“I’ve got that ProWein feeling…!” It’s not the official strapline for the world’s biggest international wine & spirits show, but that’s how Kylie Minogue, iconic pop star turned wine producer, burst out singing when I asked her to describe what it was like to go to what was her first ever trade show. Not that I expected her to reply in full Kylie singing mode, or even see her take her place as one of the 6,000 plus exhibitors at the fair. But then it pretty much summed up the rollercoaster experience of ProWein and the chance to get back into the inner webbing of the international wine trade and the chance to better understand just where producers, importers and buyers are when it comes to putting trading, supply chain issues to one side and work out how to do effective business with each other going forward.
Three Decades of Germany was one of those landmark tastings that you simply had to be at. Anne Krebiehl MW and Ulrich Sautter persuaded six German producers – Weinguts Dr Heager, Knipser, Frust, Georg Breuer, Donnhoff and Geltz-Zilliken – to show dry Riesling and Pinot Noir from the past 30 years. The durability and sheer quality of the wines spoke for themselves why a fascinating panel discussion focused on the effect of earlier harvests and how once-dismissed vintages have fared over the years.
It’s understandable if your focus and interest in China has waned a little over the last few months as its on-going issues with Covid and travel has meant the imported wine market has taken a hammering. But China is not a market we can ignore for long and even if sales have slowed down considerably the potential and opportunity is still there. To get a true insider’s view of what is really happening we turn to Ian Ford, founding partner of Nimbility, and widely recognised as one of the most authoritative and important independent commentators and analysts on the Chinese wine market.
Sangiovese Reset returned to London for its second edition, with Master of Wine Jane Hunt and Walter Speller taking over Westminster’s Lindley Hall aiming to set the record straight on a grape that’s often misunderstood. The well attended event featured more than a hundred carefully chosen producers. Lisse Garnett, a Sangiovese superfan, was there for The Buyer and she brings us this insightful account of the tasting, together with her own personal connection to the variety.
When you consider producing one litre of wine is the equivalent of travelling 400km in a car there was much to discuss, assess and evaluate at the recent Sustainable Development of Bordeaux Wines Forum held in the city. In her first article for The Buyer, Abbie Bennington, was on hand to hear what steps different wine bodies and sustainability experts are taking in order to help the wine industry as a whole be more sustainable and responsible in how it makes wine.
The Mentzendorff annual tasting is a crucial date in the diary for all serious wine buyers – and so it proved once again as the importer laid out its wares in Whitehall’s palatial One Great George Street for what’s on offer during 2023. Geoffrey Dean found that the portfolio has all bases covered with a fine mix of classic wines and spirits plus new lines and picks out his highlights from the tasting.
The 2022 harvest was a good one for English winemakers and so it proved for Cambridge-based Gutter & Stars, whose winemaker Chris Wilson is also a writer for The Buyer (when he finds time!). He managed to source almost three times the fruit that he did the year previous year which has meant the wine portfolio is now eight wines strong, and the quality of the 2022 fruit has led to some stylistic changes in the Pinot Noir.
Victoria Sharples is a long way from her original home in Melbourne, but with her new Swains Wine Bar & Store she wants to bring a little bit of that Victorian vibe to the local community next to Hampstead Heath in north London. Sharples is well placed to know what makes a good wine bar for not only did she used to run venues in Melbourne, she was, for a number of years, wine director at London institution, St JOHN, and hopes all that experience can bear fruit at her first UK venue. Richard Siddle took a trip to Hampstead Heath to enjoy the Swains experience for himself.
The Hospices de Nuits-Saint-Georges is a special annual wine auction held on the second weekend of March in this famed Burgundy village. Every year since 1961 the wine trade congregates to raise money for the historic hospices by bidding on the specially crafted barrels of wine. This year, the 62nd auction raised over €3.5m and gave buyers the first chance to try the generous 2022 vintage straight from the barrel. To find out more about the Côtes de Nuits’ version of the better known Hospices de Beaune auction, we sent The Buyer’s Mike Turner to find out more under the tutelage of Laurent Delaunay. As Turner found out, there could be few better guides to the auction than this fifth generation owner of the fabulous Maison Edouard Delaunay.
Licensed Trade Charity
Licensed Trade Charity