a festive time with your family and friends. We raise a glass to you all! Happy Christmas and here’s to a great 2022 for us all. All the best Richard and Peter.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Cheval Blanc

    Geoffrey Dean: my night out with Cheval Blanc 2005 and 2009

    100,000 meals delivered to children in need was the serious purpose of a once-in-a-lifetime charity dinner at The Birley Wine Club last week. The frivolous side was drinking Krug, Cheval Blanc 2005 and 2009 as well as rounding the evening off with Yquem 2011. For Geoffrey Dean it was a rare opportunity to see how the vintages are evolving, with the ‘vintage of the millennium’, the 2005, possessing the structure and freshness to take it easily into the 2030s and beyond.

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    People People: Producer
    bec hardy bec and richard

    Bec Hardy on Australia’s new wine producer generation

    The Hardy name is as synonymous with Australian wine as the Bradman family is with its cricket. So for Bec Hardy a career in wine was mapped out for her from birth. But when in 2020 she took over the Pertaringa wine brand business from her parents, Geoff and Fiona Hardy, she notched up a first even in her esteemed wine family by becoming the first female vineyard owner and wine producer in six generations. Here she is joined by her husband, and business partner, Richard Dolan, as they explain how they plan to bring new generation thinking to their Bec Hardy Wines and Pertaringa range of premium wines.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Bairrada

    How to discover Bairrada’s ‘thrillingly different’ wines

    Bairrada is one of those Portuguese wine regions that could well be unfamiliar to you but, once sampled, will not easily be forgotten. It’s what keeps ‘discovering wine’ such a fascinating subject – just when you think you’ve got a complete handle on a country’s wine output along comes a selection of wines from a ‘new’ region that offers an entirely new perspective. Peter Dean tastes seven wines from a region, previously unfamiliar to him.

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    Awards
    Fine Wines Direct UK will be part of the online awards ceremony for the first UK Wine List of the Year awards on February 22 at 6om

    UK Wine List of the Year: How to enter and support 2022 awards

    The Buyer is once again teaming up with Star Wine List to co-host the UK Wine List Awards to congratulate and reward those restaurants, bars and venues that are putting wine at the heart of their offer. The 2022 awards will once again be judged by leading panel of award-winning sommeliers who will pick out our shortlists and finalists from outlets that enter and those already listed on the Star Wine List for the UK. Here we talk to New Zealand Winegrowers and Wines of Germany about why they want to be part of the 2022 event.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Languedoc Wine Camp Long Read

    Jamie Goode discovers top wines at Languedoc Wine Camp

    Over three days in September British wine writer Dr Jamie Goode was one of 10 journalists invited to be part of the inaugural session of the Languedoc Wine Camp. The idea was to give leading opinion formers an immersion into where this important wine region stands today. What is the spirit of the Languedoc? How does it make us feel? How do the wines reflect this? Goode reflects on what he learned at Camp, discusses the novel format, and picks out 14 of the many wines he tasted along the way.

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    People: Producer
    bairrada adega cantehede

    The Magnificent Seven: our pick of Bairrada producers for your list

    If you are an ambitious, adventurous wine buyer you would do well to concentrate your efforts on what some of the lesser known regions of Portugal are up to – a constant hive of new wines often made from native, indigenous grapes with unique styles. Which is very much what Bairrada, in the Beiras region of northern Portugal, nestled in just below Porto has to offer. As part of our link up with the region The Buyer today shines the light on seven producers that are already in the UK and makes the case for why they might be worth putting on your shopping list for the new year.

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    Insight
    Prices are expected to rise even more in Burgundy on the back of the poor 2021 harvest. Picture BIVB and photographer Aurélien Ibanez

    What does Burgundy really think of high prices & hard harvests?

    As the clock ticks down to the all important Burgundy campaign in January there is still much speculation about how the trade and fine wine customers are going to respond to the new vintage, but, crucially, what prices are buyers going to be expected to pay for what is set to be one of the most in demand campaigns in recent years. To get a first hand grip on what Burgundy producers themselves are saying about the 2020 wines, and their immediate reaction to the devastating 2021 harvest, Sophia Longhi travelled to the region to talk directly to a wide range of winemakers, across some of the smaller and emerging appellations, who are making a wide variety of wines to hear their hopes, fears, and concerns for the months and year ahead.

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    Insight
    Languedoc Wine Camp

    How Languedoc Wine Camp brought focus to the region

    How do you market Languedoc wine to a global audience when the region is larger, more diverse and complex than many entire countries? This was the task set for Marion Oury whose solution was Languedoc Wine Camp, a series of immersive two-day experiences which allowed wine professionals to experience the region like it has never done before. Oury, the marketing digital and communications director for the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins du Languedoc (CIVL) also had to ensure the events delivered Languedoc’s newly-created brand positioning. Peter Dean got the story.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Codorníu

    Roger Jones on sheer quality & value of Codorníu’s top cava

    Cava has started to make some encouraging noises of late, ever since Prosecco stole its crown of ‘alternative fizz to Champagne’. But Codorníu has never dipped out of the spotlight. This winery is Spain’s oldest family-owned business and has been producing a range of cuvées such as the Ana Blanc de Blancs and the Codorníu Ars Collecta Blanc de Noirs which can stand toe-to-toe with the world’s best sparklers. Ex-Michelin star chef and fizz expert Roger Jones went to Hispanic to taste through the Codorníu range and came back positively beaming.

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    Jobs
    Screenshot 2021-12-17 at 11.18.38

    Phipps PR: Drinks Account Manager job opportunity

    Here is an opportunity to join the dynamic team at Phipps – which claims to be the most awarded drinks communications agency in the UK. It is looking for a new drinks account manager to join its team and help work on existing clients as well as develop new opportunities for the agency. This is a job that gives you the freedom to take action, make decisions and also manage your own team. Full details of the job and how to apply are below.

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    People
    joe wadsack phil cox

    Cramele Recas’ Philip Cox & Joe Wadsack on Romanian wine

    The quality of Romanian wine may have jumped leaps and bounds in recent years, but that has not been matched by its perception amongst premium wine buyers. Philip Cox, co-owner of Romania’s largest exporting wine producer, Cramele Recas, sits down with wine consultant and broadcaster, Joe Wadsack, to talk through what they see as the country’s biggest potential and what Cox is doing to help the country achieve its goal of being a primary source for premium wines.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Ch du Payre Long Read

    Discovering heart & soul of the classic Côtes de Bordeaux

    The Côtes de Bordeaux may be the youngest AOC in Bordeaux but, with over 950 producers, it is one of the largest and most diverse in the region – offering great value on a wide range of enjoyable, unfussy wines. The Buyer’s drinks editor, Peter Dean, tastes a selection of wines from this union of appellations, that includes Blaye, Cadillac, Castillon, Francs and Sainte-Foy and rates their potential in the UK on-trade.

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    People
    anne moreau

    How Bourgogne’s 2020 vintage will drive the region forward

    Bourgogne may have just gone through one of its worst harvests in living memory, but the immediate more positive news is the quality of its 2020 vintage is said to be very good which should make for a successful and exciting Bourgogne campaign in January. To help set the scene for Bourgogne Week, The Buyer talks to Anne Moreau, president of the Commission Communication for the Bourgogne Wine Board, and business manager of Louis Moreau in the heart of Chablis, about how the region is keen to promote both its most well-known, classic wines as well as its “hidden gems” across all its appellations.

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    Insight
    bairrada main vineyard shot

    Jamie Goode on Bairrada, the rising star of Portuguese wine

    Bairrada is not a wine region to smack you between the eyes in the same way the Douro Valley might do. But this very much up and coming wine region has a great deal to say for itself as one of Portugal’s rising stars thanks to a combination of unique soil types and climate conditions that combine to make wines with real distinction. Here Jamie Goode shines the light on why he thinks Bairrada has such potential and picks out some wines that best illustrate what this fascinating wine region can produce.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Château de Marsannay

    The quality revolution happening at Château de Marsannay

    When Loire winemaker Sylvain Pabion decided to join Château de Marsannay in 2015 as chief winemaker he could already see the potential of this 34 hectare estate. The appellation of Marsannay has for long been a constant source of great quality, reasonably priced Burgundy, and here was an estate with a large chunk of that appellation which was largely being run as a tourist attraction. Since then Pabion has been leading a quality revolution at the estate, breaking up the single Marsannay cuvée into single climat wines and converting the operation into organic viticulture. Peter Dean reports and tastes five of the wines from the classic 2017 vintage, to see the progress to date.

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    People People: Producer
    ginbey screen

    Faouzi Issa on GinBey – Lebanon’s first premium exported gin

    “I don’t see myself as a normal citizen in Lebanon,” says Faouzi Issa, winemaker and owner of the award-winning Domaine des Tourelles. “I see myself as more of a pioneer.” It’s certainly a philosophy and objective that helps Issa look outside of Lebanon for his inspiration and has helped him build a successful export business, first for his wines and now, he hopes, for a new focus on artisan spirits, starting with one of the country’s first premium gins – GinBey.  He talks to Richard Siddle about the new lease of life distilling gin has given him.

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    People People: Supplier
    Chris Seale speciality

    Speciality Brands’ Chris Seale on supplying premium value brands

    This is potentially the first time you have had chance to read a comprehensive, behind the scenes, analysis of Speciality Brands. For up to now managing director, Chris Seale, has been very much of the opinion that he would much rather shine the light on the portfolio of premium spirits brands that have made the company one of the most respected and important drinks suppliers in the UK. Here, though, he is prepared to talk about what makes Speciality Brands, well, so special and what key strategic changes it is making to ensure it continues to provide some of the most innovative and in demand drinks brands in the premium on-trade and specialist retail sectors.

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    Tasting: Spirit
    Boatyard Distillery

    How Boatyard Distillery chose to set out its global ambitions

    Already making a name for itself on the Irish and UK bar scene, Joe McGirr’s Boatyard Distillery has got expansion plans, new product lines and a commitment to be carbon neutral by 2023 which includes its own chocolate bars made with spent botanicals. Douglas Blyde met up with McGirr and the Boatyard team to hear the plans at a boozy brunch held at Homeboy Bar’s newest venue at London’s Embassy Gardens. 

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