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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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Red Squirrel Aim For World Domination With Their 'New Frontiers' Tasting

Esteemed members of the Wine Press and Wine Trade wended their way to the Winemakers’ Club on Tuesday 6th September for Red Squirrel’s second, even bigger portfolio tasting broaching if not the final frontier, at least many new ones.

Guests tasted over 170 wines from 45 producers, including newcomers such as ewpr’s very own Okanagan Crush Pad - the first Canadian winery on Red Squirrel’s books - and Weingut Kloster Ebernach - a traditional monastery in the Mosel making very non-traditional wines under the direction of maverick Aussie winemaker Martin Cooper.

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Wolf Blass Black Label 40th Anniversary Tasting

Talented Wolf Blass winemaker Chris Hatcher (whose trophy cabinet doors will no longer shut, following his latest 2016 IWC Red Winemaker of the Year award) came to sunny London town in August to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Black Label with a group of Press at 67 Pall Mall.

The occasion was marked with a one-off vertical Black Label tasting spanning the last 5 decades - 2 wines per decade - which included the second 1974 vintage Black Label wine, a Jimmy Watson Trophy winner.

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VV’S ‘Top Of The Tops’ Terroir Tasting

Viña Ventisquero’s Winemaker, Felipe Tosso, led a group of Sommeliers through what he considers to be the top wines from VV’s top terroirs.  The tasting was in essence a virtual tour of Viña Ventisquero’s owned vineyards; from Tara, produced in tiny quantities in the world’s driest desert, the Atacama; to the well-known Casablanca region; then moving further inland to taste wines from Maipo Andes and also Maipo Coastal.  The finale to the tasting was the premium wines from the unique microclimate of Apalta.  Each wine was selected by Felipe as the truest expression of place and varietal!

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André Van Rensburg And Michel Rolland: French Finesse Meets South African Candour

In 2015, Vergelegen’s winemaker André van Rensburg came to the UK to talk to the Press about his partnership with the famous oenologist Michel Rolland.

This year… Michel joined André in person to talk about their work together.

Would there be fireworks?  Or just a meeting of vinous minds?  Have a look at what the journalists had to say…  

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Oops!... We Did It Again

We did it again! This June, we took a group of 14 top UK Press and Sommeliers to the part of France that is every wine lover’s dream: Alsace.

This was the second edition of Millésimes Alsace - a day-long tasting of wines from over 80 of the region’s top producers.  We then headed off for a few extra days visiting producers and Grands Crus to fully immerse ourselves in all thing Alsatian. 

Joining Emma, Ali and Mr Alsace himself, Eric Zwiebel, on the trip of a vinous lifetime were:


  • Anne Krebiehl MW - Wine Enthusiast
  • Jane Anson - Decanter
  • Jonathan Ray - Spectator
  • Christine Austin - Yorkshire Post
  • Jamie Goode - wineanorak.com & Sunday Express
  • Christelle Guibert – Decanter
  • Chef Roger Jones - The Buyer


  • Terry Kandylis - 67 Pall Mall
  • Alvis Nemiro - Chiltern Firehouse
  • Laure Patry - Social Wine & Tapas
  • Romain Bourger - The Vineyard at Stockcross
  • Tobias Brauweiler - Hakkasan
  • Tanguy Martin - La Trompette
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