Decanter https://www.decanter.com The world’s most prestigious wine website, including news, reviews, learning, food and travel Fri, 20 Nov 2020 17:51:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://keyassets.timeincuk.net/inspirewp/live/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2019/01/cropped-Decanter_Favicon-Brand-32x32.png Decanter https://www.decanter.com 32 32 Black Friday Majestic deals https://www.decanter.com/shopping/black-friday-majestic-deals-447425/ Fri, 20 Nov 2020 17:51:05 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=447425 Majestic Black Friday deals 2020

Anticipation is gathering for the retailer's 2020 Black Friday offers...

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Majestic Black Friday deals 2020

Ahead of Black Friday 2020, Majestic, the UK’s largest specialist wine retailer, has just announced the opening of two new branches in Beckenham and Henley.

Both stores will open in November, Beckenham in south London on the 12th November in a converted, grade listed former Chinese garage and Henley-on-Thames following a fortnight later on the 26th November in the newly created Gardiner Place development.

John Colley, CEO said; ‘The team have worked incredibly hard, in really challenging circumstances, to get these open in time for Christmas and we’ve packed them full of some fantastic new wines, beers and spirits to help spread some joy through an unprecedented festive season.’

Whilst the Majestic Black Friday deals have not started yet, you can still take a look at any early offers they may have. 

Our experts picked some of their favourite Majestic wines from the range earlier this year, and praised the additions to the own-label Definition range and the reintroduction of some classic wines.

All Majestic stores are currently open and trading – with limited shopper numbers in place, plus free delivery and collection services.

There is no minimum purchase shopping at Majestic, and the range includes over 1,100 different wine, spirits and beers both online and in-store.

Majestic Christmas predictions

The retailer has also looked ahead to Christmas, and what our wine purchases might be this year.

This Christmas could be record-breaking for Sherry, following summer sales that were up 75% year on year.

English wines were also in high demand over 2020 and are sure to be a popular choice this Christmas. Many people are now searching beyond the sparkling and exploring the range of still English wines too.

As 2020 saw people trying their hand at cocktails at home during lockdown, sales of Vermouth of soured too, up 69% like for like since April. A key ingredient for your Martinis, Negronis and more – so Majestic has significantly increased its stock and selection.


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Black Friday wine and spirits deals 2020 - Amazon, Waitrose and more https://www.decanter.com/shopping/black-friday/black-friday-wine-deals-round-up-347165/ Fri, 20 Nov 2020 16:00:55 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=347165 Black Friday wine

What major retailers are offering in the UK and US...

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Black Friday wine

With not long to go, we’ll be keeping up with who’s offering Black Friday wine and spirits deals.


Early Black Friday wine and spirits offers

  • Amazon UK – Savings across wine, spirits and Champagne
  • Waitrose – 25% off a wide selection of wines, including Champagne
  • Laithwaite’s – Huge savings across the range
  • Tesco – 25% off when you buy six bottles
  • Wine.com savings of 25% or more
  • Majestic – Black Friday offers coming soon
  • Master of Malt – Early Black Friday deals live

When is Black Friday 2020?

Black Friday is the last Friday in November; the day after Thanksgiving in the US. This year is will be on Friday 27th November.

However, as the event has grown over the years, the Black Friday deals are starting earlier and earlier. It’s expected that many retailers will be running them from Monday 23rd November.

Until then, you can take a look at our wine recommendations from supermarkets and wine retailers, and any offers they have running already.
And make sure you check out our round up of Black Friday Champagne deals, to stock up ahead of the festive season.

Black Friday wine and spirit deals in the UK

Waitrose –  25% off six bottles live now, plus savings across spirits

It’s always worth keeping an eye on the wine offers at Waitrose. At the moment there is up to 25% various bottles, including sparkling and Champagne. A good selection of magnums are available.

Louis Roederer Brut Premier NV
One of the best non-vintages to go for, this is made from a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
£49      Now £36 at Waitrose

View Deal

Cotswolds London dry gin
A small-batch gin made with nine botanicals, including lavender, fresh lime and pink grapefruit peel.
£37   Now £30 at Waitrose

View Deal


Majestic Wine – Black Friday Page coming soon

Savvy shoppers can do well at Majestic Wine when taking advantage of their ‘mix-six’ deals, which helps bring down the prices of bottles. The retailer has had a bumper 2020, with the lockdown prompting many more customers to order from them.


Amazon UK

The Amazon Black Friday wine and spirits deals will change quickly, so keep an eye on them. Depending on the offer, there are some great savings to be made on Champagne ahead of Christmas.

Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé NV Magnum
Nothing says celebration like a magnum of Champagne, and this classic Laurent-Perrier rosé comes in a special gift box too.
£170   Now £129 on Amazon 

View Deal

Hatozaki Japanese Blended Whisky
Named after the lighthouse ‘Hatozaki’ in Akashi harbour, this is a blended whisky aged in a wide range of casks and barrels.
£29.45     Now £26.35 on Amazon

View Deal

Master of Malt – savings across spirits and more coming next week

Specialist retailer Master of Malt can help you find a few more unusual options and smaller batch spirits to try.

Chapel Down Pinot Noir gin
A pink gin made from leftover Pinot Noir grape skins at UK wine producer Chapel Down – who also have a Bacchus gin and Chardonnay vodka.
£34.95    Now £24.95 at Master of Malt

View Deal

Wine accessories deals

Right now, Selfridges has 20% off the Coravin range meaning a great savings can be made  – and also a chance to stock up on the Argon gas refills at the same time.

Coravin Pivot wine preservation system
The Coravin Pivot is the latest addition to the range, helping to keep your wine fresh for up to 4 weeks after opening.
£99    Save 20% off with code SELFCCE

View Deal

The discount also applies to Riedel at Selfridges so time to up your glassware selection with a pair of classic Chardonnay glasses or a new decanter. 

Black Friday wine deals in the US

Wine.com

Wine.com tends to share some good deals around Black Friday, which if you already know what you’re looking for, can mean there’s some great value to be found. Currently, there’s 25% off a huge selection of wines – just in time for Thanksgiving.

Amazon US

As with the UK,  the deals on Amazon will change quickly, so keep watching them and see what bargains can be found. Don’t for get to look at any deals on wine accessories too.

Riedel Veritas Pinot Noir glasses
With a wider bowl specially designed for the riper flavours of a New World Pinot Noir, these Riedel wine glasses are a worthy investment.
$69    Now $48.28

View Deal

Total Wine

The largest independent retailer of fine wine in the US, Total Wine will be sure to drop a few good deals this Black Friday.

See our pick of the best wines to buy from Total Wine.

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The Riesling crossword https://www.decanter.com/learn/crosswords/the-riesling-crossword-447882/ Fri, 20 Nov 2020 14:44:31 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=447882 Riesling crossword

Test your knowledge...

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Riesling crossword

Pour yourself a glass of Clare Valley Riesling and settle down to tackle this week’s Riesling crossword…


Crossword Puzzle Maker

Instructions:

  • Click a cell on the crossword grid, or click a clue
  • Click twice on a cell to toggle between across and down
  • The active cell is highlighted in blue
  • Start typing in the word
  • Hit enter when you are done typing in the word
  • The word will turn green or red if you got it right or wrong
  • You can use the tab and shift-tab keys to move around the crossword, and the arrow keys

Want to learn more?

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Property: Welsh vineyard sale offers route into UK wine https://www.decanter.com/property/property-welsh-vineyard-sale-offers-route-into-uk-wine-447856/ Fri, 20 Nov 2020 12:50:55 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=447856 Cwm Deri, Welsh vineyard sale
An aerial view of the Cwm Deri estate.

Vineyard estate listed for under £1m offers buyers a potential UK wine project...

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Cwm Deri, Welsh vineyard sale
An aerial view of the Cwm Deri estate.

Spanning 10 hectares of land (25 acres) in total, the Cwm Deri Welsh vineyard estate in Pembrokeshire has a guide price of £825,000.

Prospective buyers might not immediately get the sort of grand villa that a vineyard property higher up the price ladder might offer, but Cwm Deri is described as an established business and could also be an opportunity to join the growing UK wine scene.

Set in rolling countryside near to the hamlet of Martletwy, there are around 2,500 vines on the estate at present, according to the listing by the Country Living Group.

While the classic ‘Champagne grapes’ Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier dominate vine plantings in the UK, several other varieties can also be found.

Cwm Deri’s vineyards are planted to Seyval Blanc and Rondo, as well as Triomphe d’Alsace and Madeleine d’Angevine.

There is a winery on-site and also warehouse space for storing ‘up to 30,000 bottles of wine and spirits that are produced on site every year’, the listing says.

With a restaurant, shop, camping and other self-catering accommodation, including two shepherd huts installed in 2016, Cwm Deri is also well set-up to host visitors, it says.

Cwm Deri estate

Photo credit: Country Living Group.

A bottling room is also ideally situated near to the shop, which could ‘allow the public to watch the bottling process’, the listing adds.

The main residence on the estate is a three-bedroom bungalow that has ‘renovated to a high standard’.

‘This property is quite unique for the marketplace here but we have had great interest already,’ said James Skudder, managing director of Country Living Group.

The UK wine industry has expanded significantly in the last two decades, with vineyard land quadrupling since 2000, and some estate agents have noted stronger interest from prospective buyers.

Savills said earlier this year that estates with mature vines and a working winery were particularly in-demand, given the time needed to start a wine venture from scratch.

According to trade body WineGB, Wales had approximately 51 hectares of vineyard in 2019, making up 1.5% of the total amount of land under vine across the UK.

South-east England accounted for 61.5% of vineyard land. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier account for 32%, 33% and 13% respectively of vineyard plantings across the UK.


Read more property articles on Decanter.com

Property buyers eyeing Tuscan wine country, say agents

Boutique Italian winery for sale in Trentino-Alto Adige

UK’s ‘oldest organic vineyard’ for sale

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Black Friday gin deals: Tanqueray, Hendricks, Bombay Sapphire and more... https://www.decanter.com/shopping/black-friday/black-friday-gin-380106/ Fri, 20 Nov 2020 12:02:19 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=380106 Black friday gin

We hunt down the offers...

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Black friday gin

Top Black Friday Gin deals: take your pick

Now that Autumn has well and truly arrived, it’s time to prepare for one of the biggest events in the shopping calendar – Black Friday.

This year Black Friday falls on 27 November – mark it in your calendar now.

A huge sales day for both the UK and US, it isn’t just about the best tech deals – there are huge savings to be made on wine and spirits too,  so something for everyone, whatever your preferred tipple.

Amazon have started some of their offers early here in the UK

We’re doing the digging for you and tracking down some of the best Black Friday wine deals and Black Friday spirits deals – including vodka, rum, tequila and whisky.

As early Black Friday gin offers start to roll in, take a look at the great selection of gins below, recommended by Decanter’s experts – all perfect for stocking up ahead of the festive season, or planning ahead for Christmas presents.

A straight gin and tonic will never go out of fashion – don’t forget to use a decent-quality tonic – but gin is also the base for a range of classic cocktails, including a gin martini, a gimlet, a Negroni and a French 75.

And if you’re not sure which style of gin to go for, read our expert guide to botanicals and styles.


Tanqueray No. 10

Always a popular choice, this gin is a great example of citrussy botanicals in action, with flavours of lemons, oranges and blood grapefruit. Alcohol 47.3%


Hendrick’s

If you enjoy a more floral flavour in your gin, this is the one to go for, and also a good choice if you’re not a big fan of juniper. Alc 41.4%


Ableforth’s Bathtub gin

A warming, spice-driven gin, ideal for cold winter evenings. Think cloves, cardamom and cinnamon flavours, plus candied lemon. Alc 43.3%


The Botanist gin

Made with 31 botanicals, 22 of them Islay-foraged, all flavours are well balanced, resulting in a rounded, herbal gin. Alc 46%


Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish gin

This gin gets its name from the gunpowder tea that’s included in the flavour mix, along with other traditional botanicals, giving it a slight tannic finish. Alc 43%


Bloom gin

A light style of gin, this is another floral choice, with chamomile and honeysuckle in the choice of botanicals and makes a refreshing gin and tonic. Alc 40%


Bombay Sapphire

Another popular choice, this London dry gin features Moroccan cubeb berries, West African grains and Spanish almonds among the list of botanicals. Citrussy and with a warming pepperiness, this is an incredibly versatile gin, which is an ideal base for cocktails. Alc 40%


  • More expert gin advice:

How to taste gin like a professional


More Decanter spirits

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New collector's guide: Exploring Napa Valley https://www.decanter.com/premium/napa-valley-wine-collectors-guide-447788/ Fri, 20 Nov 2020 11:53:43 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=447788 collecting napa wine
The barrel cellar at Robert Mondavi winery (2010).

An introductory guide covering market trends, top names and how to buy the wines...

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collecting napa wine
The barrel cellar at Robert Mondavi winery (2010).

Napa Valley may only provide around 4% of California’s grape harvest, but even some merchants admit it’s difficult to keep track of all the wines being made; from exciting, niche varietal bottlings to the sheer breadth of Cabernet Sauvignon-driven styles.

You’ll find plenty of tasting notes and ratings on Decanter Premium, including Matthew Luczy’s first look at Napa Valley 2018 wines across the region’s American Viticultural Areas.

But we’ve also created an introductory guide to provide inspiration for collectors looking to get more involved in the Cabernet-dominant wines of Napa, including:

  • Merchant and analyst commentary approaching the market
  • Top names to know
  • A closer look at prices
  • Investment potential of top-tier wines

Premium members: Get the full report exclusively via the Decanter Premium app.

To subscribe to Premium click here

If you haven’t upgraded your Premium subscription to include the app yet, please contact support@decanter.com


Edited extract: Approaching the market

Also recently published

Napa Valley Cabernet 2018 vintage report

California Cabernet 2016 panel tasting results

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Napa Valley Cabernet: Best Coombsville 2018 wines https://www.decanter.com/premium/napa-valley-cabernet-best-coombsville-2018-wines-447388/ Fri, 20 Nov 2020 11:51:07 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=447388

These wines are powerful and burly, but fresh and vibrant.

The post Napa Valley Cabernet: Best Coombsville 2018 wines appeared first on Decanter.

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Coombsville is Napa’s newest sub-AVA, established in 2011.

At the southeastern corner of Napa Valley, it enjoys increased exposure to the cooling influence of San Pablo Bay.


Scroll down for the top-scoring Coombsville 2018 wines


Daytime temperatures are as much as 5°C cooler than the rest of the valley. Many early plantings were based around Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.


See the top-scoring Coombsville 2018 wines


See also

Decanter Premium Collector’s Guide: Napa Valley 

The rise of US urban wineries

California Cabernet 2016: Panel tasting results

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Producer profile: The Standish Wine Co https://www.decanter.com/premium/producer-profile-the-standish-wine-co-446268/ Fri, 20 Nov 2020 10:46:22 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=446268 Dan Standish, Standish Wine Co
Dan Standish takes a break from the pruning schedule

The work of this publicity-shy winemake has propelled his wines to the top of the Australian ranks

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Dan Standish, Standish Wine Co
Dan Standish takes a break from the pruning schedule

Pruning is Dan Standish’s favourite part of the winemaking cycle. Rigorous control of bud numbers and yields sets the tone for this Barossa Shiraz specialist, whose ‘off-cuts’ produce Fortnum & Mason’s Barossa Valley Shiraz (£15.50).

With exacting standards for his The Standish Wine Co label, he never uses more than 30% of the barrels, ‘guaranteeing that only the best of the best fruit ends up in the bottle’. So he must have been particularly frustrated that his average yields were down by 55% in 2019 and 70% in 2020. With minuscule allocations in the pipeline, it’s a good time to take a look at Standish’s 2017 and 2018 releases.


The Standish experience: Ahmed’s pick

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Amazon Black Friday wine and spirits deals - including Veuve Clicquot, Patrón and Casa Noble https://www.decanter.com/shopping/black-friday/amazon-black-friday-wine-and-spirits-deals-447551/ Fri, 20 Nov 2020 09:17:27 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=447551 Amazon Black Friday wine spirits

Great savings to be made on Champagne, tequila, whisky - and even alcohol free spirits...

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Amazon Black Friday wine spirits

With Black Friday 2020 a week away, the offers are already starting.

We’re looking out for some of the best Amazon Black Friday wine and spirits deals – what better time to stock up ahead of the festive season, or find something new to try?


Black Friday offers: Amazon wine and spirits


Quick links: Great Amazon UK Black Friday wine and spirits offers


It’s an excellent opportunity to stock up your bar and cellar – even if this year, we’re not quite sure what Christmas will look like.

Whether your tipple of choice is a gin Martini, an Old Fashioned, a Margarita or even a Bloody Mary for the morning after, these offers will mean you’re in no risk of running dry.

Amazon Black Friday wine and spirits deals UK

Veuve Clicquot Vintage 2012
Predominantly Pinot Noir in this blend of the three key Champagne grapes, the 2012 vintage is a highly anticipated one.
£59   Now £40 

View Deal

Patrón XO Cafe Tequila
Patrón silver tequila blended with coffee, this is ideal for sipping or for crafting some exciting cocktails.
Abv 35%.
£31.47  Now £25

View Deal

Mortlach Six Kingdoms Game of Thrones whisky
The final release of the Game of Thrones Scotch whisky collection, this single malt has been aged 15 years in Sherry seasoned casks.
Abv 46%
£120  Now £93.89

View Deal

Berry Bros & Rudd Sherry cask whisky
This classic blended malt whisky is aged in Sherry casks. Enjoy it served neat or on the rocks.
Abv 44.2%
£32  Now £25.56

View Deal

The King’s Ginger liqueur
The perfect winter warmer, this was first created by Berry Brothers & Rudd in 1903 for King Edward VII. Ideal enjoyed alone or in cocktails.
Abv 41%
£23.99   Now £17

View Deal

Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé NV Magnum
This rosé Champagne is made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes, and full of red fruit flavours. Even better when served from magnum.
£170   Now £129

View Deal

Seedlip Spice 94 alcohol-free spirit
Seedlip has lead the way for premium alcohol free spirits – a growing industry. Try this Spice 94 made with botanicals like Jamaican Allspice berry & Cardamom.
£27.95  Now £25.15 

View Deal

Casa Noble crystal tequila
Triple-distilled, 100% organic agave tequila, a fine example of a Blanco.
Abv 40%
£55   Now £51.13

View Deal

Louis Roederer Brut Premier NV
A blend of 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Meunier, this popular non-vintage is worth snapping up when on offer.
£45  Now £35.99

View Deal


More wine and spirits inspiration:

Champagne deals

Best Blanco tequilas

Best gins for a Martini

Best spiced rums

Celebrity spirits: Which are the best?

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Thanksgiving wine inspiration: Ideas on bottles to choose https://www.decanter.com/learn/how-to-choose-the-best-thanksgiving-wine-282162/ Thu, 19 Nov 2020 16:00:01 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=282162 thanksgiving wine

What to go for...

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thanksgiving wine

Smaller gatherings and virtual meet-ups are just two ways that Thanksgiving 2020 – and the holiday season in general – is likely to differ from more typical years for many people.

Deciding on a Thanksgiving wine is hardly a major concern in such times.

For wine lovers, however, opening an interesting bottle and sharing the contents with a small number of guests, or even enjoying a glass via a Zoom call with friends and family, could bring a moment of brightness to a difficult year.

Below, you’ll find a selection of US wines reviewed by Decanter in the past 12 months, and available at various prices, intended to offer some inspiration.

For those planning to hold a small gathering with some or all of the traditional dishes, we’ve also included an excerpt from an article previously written for Decanter.com by wine expert Ray Isle on how to choose a Thanksgiving wine.

He recommended opening bottles that will make whoever is around the table happy, rather than necessarily obsessing over precise food pairings.

For instance, Thanksgiving dinner probably isn’t the time to convince a long-established Bordeaux lover that an ‘orange-hued, skin-fermented Ribolla Gialla is a better idea with the roast bird’, he said.

Yet wine geeks at the table might be thrilled at the prospective of Jura Savagnin, Isle wrote. He suggested thinking about wine in terms of three broad categories of taste, namely ‘old school’, ‘moderately adventurous’ or ‘off the wall’.

You can find more specific wine and food matching advice here, as well as in our wine and turkey pairing guide.


Gift Decanter Premium this Thanksgiving 


Excerpt from an article originally published on Decanter.com in November 2015 by Ray Isle, who is executive wine editor at Food & Wine magazine in the US.

Writing about Thanksgiving wine pairings is, for wine writers, almost as much as yearly ritual as Thanksgiving itself.

Like Thanksgiving, there are traditions involved. For example:

  • Stating that turkey in and of itself doesn’t taste like much and therefore one should consider the plethora of side dishes on the table;
  • Noting that Pinot Noir and Riesling have been anointed by sommeliers (and many others) as go-to wines that pair with anything;
  • Noting that since turkey-day is a deeply American holiday, wines from the US are the appropriate option.

Nothing wrong with all that. However, my suggestion is actually to more or less ignore what’s on the table.

Most Thanksgiving dinners involve a mass of different foods heaped together on a plate: roast turkey, gravy, stuffing, green beans, mashed potatoes, yams, cranberry sauce, and the list goes on.

One bite may be turkey (white meat? dark? with gravy? without?); the next a brussel sprout (roasted? steamed? buttered?); then yams with marshmallows on top (in our house, at least; see above tradition).

Worrying about pairing a specific wine with all that seems a bit far-fetched.

Instead, I’d suggest that Thanksgiving wine choices are really more about pairing wines with people.’

When it comes to who is present, Isle suggested thinking about wine in terms of three broad categories of taste, namely ‘old school’, ‘moderately adventurous’ or ‘off the wall’.

Thanksgiving wine inspiration: Tasting notes and scores by Decanter experts


Search all Decanter wine reviews here

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Anson: Inside Chanel's newest winery Domaine de l’Ile https://www.decanter.com/premium/chanel-domaine-de-lile-provence-rose-447656/ Thu, 19 Nov 2020 12:22:58 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=447656 Domaine de l'Ile vineyard parcel
View of one of Domaine de l'Ile's vineyard parcels on Porquerolles, an island in the Îles d'Hyères, Var, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France.

Jane Anson meets the team behind Chanel's new Provence rosé wine project...

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Domaine de l'Ile vineyard parcel
View of one of Domaine de l'Ile's vineyard parcels on Porquerolles, an island in the Îles d'Hyères, Var, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France.

Porquerolles island, home to Domaine de L’Ile, is just 4.3 miles long and 1.9 miles wide and yet packs in a dizzying array of landscapes.

As we moved around the island – by boat, bike, Citroën Méhari and on foot – we were by turns in a Kenya of mimosas, eucalyptus and cypress trees, in the Scottish Highlands of rugged cliffs, spray and scrub, or pure Mediterranean groves of olives, oranges, lemons and mandarins.


Scroll down to see Jane Anson’s tasting notes on Domaine de L’Ile 2019 wines



Domaine de L’Ile 2019 wines, plus other rosés with Bordeaux connections


You might also like

Best Provence rosé: Panel tasting results (2020)

Cos d’Estournel owner buys Provence winery

Anson: Exclusive first look inside billionaire Jack Ma’s Bordeaux wine estate

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Best Tesco wines to buy this winter https://www.decanter.com/decanter-best/top-tesco-wines-winter-351356/ Thu, 19 Nov 2020 12:00:27 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=351356 Tesco wines

Recommendations for drinking this winter...

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Tesco wines

Tesco boasts a large range of wines, so it’s inevitable that you need to hunt carefully for the gems in the range. But if you know where to look, there’s some genuine value – and excitement – to be found on the UK supermarket’s shelves.

The Paco & Lola Albariño (recommended below), for example, scooped a Value Platinum at the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards – one of just 178 Platinums from more than 16,000 entries.

Highlights of Tesco’s autumn/winter 2020 range include many of its own-label Tesco Finest wines, made in partnership with a variety of respected producers and cooperatives.

In addition, the supermarket stocks wines from producers such as Louis Jadot in Burgundy, Bodegas Fabre and in Argentina and Tim Adams and Vasse Felix in Australia.

Now is the ideal time to stock up too, as Tesco currently has a promotion: buy six bottles or more and save 25% on deliveries until 1 December.

Top Tesco wines to buy this winter:

The first 21 wines below from Tesco’s autumn/winter 2020 wine collection, tasted by Amy Wislocki and Tina Gellie. The others wines are from older tastings but still available 

Updated 19/11/2020: Added wines from the autumn/winter 2020 tasting (21 wines) and removed unavailable wines


You may also like:

Marks & Spencer wines to try

These Co-op wines are excellent value

What are the best Aldi wines to buy?

See all supermarket wine recommendations here 

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Black Friday Champagne deals - Taittinger, Laurent-Perrier, Pol Roger and more https://www.decanter.com/shopping/champagne-deals-380367/ Thu, 19 Nov 2020 12:00:26 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=380367 Champagne deals

Great Champagne offers we have found for you...

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Champagne deals

Best Champagne deals

If there’s a time of year to indulge in some Champagne it’s Christmas (and New Year, of course). It’s also a great time of year to find Champagne deals on some of your favourites, so time to stock up.

With Black Friday  just a week away, the Amazon offers are already starting – including on Moët & Chandon,  Louis Roederer and Taittinger  Waitrose is offering 25% off many Champagnes, including Laurent-Perrier 2008, Pol Roger Extra Brut and Bollinger Special Cuvée and Laithwaite’s has 35% off Laurent-Perrier NV.

We’ve got the latest deals and prices for some of the most popular choices, and retailers below.

Don’t forget to look for further savings on multiple bottles too…


Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial

This nicely balanced Champagne is a blend of the three classic Champagne grapes.


Laurent-Perrier Brut Champagne

A restrained and elegant, Chardonnay-dominated blend.


Lanson Black Label NV

A classic, Pinot-driven Champagne that will see you through your celebrations.


Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label 

Champagne’s ‘second most prolific house, Veuve Clicquot sells an estimates 19 million bottles per year of the yellow label non-vintage.


Bollinger Special Cuvée NV

60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay, 15% Pinot Meunier, this Champagne is recognised as one of the top non vintages out there.


Bollinger Rosé NV

Don’t forget about rosé Champagne in the festive season. This has red fruits and fresh acidity.


Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut

A Champagne house known for elegant wines, this non vintage is no exception.


Taittinger Brut Reserve NV

A fresh and fruity Champagne made from 40% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Meunier and 35% Pinot Noir.


Pol Roger Brut Reserve

A balanced and elegant expression of the three classic Champagne grapes.


Ruinart R de Ruinart Brut

From one of Champagne’s oldest houses, this non vintage is a blend of 40% Chardonnay and 60% Pinot Noir.


Louis Roederer Brut Premier

An excellent non-vintage Champagne, which uses all three Champagne grapes, mostly from Roederer’s own estates.


Piper-Heidsieck Brut

50% Pinot Noir, 30% Pinot Meunier and 20% Chardonnay, a lively non-vintage Champagne.


Krug Grande Cuvée

A blend across many different vintages and wines, Krug is a ‘super multi-vintage of its own kind’.


Laurent-Perrier Rosé NV

An 100% Pinot Noir rosé Champagne, with the colour extracted from skin contact, rather than blending with red wine, like many other Champagnes.


Vintage Champagne deals

Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2012

A great choice for a vintage Champagne this festive season, with an elegant, fruity finish.


Laurent-Perrier Millésimé 2008

50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir, a refined and elegant Champagne.


Veuve Clicquot Vintage 2012

A highly anticipated vintage, this Pinot Noir dominant blend is made from all three Champagne grapes.


Report: The best NV Champagnes to buy

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Top vodka deals for Black Friday https://www.decanter.com/spirits/top-vodka-deals-402796/ Thu, 19 Nov 2020 10:30:40 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=402796 Black Friday Vodka Deals
Black Friday Vodka Deals

Celebrated for its pure taste, Vodka is perfect for sipping neat but is also a versatile ingredient in a range of classic cocktails from Martinis to Bloody Marys. The market for sipping vodkas has become increasingly premium, following the launch of Grey Goose in the 1990s – with hefty price tags to match. All of […]

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Black Friday Vodka Deals
Black Friday Vodka Deals

Celebrated for its pure taste, Vodka is perfect for sipping neat but is also a versatile ingredient in a range of classic cocktails from Martinis to Bloody Marys.

The market for sipping vodkas has become increasingly premium, following the launch of Grey Goose in the 1990s – with hefty price tags to match. All of which makes Black Friday the ideal time to stock up on your favourite bottles.

As deal season approaches, led by Black Friday 2020 and Christmas we’ve taken a look at some of the top offers at different price levels.

Amazon have started some of their offers early here in the UK.

The best Black Friday vodka deals


Grey Goose Vodka

The world’s first premium vodka. From the Cognac region in France, Grey Goose was created by François Thibault, son of a wine-grower and a master Cognac blender. It’s a versatile, super-creamy wheat vodka that works well in a whole range of cocktails. Alc 40%


Ketel One Vodka

Made by 10th generation distillers – with over 300 years of expertise – this is one of the smoothest and cleanest vodkas on the market today. This Dutch vodka is distilled in small batches and made from 100% GMO-free European wheat. It has a crisp citrus flavour with notes of honey and a long and lively finish. It makes a great cocktail but if you like your vodka neat this is a great choice, chilled or served over a little ice. Alc 40%


Belvedere Vodka

This high-quality vodka from Poland has an incredibly smooth texture thanks to its four-times distillation process. Made from rye, it has a creaminess on the palate with notes of vanilla and white pepper along the edge giving it a spicy boost on the finish. It’s easy to see why this is a classic and well-loved vodka. Alc 40%


Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka

This Polish vodka is infused with Hierochloe Odorata grass, a unique variety grown in the Bialowieza Forest bordering Poland and Ukraine and the habitat of wild Polish bison – hence the name. Distilled from rye, the spirit is strained through bunches of hand-harvested and dried grass, of which every bottle contains a single blade, giving the vodka a translucent, greenish colour and a herbal, aromatic and delicate taste. Notes of citrus, jasmine, black pepper and lavender can be detected. A great sipping vodka or pair it with ginger ale. Alc 40%


Chopin Vodka

Named after the classical composer, Chopin is a creamy and smooth potato vodka. Made in Poland, it’s distilled four times to produce an ultra-pure spirit. Lightly spiced, nutty and earthy on the palate, it’s a great choice for a Vesper Martini. Alc 40%


Chase Vodka

The family behind Tyrell’s crisps, Chase built a distillery on their Herefordshire farm to use up their stock of quality potatoes – 250 in every bottle to be precise. Small-batch production, triple-distilled in a copper pot still called Fat Betty, then chill-filtered and bottled by hand. This characterful vodka has a smooth and creamy texture with flavours of apple, cracked black pepper and faint notes of aniseed. Alc 40%


Stolichnaya Elit Vodka

A premium Russian vodka made using a revolutionary freeze filtration technique, filtering the spirit at -18°C. This makes all impurities freeze against the walls of the filtration tanks giving ultra-high levels of purity and making it one of the smoothest on the market. It has subtle flavours of creamy aniseed with a light spiciness and balanced dryness on the palate. A fantastic buy from one of the most prestigious vodka brands. Alc 40%


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Napa Valley Cabernet: Best Mount Veeder 2018 wines https://www.decanter.com/premium/napa-valley-cabernet-best-mount-veeder-2018-wines-447389/ Thu, 19 Nov 2020 09:52:11 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=447389 Mount Veeder 2018

Mount Veeder is rugged, remote, and feels frozen in time compared to the valley floor beneath.

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Mount Veeder 2018

At the southern end of the Mayacamas range, Mount Veeder is rugged, remote, and feels frozen in time compared to the valley floor beneath.

Steep slopes render tractors useless, and low yields from vineyards with twisted exposures are the norm.


Scroll down for the top-scoring Mount Veeder 2018 wines


It is the only mountain AVA with direct exposure to the San Pablo Bay, with Carneros at Veeder’s southern base.


See the best Mount Veeder 2018 wines


See also

Decanter Premium Collector’s Guide: Napa Valley 

The rise of US urban wineries

California Cabernet 2016: Panel tasting results

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A world of whisky: Understanding whisky styles https://www.decanter.com/spirits/a-world-of-whisky-understanding-whisky-styles-446325/ Wed, 18 Nov 2020 15:22:14 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=446325 Whisky styles

So where do you start if you want to find your perfect dram?

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Whisky styles

At no point in history has there been as diverse a selection of whisky on offer as there is today, with distilleries springing up all over the planet to challenge the traditional heartlands of Scotland, Ireland, the US, Canada and Japan.

From a smoky Islay style to the fruity tang of Irish single pot still; from the soft subtlety of a Japanese blend to a full-volume Sherried Taiwanese malt… there’s never been a better time to track down the right whisky to suit your palate and pocket.

Scotland

Scotland’s damp, cool climate may frustrate holidaymakers, but it’s ideal for making whisky, with distilleries working their magic from the Borders in the south up to the islands of Orkney. Blends – combining malt and grain whiskies – make up most of the market, but single malts – small-batch whiskies produced at one distillery using only barley, water and yeast – hog the headlines.

There are also blended malts – a mix of two or more single malts – and single grain whiskies, which, as the name suggests, come from a named grain distillery.

It’s easiest to split Scotland up regionally, but don’t think for a moment that a distillery’s location dictates its style. Think all Islay whiskies are peaty? Then try Bruichladdich or Bunnahabhain. Speyside = spiced fruit? Not in the case of Benrinnes, or Mortlach, or a number of others.

Campbeltown

Situated on the Kintyre peninsula on Scotland’s west coast, facing the Isle of Arran, Campbeltown was known as Whisky City in the late Victorian era, with more than 20 distilleries sending out their wares from its busy harbour. But bust inexorably followed boom and, one by one, they all shut down, except for Springbank and Glen Scotia, with a resurrected Glengyle opening in 2004.

Now there’s an annual Malts Festival, and a renewed interest in Campbeltown’s whisky – once notoriously smoky and heavy, now with a newfound balance and finesse.

Highlands

The Highlands should put to bed any notion of a dominant regional style; how can an area stretching from Loch Lomond, northwest of Glasgow, to John O’Groats at the northern tip of mainland Scotland be anything other than diverse?

Don’t expect too many common threads from its 30 scattered distilleries: from softly fruity Oban to the down-and-dirty meatiness of Ben Nevis; from the textured waxiness of Clynelish to rich Dalmore; from lightly grassy Royal Lochnagar to the earthy smoke of Ardmore. The good news? This refusal to be pigeonholed makes Highland whiskies all the more fascinating to explore.

Islands

Scotland’s labyrinthine network of islands once offered ideal conditions for illicit distillation, but relatively few distilleries survived into the age of legal production – although their number is now expanding again. They are both geographically and stylistically disparate, from the sweet peat of Highland Park on Orkney to Tobermory on Mull with its soft fruit. Some – such as Talisker on Skye with its peppery smoke, or Jura’s slow-maturing flintiness – have a long history. Others, such as the marvellous Arran, or Abhainn Dearg on Lewis, are relative newcomers. With Isle of Harris and Raasay newly open to visitors (though subject to Covid-19 changes: check producer websites) and more due to open in the near future, it’s a full-on island renaissance.

Islay

This small island, the southernmost of the Inner Hebrides archipelago, embodies a particular style of whisky: peated, with a rich array of smoky, maritime flavours leaping from every glass of Ardbeg, Bowmore, Caol Ila, Kilchoman, Lagavulin and Laphroaig. But even here there are exceptions: the bewitching fruit of Bruichladdich and Bunnahabhain offers a smoke-free zone (although both make peated whisky too).

The ‘Islay = peat’ equation also disguises the diversity of the island’s smoky malts: from Laphroaig’s medicinal lift to the sometimes feral fruit of Ardbeg; Lagavulin’s linear clarity and, after long ageing, Bowmore’s remarkable bouquet of tropical fruit. There’s much more to this place than smoke.

Lowlands

The rise of blended Scotch and a tendency (especially in urban distilleries) to favour quantity over quality led to the near-destruction of the Lowlands as a single malt- producing region in the 20th century. It still produces more spirit than any other region – but mostly grain at vast plants such as Cameronbridge and North British.

Lowland single malts are mainly distinguished by a deceptively light, grassy style, epitomised by Glenkinchie and triple- distilled Auchentoshan, while Ailsa Bay ploughs a more idiosyncratic furrow. But things are changing, thanks to the return of single malt to Edinburgh and Glasgow, and the emergence of Fife. New plants such as Daftmill and innovative InchDairnie are helping to forge a new identity for the region.

Speyside

Strictly speaking part of the Highlands, Speyside was only legally defined as a Scotch whisky region in 2009. This is the epicentre of malt whisky production in Scotland, with nearly 50 distilleries in operation, including the world’s two best-selling single malts: Glenfiddich and The Glenlivet.

Some split Speyside malts between the lighter/grassier types – Glen Grant or The Glenlivet, for example – and richer drams, such as Macallan or Glenfarclas. That’s fine, until you meet the many exceptions, from meaty Mortlach and Benrinnes to the maritime spice of Inchgower. There is a lot of sweet fruit on show in Speyside, but the outliers are as intriguing as the central core. Even The Balvenie has a peated expression, after all.

Blends/blended malts

The single malt boom has overshadowed the whisky that catapulted Scotland to fame in the first place: the blend, an art-meets-science creation taking a complex array of grain and malt whiskies and making something greater than the sum of its parts.

Great blends such as Johnnie Walker Black Label or Ballantine’s 17 Year Old are sometimes underrated because they are products of scale, and with no obvious provenance. But they remain remarkable whiskies, offering excellent value for money, and typifying their own house style.

Blended malts are rising in influence, whether it’s the bar-friendly mixability of Monkey Shoulder, the fruit/smoke tang of the revived Johnnie Walker Green Label, or the often astonishing creations of independents such as Compass Box.

Ireland

In the late 19th century, Irish whiskey ruled the world, comfortably outselling its Scottish rivals. Then a series of blows, from the rise of blended Scotch to geopolitical upheavals, sent it plummeting to near destruction.

Remaining producers clung together for survival as Irish Distillers and, very slowly, things began to shift. There are now new distilleries all over the country, from a resurgent Dublin scene to remote coastal locations such as Dingle. The renaissance is creating a diverse array of styles, underpinned by traditional triple distillation, with its gentle, approachable profile personified by Jameson. Now single pot still – Ireland’s unique style, involving the use of unmalted barley – is blossoming again, and fresh takes on single malt and peated whiskey are emerging.

Japan

It’s more than a century since Masataka Taketsuru’s fact-finding trip to Scottish distilleries, which helped kick-start the Japanese whisky industry and its twin dynasties of Suntory and Nikka.

The likes of Yamazaki and Yoichi distilleries were set up to serve a domestic audience. Then, slowly but surely, the international fame of Japanese whisky spread, boosted in recent years by the eyewatering auction prices fetched by cult ‘lost’ distilleries Karuizawa and Hanyu.

That fame and Japan’s love of the Highball (expert mix of whisky with soda water and ice) have depleted stocks, leading to empty shelves and rising prices, but the best Japanese whisky retains a perfumed restraint and complexity that delivers a clear flavour message without ever needing to shout.

USA

The dominance of Jack Daniel’s and Jim Beam reinforces the image of a particular style of American whiskey: corn sweetness, with new charred oak barrels delivering flavours of coconut, vanilla and banana. But even ‘traditional’ distillers play a number of riffs around this central theme, from richly spiced rye to softly textured wheat, or the original American corn-dominant, young style.

The craft distilling revolution has only brought more diversity, as a new generation of producers questions every piece of accepted wisdom, experimenting and innovating to find something new to say: look for Westland, Balcones, Smooth Ambler, Hudson and WhistlePig.

Rest of the world

People are now making whisky in just about every country where whisky is drunk and, because this is fundamentally a product of place, they’re forging new styles and flavour profiles in the process.

England is rediscovering whisky-making as new distilleries start up, from Kent to Cumbria – each with its own distinctive approach and character – while the Nordics are doing great things with rye, and Australian whisky has now come of age. You can find great grain whisky in South Africa, and even India – that home of high-volume, ersatz ‘whisky’ made from molasses is making some excellent single malt that, thanks to climatic conditions, is matured and ready to drink at a ridiculously young age. Inspired by trailblazers such as Kavalan in Taiwan, as every year passes these new-wave whisky- makers are adding more must-see destinations to the world whisky map.


Whisky styles to try

Whisky from Scotland

Kilkerran 12 Year Old

Produced in the reopened Glengyle distillery, this is a successful evolution of the famously oily, pungent Campbeltown style: restrained, gently smoky and a great-value everyday dram. Alcohol 46%


Glenmorangie Astar

Bespoke American oak casks from Missouri add extra oomph to Glenmorangie’s gently fruity distillate, created by those famously tall stills. The 2017 release is deliciously perfumed, with notes of Amalfi lemon and butterscotch. Alc 52.5%


Highland Park 18 Year Old Viking Pride

This remains the prolific Orkney distillery’s benchmark, thanks to its balance of smoke, fruit, cask and time. The epitome of perfect poise and distillery character. Alc 43%

Whisky Scotland

Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2020 Edition

Kilchoman distillery opened in 2005 near Machir Bay, and the charm of its early releases has now acquired added depth. This sweet, smoky whisky shows that full-on peat and Sherry casks can work together. Alc 46%


Ailsa Bay Sweet Smoke

A malt whisky produced, rather confusingly, within a grain distillery (Girvan), with a modern, multifunctional ethos. A winning mix of sweet orange, heather smoke and vanilla. Alc 48.9%


Mortlach 12 Year Old The Wee Witchie

Known as the ‘Beast of Dufftown’, Mortlach has a feral, meaty character that is showcased wonderfully here, thanks to the use of a judicious mix of ex-bourbon and Sherry casks. Alc 43.4%


Berry Bros & Rudd, The Perspective Series 21 Year Old

A tie-in with photographer Lindsay Robertson, this is a masterclass of the blender’s art, marrying vibrant red fruit with the tangy, nutty quality of an aged amontillado. Light spice and honey only add to the drinking pleasure. Alc 43%

Whisky

Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy

Named after Midleton’s ex-master distiller, this is a great example of single pot still whiskey, combining juicy fruits with hedgerow florals and richer notes of toffee and honey. Alc 46%


Hibiki Japanese Harmony

This blend of Yamazaki and Hakushu malts, plus Chita grain, exemplifies the subtlety of Japanese distillates, combining gentle fruit with layers of cream and white chocolate. Alc 43%


Michter’s US*1 Small Batch Bourbon

This takes bourbon beyond its signature coconut sweetness, adding layer upon layer of fruit, caramel and gentle smoke, undercut by a pleasingly earthy character. Alc 45.7%


Westland American Oak

Seattle’s Westland is one of a new breed of distilleries with a holistic vision of what whiskey should be. A richly creamy and complex whiskey that reconciles decadence and precision. Alc 46%


Kavalan Sherry Oak

Taiwanese whisky? More than a decade since its first release, Kavalan continues to wow doubters with its fruity character and eclectic choice of casks. An oily, rich, Sherried delight. Alc 46%


The Norfolk Malt ‘n’ Rye

At Norfolk’s St George’s distillery in the east of England, distiller David Fitt gets up to all sorts of tricks with grains and casks, with one result being this sweet, rich and oily combination of malted barley and rye. Alc 45%


You might also like:

How to invest in whisky

How to spot a fake whisky

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Provence launches brand new website for the trade https://www.decanter.com/sponsored/provence-launches-brand-new-website-for-the-trade-447056/ Wed, 18 Nov 2020 11:42:07 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=447056 Provence Wine Connect

Promotional feature.

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Provence Wine Connect

Provence has decided to launch, in 2020, an Asia-Pacific plan to diversify its export markets. This plan includes the ‘Provence Wine Connect’ platform, which is the central activation pillar for the media, trade and consumers in China, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and ASEAN.

This new website is the first platform dedicated to the region’s wonderful wines and the people who make them.

The free-to-use platform is aimed at wine businesses and wine professionals from Asia Pacific, allowing importers and distributors to contact the winemakers of Provence like never before.

With three major appellations, five terroir designations and over 27,000 hectares under vine, spanning three departments in France’s south east, Provence is one of the country’s most important wine regions offering sun-kissed wines with exceptional character and quality.

The website has almost 120 active members ready and waiting to exchange information with potential buyers.

It also offers a listing of 100 Provence wine producer and merchant profiles available to access in order to develop initial connections, tasting opportunities, market entry and supply chains.

Provence wine connect

Credit: SOWINE-CIVP

The website offers the chance to network quickly and efficiently with advanced search facilities and an easy-to-use directory to not only ‘meet’ the winemakers of Provence but find the perfect type of product.

Whether you’re an importer on the lookout for a new Provence rosé or a buyer with a specific producer you want to reach out to, ‘Provence Wine Connect’ is the new must-have tool.

A groups function has been specifically created in order for members to find similar contacts in their region. Eventually all regions will be covered with six individual categories already established allowing people from Australia, New Zealand, Taïwan, Hong Kong, China and South Korea to swap ideas and generate new business.

The ability to send private messages has been built and members also have the option to join lively discussion groups regarding the wines of Provence, the market and sales opportunities.

If that’s not enough, there is an additional calendar tool that showcases live and virtual events happening around the world relating to Provence wines. These include exclusive trade tastings, discovery sessions and key announcements throughout the year.

Suggestions on food pairings, wine styles and trends in the region are also covered in the latest news section which is updated regularly.

Brice Eymard, general director of the Provence wine council (CIVP) said: ‘We think that rosé wine consumption has great potential in Asia and Australia in the coming years. Despite the international context, it is very important for us to continue our communication and prospecting on those emerging markets. As the world specialist, and benchmark for rosé wines, the AOC of Provence must remain constantly innovative and dynamic.’

Don’t hesitate in becoming a member and accessing the biggest and most useful Provence wine database. Simply go to www.provence-wine-connect.com, click register and fill out the form to start developing your wine business today.

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Uco Valley wines: 12 essential ones to try https://www.decanter.com/wine-reviews-tastings/uco-valley-wines-12-essential-ones-to-try-446346/ Wed, 18 Nov 2020 11:19:22 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=446346 Uco Valley wines, Argentina Geographical Indications

Uco Valley.

A region that both fine wine lovers and budget-conscious shoppers need to know.

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Uco Valley wines, Argentina Geographical Indications

Uco Valley.

Of the many different wine regions in Argentina, one stands out for its intensity and breadth of styles – an area where you’re just as likely to find a juicy, characterful Malbec as you are a subtly textured Pinot Noir, where vineyards climb up the slopes of glacier-capped mountains: the Uco Valley.

Connoisseurs will already be familiar with the name but it’s also one that shoppers ought to look out for in the supermarket aisles; a safe bet liable to amply exceed expectations. Among the most exciting wine regions in the world, the valley has redefined the international reputation of Argentinian fine wines. And the producers know it.

‘The Uco Valley is one of those regions that offers infinite variations of soil and climate types, allowing us to make very different kinds of wine, from intense, fleshy Malbecs to skinny, taut Pinot Noirs to vibrant Sauvignon Blancs,’ says Jorge Cabeza, senior winemaker at Salentein, one of the wineries that pioneered production from the valley. ‘The conditions here can’t be found anywhere else in the world.’

This isn’t an exaggeration. Run through the different wine producing valleys you’re familiar with in your mind. Which of them boasts 4,800m high mountains planted with carefully maintained vineyards? Where else does the sun shine so clearly through such crisp, hallucinatory skies?

A guide to the Uco Valley

Located 88km to the south of the City of Mendoza, in the foothills of the Andes, the Uco Valley spans the departments of Tunuyán, Tupungato and San Carlos. This explains why wines from there are often labelled with one of these three place names.

Whereas in 2005 the valley had 16,800ha under vine, today it contains 28,600ha, representing 19% of all the vineyards in Mendoza. To put it another way: almost one in five bottles produced in Mendoza, comes from the valley.

Because the region is so large, in recent years producers have been carrying out detailed analysis to identify smaller Geographic Indications (GIs). Paraje Altamira, Los Chacayes and San Pablo are some of the most famous, together with Gualtallary (for which approval is still pending), and all contain vineyards set at altitudes of between 900m and 1,500m. Irrigation water comes from the magnificent glaciers above, mainly channelled by the Tunuyán and Las Tunas rivers.

If it takes a unique region to make a unique wine, then the Uco Valley is certainly a place to go looking for them. Focused on growing high quality grapes, mainly red varieties, of which Malbec and Cabernet Franc are especially prominent, producers from the valley are also making excellent whites from Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon vines.

The climate is continental: dry with plenty of sun, low rainfall, cold winters and warm summers with a large thermal range. The point of difference is the altitude, which defines the temperature (on average, it drops 1༠C every 150m higher up you go) and the cool climate has lured many producers away from warmer areas further down. All these different factors result in expressive, tense reds and vibrant whites.

The proximity and exposure to the Andes make for alluvial, rocky soils with widely varying mixtures of sand, limestone and clay in unique combinations that produce memorable wines.

Many wineries have thus commissioned in-depth studies to explore the nature and origins of the soils in which their vineyards are planted and are increasingly coming around to the idea that the Uco Valley requires a plant by plant approach. ‘The Uco Valley showed us the way in terms of familiarising ourselves with and interpreting the terroir,’ says  Sebastián Zuccardi, a winemaker who grows grapes in several different locations in the valley for his wines.

Proof of the efficacy of all that study, not to mention the winemakers’ enthusiasm for the area, these 12 essential wines from the Uco Valley that I have selected will offer wine lovers a clearer picture of the potential that underlies every bottle produced there.

Twelve Uco Valley wines to try


See also:

Uco Valley sub-regions: Panel tasting results

Travel guide: Uco Valley

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Relaunch: Charles Heidsieck Mis en Cave Champagnes https://www.decanter.com/premium/relaunch-charles-heidsieck-mis-en-cave-champagnes-447432/ Wed, 18 Nov 2020 11:07:04 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=447432 Charles Heidsieck Crayeres Collection Mis En Cave

Pre-millennium, the majority of non-vintage Champagne was made with very little reserve wine. Most blends – and this includes nearly all of the major Champagne marques – came from one harvest base year, with relatively small amounts of reserve wine included, typically from the previous or two previous harvests. Reserve wine was barely 15% of […]

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Charles Heidsieck Crayeres Collection Mis En Cave

Pre-millennium, the majority of non-vintage Champagne was made with very little reserve wine.

Most blends – and this includes nearly all of the major Champagne marques – came from one harvest base year, with relatively small amounts of reserve wine included, typically from the previous or two previous harvests. Reserve wine was barely 15% of the blend, and often a lot less.


Scroll down to see Giles Fallowfield’s Charles Heidsieck Mis en Cave tasting notes and scores



See Giles Fallowfield’s Charles Heidsieck Mis en Cave tasting notes and scores


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Napa Valley Cabernet: Best Calistoga 2018 wines https://www.decanter.com/premium/napa-valley-cabernet-best-calistoga-2018-wines-447387/ Wed, 18 Nov 2020 09:50:23 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=447387

2018 in Calistoga was a drama-free 'winemaker vintage’...

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As with the entire Napa Valley, 2018 in Calistoga was a drama-free ‘winemaker vintage’ where producers were free to express individual styles.

‘There’s nothing wrong with a vintage being climatically average. It’s actually really good. It was a breather. It gave the vines time to relax after a pretty stressful 2017’ says Larkmead winemaker Dan Petroski.


Scroll down for the top-scoring Calistoga 2018 wines



See the best Calistoga 2018 wines


See also

Decanter Premium Collector’s Guide: Napa Valley 

The rise of US urban wineries

California Cabernet 2016: Panel tasting results

The post Napa Valley Cabernet: Best Calistoga 2018 wines appeared first on Decanter.

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