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
If you have any room in your diary for an extra few meetings at ProWein then here’s why you should spend some time and go over to Wine Australia’s stand and pick out the five producers who are making the journey from South Australia to represent the Riverland wine region as part of the Riverland Uprising initiative to shine the light on the alternative winemaking scene in what is largely regarded as one of the country’s biggest sourcing areas for bulk wine. If you do there are five producers just waiting to meet you.
The new Dom Pérignon 2013 is being described in some circles as ‘the last pre-climate change’ vintage. Vincent Chaperon, DP cellar master, was in London to launch the new cuvée, talk about its sheer simplicity, how he harnessed its energy and power and why there’ll be no 2014 and 2016 Dom Pérignon. Victor Smart was The Buyer’s scribe at the tasting.
As the wine industry’s great and good prepare to descend on Dusseldorf for ProWein ‘23, the team from Lanchester Group, its subsidiaries Lanchester Wines and Greencroft Bottling, will be putting the finishing touches to a rebranding, to be exclusively unveiled at the show. Revealed across the group’s biggest ever stand, the new messaging will have the sustainability message front and centre – as you might expect from a business that champions itself as a restless pioneer of renewable energy. David Kermode caught up with Andrew Porton, managing director of Lanchester Wines’ Wine Division ahead of ProWein, to find out what to expect.
The theme of Enotria & Coe’s annual tasting this year was ‘cognoscenti’ although it could have been ‘fortis’, writes David Kermode who suggests that strength in the face of adversity is just as key in 2023 as being well informed. Kermode talks to E&C’s managing director Ants Rixon about his priorities going forwards, the new agencies in the portfolio – Bodegas Maranones (Madrid DO), Bodega Cerron (Jumilla), Mayfield (Orange, NSW) and Champagne A Robert – and highlights 10 wines from the tasting that he thinks should be on every wine buyer’s radar.
Next week sees ProWein return to its traditional timeslot in the drinks industry’s events calendar after 2022’s show was switched to May, and in 2020 and 2021 cancelled entirely due to Covid restrictions. Not surprisingly, ProWein’s executive director, Michael Degen, is hugely relieved at the return to some semblance of normality for the world’s biggest international wine and spirits trade show. He talks to Helen Arnold about the impact of the pandemic, what visitors can expect from the 2023 show and his vision for the future of the event.