It used to be that red Bandol wines were like Bordeaux and Barolo – magnificent as they get older but big and tannic in youth. The tannin management with these wine has changed, however, with more exact harvesting dates, better understanding of extraction and working with wood for the obligatory 18 months in barrel. To see how the style has changed and to also explore how and when secondary flavours develop, Elizabeth Gabay MW tastes a range of red Bandol from the current vintage on the market, 2018, back to 2011 – recommending which wines should be on our buying radar.
Simon Thorpe MW could not have chosen a better time to take the reins at WineGB as its new chief executive officer – other than the not so insignificant factor of being in the middle of a global pandemic. A quick look at any stat or fact about English wine and the numbers are all going up – and fast. Be it the number of total vineyards, vines being planted, or bottles being sold both in the UK and around the world, then WineGB is on a roll. So no pressure then. As this year’s English Wine Week celebrations and promotions are in full swing he sits down with Richard Siddle to set out the body’s main objectives and targets for an industry that is as diverse and varied as it has ever been, with tens of new wineries coming on board, joining the long list of trail brazing producers that have done so much to lay the foundations on which Thorpe and his team hope to build on.
If you are one of the many drinks companies that have gone online in the last year and started selling direct to consumer you might want to grab a coffee and read on. Here Tom Harvey, co-founder of the specialist drinks marketing agency, YesMore, gives what he says are the four key pieces of advice any brand, retailer or business selling anything DTC need to be 100% on top of if they are going to carry on with a successful e-commerce model.
Since taking over the helm of the family estate, Champagne Billecart-Salmon, Mathieu Roland-Billecart has primarily focused on maintaining the standards expected of this revered estate. There has been a programme to cope with the effects of climate change, a number of key changes to the wines, but central to it all has been a tasting committee that blind-tastes every parcel at every stage of its evolution. On the launch of the stunning Elisabeth Salmon Brut Rosé 2008, Peter Dean has an audience with Mathieu, gets to hear about some of the inner workings of the estate and provides a detailed breakdown of the vintage, technical specifications as well as reviews the new wine in full.
The Buyer continues its series looking at wine suppliers and importers that are finding their own added value way to introduce new wines and producers to different channels of the wine market by asking Guy Smith and Stuart Bowman-Hood to put their heads above the parapet to explain how their producer first approach works at Frederick’s Wine Company in securing key, long term, contracts with major retailers, and on-trade operators.
Spanish white wines are worth any serious wine buyer’s attention and so it proved when Geoffrey Dean tasted through a range of eight new premium whites that included four single varietals – Godello, Verdejo, Albariño and Chardonnay – and four blends. From a range of the country’s wine regions, the tasting was part of the Spanish Wine Academy, the three year-old initiative from Haro-based producer Ramón Bilbao, that is attempting to educate trade and consumers alike about the quality and range that can be found in the country.
CGA’s new ‘Overcoming Covid-19’ is the fourth and final edition of the 2021 series of Wine Insights Reports produced in partnership with The Buyer. It is arguably the most comprehensive analysis of the impact that Covid-19 has had on the on-trade, consumer spending behaviour and the performance of the wine category in particular in relation to all drinks categories across the last 15 months. It looks at the impact the pandemic has had throughout the 2020 lockdown on the on-trade and then sets out the roadmap the sector is likely to follow in the months to come as it plots its way out of social distancing, the rule of six and gets back to full on trading.
Millésimes Alsace, the biennial celebration of wines from Alsace, was another fair to go digital this year. There are certain signs, thinks David Kermode, that this could become a future format for the event – with talk about carbon footprint saved and ‘Digi-tasting’ being trademarked. So how did the tasting element work? Spread across three days, with 400 wines from 100 producers on offer, was this as good as the real thing? Kermode gives his views as well as picks out 10 wines that were showing particularly well.
We might have had our fill of 90 minute events come the end of the Euro 2020 football champions next month, but here’s news of an alternative way of spending 90 minutes with the second One Step Beyond webinar, co-hosted by The Buyer and Sophie Jump, to be held on July 12 that will once again share the insights and expertise of leading figures in consumer behaviour, technology and innovation, both in and outside the drinks, retail and hospitality sector. Here’s what to expect from those 90 minutes.
Wine snobbery is one of the reasons that rosé is still not taken seriously as a wine, argues Elizabeth Gabay MW. She confesses to initially keeping her distance but then a work assignment grew and grew until she has now become one of the world’s leading specialists in the field. In order to fill the void created by cancellation of wine shows she has just launched a ‘Buyer’s Guide to the Rosés of Southern France’ in which she blind-tastes over 1,000 rosés from over 35 different grape varieties. In an in-depth interview she tells Peter Dean the thinking behind the guide, which are the estates and grape varieties to keep an eye on, plus gives The Buyer readers a special discount.