Armit Wines’ Italian portfolio is the envy of most and its annual tasting in London is a must for all serious wine buyers – and that’s not just because they were showing Sassicaia Bolgheri 2012 in magnum. For Justin Keay it was an opportunity to try the wines of Armit’s new estates Petrolo and duca di dolle alongside many favourites that span the length and breadth of the country. Two things that really stood out were the quality of the 2019 vintage and also how Italian whites are on a roll right now.
Hospitality and horse racing go together like a pair of stirrups on a saddle which makes this week’s prestigious Cheltenham Festival, which starts on March 14 and runs to the end of the week, prime territory for showcasing premium wines, spirits and no-alcohol drinks to a discerning audience. Neil Phillips, aka The Wine Tipster, will be track side all week offering advice to guests on what to drink as well as offering some tips on which horses to place your bets on.
You only have to walk down any aisle at a major international wine fair to see producer after producer showing the medals they have won in different wine competitions. But how important are they to wine buyers tasting their wines? Do they make a difference in what wines they list? What makes one wine competition stand out over another? To help find out The Buyer teamed up with the IWSC to ask major wine buyers, who also invest a lot of time judging competitions themselves, why it is they take part, what they are looking for in a medal winning wine and what producers should be doing with any medal they do win.
“The idea is to inspire, connect and support women in in educational and fun setting. The focus is to bring women in wine together to lesser known wine regions and get them to discover or re-discover these regions.” That is how Senay Ozdemir describes the Women in Wine Expo she founded which is due to hold its next event in the UK with three days of talks, debates, tastings and trips.
The top 10 best new wines from Alsace judged by an IWSC panel of Eric Zwiebel MS, Colin Thorne and Anne Krebiehl MW – and incorporating a range of grapes and styles. The panel had to narrow down more than 55 Rieslings, Gewurztraminers, Cremant d’Alsace and Pinot Noirs into 10 wines that will be showcased at ProWein 2023 by the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins d’Alsace.
Today The Drinking Hour on Food FM podcast with David Kermode, produced in partnership with The Buyer and IWSC, notches up its 100th episode. Having attracted some big names over nine series, including Jancis Robinson OBE MW, Sacha Lichine, Hugh Johnson, Oz Clarke OBE and Peter Gago, to name but a few, the podcast has gone from strength to strength, so what’s in store for its next century? Richard Siddle caught up with Kermode to find out.
Margaux-based Château Durfort-Vivens has ditched its ‘second wine’ and is now producing three Parcelles wines using the same fruit – individual expressions that are made with amphorae and clay jars and made to be drunk young. Peter Dean met up with Gonzague and Claire Lurton to discover how this is another part of their strategy to challenge the status quo in Bordeaux and to make the region more vital and affordable to younger drinkers.
There is now so much fierce competition within the fine wine market amongst brokers, wine importers and merchants to get fine wine buyers to buy through them. But what makes a fine wine buyer decide which business to work with? Wine Owners, which helps devise and implement the computer management systems many fine wine operators rely on, carried out a satisfaction survey with a sample of fine wine buyers to find out. Here’s what it found.
Roger Jones… in Medlar’s dining room… with Nigel Greening… and 33 vintages of Felton Road. It does read like a Cluedo card and it does feel like there will be a prostrate body discovered somewhere during proceedings. But, far from it – Felton Road’s Nigel Greening was in town, hitting the circuit to promote the Felton Road 2021 vintage – this Central Otago-based winery’s 25th vintage release. And what better way to analyse this estate’s short but influential journey than opening a raft of library bottles alongside the new wines to demonstrate their future trajectory?
With very appropriate timing the all-female group of wine writers, broadcasters and social media marketers, collectively known as The Wine Collective, are celebrating their one year anniversary to coincide with this year’s International Women’s Day. Over the last 12 months the combined talents of Libby Brodie, Sophia Longhi, Hannah Milnes and Charlotte Kristensen have helped bring a new, refreshing, impactful and highly targeted approach to creating a wide range of wine content and created their own space in the already crowded wine communications field. Here they talk to Richard Siddle about what brought them together and why they think together the Wine Collective offers something different and exciting for the wine industry to connect with their target market.
6, rue des Trois Faucons
As Domaine Gayda looks to celebrate 20 years of making wine in the Languedoc, co-founder, Tim Ford, looks back on what the business has been able to achieve in establishing a range of branded wines, centred around its flagship brand Chemin de Moscou, that champions the diversity of terroir and grape varieties of the Languedoc whilst also celebrating what IGP wines can achieve. He also looks ahead to where he hopes Domaine Gayda can go to in the years to come.
It has been less than two months since Bollinger’s Gilles Descôtes died with Denis Bunner taking over his boss’s role as chief winemaker within a restructured team. Here he talks exclusively to The Buyer – on the day that the House is launching Bollinger RD 2008 – about Descôtes’ legacy, what drives innovation, and the priorities of the role as all eyes are focused on the House’s 2029 bicentennial celebrations which will see a new cellar built and a wine lovers’ boutique hotel unveiled on-site. Tasting notes and details of Bollinger RD 2008 also feature.
As the Low & No alcohol category continues to grow, drinks inventor David Gluckman – the man who was part of the team that invented Baileys – examines what is happening with Seedlip and the many new entrants to the market that have followed suit. Is the customer being ripped off? And will the bottom fall out of the market? In a fascinating insight, Gluckman thinks both are very real possibilities and suggests some complete (and rather exciting) new directions for Low & No to take. One that the giant manufacturers of soft drinks and mixers would do well to have a think about…
Les Grands Chais de France might sell wine in close to 170 countries around the world but it’s the UK which continues to show the way for its premium wines as more independent wine merchants and regional players look to take advantage of the enormous opportunities it can offer not just from France, but around the world. Wines that will be on show at its big regional tastings taking place in Birmingham and Leeds this week, as UK channel controller, Chris Davies, explains.
“A great gateway sipper for wine lovers and complex enough for aficionados.” That’s how The Three Drinkers’ Helena Nicklin and Aidy Smith describe the limited edition Bordeaux finished Irish Whiskey that they have come up with in time for St Patrick’s Day and also as a marker to help promote the upcoming third series of The Three Drinkers that is due to be released on Amazon in late spring. Here Nicklin and Smith explain why they wanted to make, as well as talk about whisky.
As climate change deepens its impact in Champagne so the cellar masters are speaking about the role of bitterness and the part it plays in keeping freshness in the new wines. For Veuve Clicquot’s cellar master Didier Mariotti, the new release of La Grande Dame 2015 is also about structure and texture. He explains what he means to Anne Krebiehl MW who tastes the new cuvée alongside the 2012 vintage as well as with a limited edition red wine called Parcelle Clos Colin which is being made available alongside the La Grande Dame Rosé 2012
“Riverland is Australia’s most diverse and experimental wine region,” that’s the bold claim from Riverland Wine’s executive officer, Lyndall Rowe, which is quite the statement considering the competition it has from the country’s other main wine regions. You will be able to judge for yourself at this month’s ProWein as Rowe is leading a group of Riverland producers who will be travelling to Dusseldorf to show just how “diverse” and “experimental” its wines are. Here she explains just what makes the Riverland so special.
Roger Jones confesses to not having drunk much Beaujolais over the past few decades. Once a massive fan he even used to put a sign up in his London restaurant that read “Beaujolais Nouveau non Arrivé… but we have some excellent aged Cru Beaujolais.” A recent tasting with Château des Jacques winemaker Cyril Chirouze, then, was an opportunity to discover how much he had missed in the way of classy, single vineyard Gamay… and it turned into a bit of an epiphany.
There is no shortage in producers, importers and buyers wanting to do business with each other the problem is how they do it. The on-going supply chain issues and constant increases in dry good costs for packaging, and the huge shortages in glass, screwcaps and labels means negotiating contracts between drinks producers and buyers has become far more complicated than just agreeing the price on grapes, or a bottle of wine and spirits. That’s why the first One Step Beyond webinar of 2023, organised by The Buyer and Sophie Jump, will look to tackle just how producers, importers, retailers and buyers are having to rewrite the rules of trading. Here’s who is taking part and how you can sign up for free.