“Germany is the country that has diversified the most over the last eight years – it’s now a melting pot of styles and production methods.” That’s how Christina Rasmussen, co-founder of Little Wine, describes what is now widely seen as the new wave German wine scene that is helping to re-invent the German wine category, particularly at the premium end of the market, driven by organic, biodynamic, and low intervention, independent winemakers. To help explore what actually is happening across Germany, The Buyer hosted a debate, in partnership with Wines of Germany, with two of the producers hoping to make a difference and with buyers looking to introduce the new style of German wines to potential customers and consumers in the UK.
For too long diners have been missing out on the pleasures of mature Bordeaux, a situation that Bibendum’s revolutionary Bordeaux Collection is fast rectifying. Almost three years since inception the scheme now has 110 accounts and is welcoming Lafite, Barons de Rothschild, Cantenac-Brown, Smith Haut Lafitte, Troplong-Mondot, Lynch-Bages and Figeac into the fold. Anne Krebiehl MW talks to the team behind Bordeaux Collection and argues that its approach could be seen as a total reset for the on-trade’s fine wine offering.
For the first time in the UK a new vintage of Brunello di Montalcino was released en primeur. Benvenuto Brunello was the name given to Hunt & Speller’s exclusive London preview of the Brunello di Montalcino 2018 vintage and the 2017 Riservas, some two months before the Consorzio’s official January 1 2023 release date. Justin Keay was there for The Buyer, giving his views on the vintages as well as picking a dozen standout wines from the 115 on show.
It’s not just the products and brands that enter the 2023 London Spirits Competition that are stars of the show, but the panel of judges that have been lined up to assess them and hand out the medals. Only drinks professionals with direct bar, restaurant, retail or spirits background are invited to take part with a line-up of talent that includes some of the most influential names in the world of spirits. Here’s who is taking part.
If you are looking forward to getting a new tasting diary in your Christmas stocking here’s a new date and event to look forward to, which also won’t take up too much space as it is only three letters long: VIN. A new tasting event being organised by Business France on February 2 that promises to be a one stop shop opportunity to explore and discover gems from all regions of France from producers already in the UK and many who are looking to sell their wines here for the first time. Here’s what to expect.
Over the last few weeks panels of every day wine drinkers and wine trade professionals have been analysing, checking, tasting and scoring flights of wines and spirits as part of the judging for both what is the sixth People’s’ Choice Wine Awards and the third People’s Choice Spirits Awards. Judging sessions were held in both Manchester and London to get a more diverse set of judges from different backgrounds. Here Janet Harrison, founder of both competitions, explains how the judging went, announces the shortlists and picks out some highlights for how the 2023 awards are going to be run.
Over the last 18 month Distill Ventures has extended its investment programme to support new start-up drinks brands, by starting a Pre Accelerator programme aimed at identifying and then backing new brand launches from entrepreneurs from marginalised communities. To date it has been able to invest $5 million in a wide range of brands and is now starting its investment programme for 2023. Here we talk to Ara Carvallo, portfolio and I&D Director at Distill Ventures about how it works.
You’ve tasted the wine, now visit the region, says Linda Galloway after a visit to Tokaj, Hungary’s oldest wine region. There are miles of wine caves to explore, new state-of-the-art tasting rooms, historic estates plus a range of gastronomy and hospitality to indulge yourself in. Galloway points out some of the key wineries, plus gives a range of contacts for when you visit Tokaj.
“We look to Burgundy as the global benchmark of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, we are not trying to replicate their wines.” Instead Brendan Hawker says he is looking to pin point which blocks and parcels of vines are going to make the right styles of wine that truly reflect the terroir of Australia’s Yarra Valley in his role as head winemaker at Yering Station. He also looks at how its winemaking has evolved to become focused on the fruit and bringing together complex blends of its key varieties.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Balfour Winery, and the launch of its new Archive Collection, owner and founder Richard Balfour-Lynn held a remarkable vertical tasting of its English sparkling wine, Balfour Brut Rosé, in London this month. Launching the new range is a late-disgorged Brut Rosé from 2008, which is the first wine of its type in the UK, and which gets two thumbs up from our expert at the tasting, Master of Wine and fizz aficionado Anne Krebiehl MW.