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Turkish Delights With Kayra Wines

A posse of five Press and seven Indies were treated by Turkey’s Kayra Wines to a day’s gastronomy tour in Istanbul, followed by a comprehensive tasting in Kayra’s winery in Elazig hosted by the inimitable, irreverent and irresistibly entertaining Californian consultant winemaker Daniel O’Donnell.  This was followed by a visit to Kayra’s picturesque Alpagut vineyard.  The group returned replete, enlightened and with the names of those tricksy indigenous Turkish varietals off pat!

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Napa’s Trefethen Brings 50th Anniversary Tasting To London…

When Napa pioneers Trefethen asked us to organise their 50th anniversary Masterclass tasting in London, we knew there was just one place to go: 67 Pall Mall.

Janet Trefethen and son Lorenzo co-hosted this tasting - which focused on their Napa Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignons going back to the 1976 vintage – the year of the now legendary Judgement of Paris which made it entirely appropriate that Steven Spurrier was the invited guest moderator. 

The Press, Sommelier and Independent Merchant attendees were treated to 14 wines including a Riesling 1988, Chardonnay 1976 (which was named ‘Best Chardonnay in the World’ at the Gault Millau World Wine Olympics in France in 1979 and 1980), and Cabernet Sauvignons from the last five decades.

67 Pall Mall’s Head Sommelier Terry Kandylis was on hand to oversee the opening, decanting and - all importantly - pouring of the wines with his team.  As one journalist said in an email to us afterwards, “Super tasting, one of those that will be talked about for ages to come.”

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Top Alsace Producers Take ACTion

Top Alsace Producers Take ACTion

The nineteen Alsace producers who make up ACT -  Alsace Crus & Terroirs - arrived in London on Monday 5th March ready to tempt the Trade and Press with a ‘Terroirs of Alsace’ Tasting. 

A morning Masterclass focusing on the influence of different terroirs across a selection of 2010 vintage Rieslings was followed by a Walkaround Tasting with a twist: attendees could choose to taste geographically by producer, or could follow a colour coding and taste instead by terroir - from granitic to volcanic, limestone to sandstone to marl.

Over 100 guests tasted 50 wines from producers such as Domaines Schlumberger, Trimbach and Albert Mann (no relation of Ali!)

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ewpr Christmas Party 2017

It’s December, so it must be the ewpr Christmas party!

This year, we were up at the crack of dawn for our team outing to the Isle Wight - catching a ferry from Portsmouth, and arriving at Fishbourne in time for lunch.  After a quick glam-up at the perfectly pink Mole Cottage, we travelled across the island to Thompson's where Chef-Owner Robert Thompson cooked up an absolutely delicious tasting menu.  This may possibly have been followed by quick(ish) trip to a nearby pub, where Jess and Poppy thrashed Ali and Emma at Articulate, before returning to Mole Cottage.

Christmas tree decorating was followed by a festive film (Nativity - highly recommended), with a special guest arrival - a semi-tame badger with a penchant for peanuts!  The next morning, decked out in our Christmas jumpers we made our way back to London to get back to some very important wine PR-ing.

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Friends Of Napa Turn Out In Force…

The UK Press and Trade turned out in enthusiastic force on Friday 10th November to show their support for a group of no less than 15 Napa Vintners who flew into town to honour their long-standing commitment to a ‘Friends of Napa Tasting & Lunch’, in spite of the recent Californian wildfires.

The 53 guests tasted over 40 wines from established favourites such as Diamond Creek and Grgich, alongside Napa newbies to the market including Gallica and Rombauer.

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Catholic & Protestant Wines - Can You Taste The Difference?

… was the title of our intriguing Masterclass at this year’s Alsace tasting.  It was Pierre Gassmann who first talked to us about the stylistic differences between Catholic and Protestant wines back in 2011 and we have been itching to hold this tasting ever since.  Sarah Abbott MW and Simon Woods guided guests through the region’s history and a tasting of nine wines.  Did they taste the difference?  A show of hands illustrated that yes, they really did!

Meanwhile, on the upper floor of Chandos House over 80 Alsace Crémants, Rieslings and Gewurztraminers served to remind tasters just how good the wines from this region actually are.

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Hawke’s Bay Syrah Masterclass - ‘Exploring The Diversity Of Hawke’s Bay, Its Sub Regions And Ability To Produce World-Class Syrah’

On Monday 9th October, 39 esteemed members of the UK wine trade (1 all the way from Delhi!) attended a Hawke’s Bay Syrah Masterclass hosted by Steve Skinner, Head Winemaker at Elephant Hill, and John Hancock, Founding Winemaker of Trinity Hill.  Attendees were treated to 10 very different wines, in spite of them all coming from the same small region and being made from the same grape.  The final conclusion with regards to the Hawke’s Bay Syrah style?  Freshness, purity and spiciness… and a host of other attributes, each individual to the winery and winemaker.

The full Syrah spread:

  1. Babich Winemakers’ Reserve Syrah 2014
  2. Paritua Syrah 2014
  3. Rod McDonald Wines Quarter Acre Syrah 2015
  4. Craft Farm Syrah 2015
  5. William Murdoch Coldstream Syrah 2012
  6. Te Mata Bullnose Syrah 2015
  7. Vidal Estate Legacy Syrah 2014
  8. Trinity Hill Homage Syrah 2014
  9. Craggy Range Le Sol Syrah 2015
  10. Elephant Hill Airavata 2013
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ewpr Christmas Card 2016

The ewpr Christmas Card for 2016 is out!

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Elephant Hill - Lots To Trumpet About!

Elephant Hill’s winemaker Steve Skinner let his wines do the talking as opposed to blowing his own trumpet at two recent tastings.  Seven Elephant Hill wines were shown alongside selected French classics, and came through with flying colours.  Steve’s serious, savoury Syrahs proved particularly popular.

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Penfolds’ Peter Gago Puts A Cork In It!

Penfolds’ indefatigable and engaging Head Winemaker Peter Gago was in London recently to host the 25th Anniversary Re-corking Clinic where members of the public pre-booked to have their 15+ year old bottles of Penfolds red wines assessed, tasted and - hopefully - certified.  During the media session Anthony Rose demonstrated how to remove an old cork using the double corkscrew method.  Correction - Anthony demonstrated how NOT to remove an old cork using the double corkscrew method!  Best leave it to the expert Penfolds winemaking team, eh Anthony?!

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