Posts Tagged ‘London’

How natural do you want it?

How natural do you want it?

It nearly time again for what now appears to be an annual celebration of unsubstantiated and unsupported claims and assertions about wine. It’s time again to denigrate 99% of the worlds wine and winemakers.

Of course, I’m talking about the coming RAW WINE FAIR, a celebration of “natural” wine taking place in London on May 19 and 20. On the cusp of this important occasion, I think it appropriate to examine some of the claims that are being made about the wines being featured at RAW that have been made by the event’s founder, Isabelle Legeron, MW. Ms. Legeron was recently interviewed in the Londonist and she took that opportunity to make a variety of claims not just about “natural” wine, but all other wines not considered “natural”.

According to Ms. Legeron:
“Once grapes are harvested and taken to the cellar, natural wine growers try to intervene as little as possible. They see their role more as guardians — guiding a process that occurs naturally — rather than as trying to force the grapes or juice into particular moulds responding to market demands or trends”

I’m wondering, do only “natural” winemakers attempt as little intervention as possible? Or are there non “natural” winemakers that take this approach? Also, isn’t the process of “guiding” anything but “natural”? Isn’t it really a case of “manipulation”?

According to Ms. Legeron:
“I like wine that is alive and unmanipulated, characteristics that are surprisingly hard to come by in modern winemaking. I don’t like wines that are worked: heavily extracted, oaky, manipulated, squeaky clean and boring.”

Just how hard to come by are wines that are “alive”? What does “Alive” mean? Do only “natural” wines qualify as being “alive”? How many of the world’s wines, particularly those produced by the thousands of small artisan producers around the globe that do not claim their wines are “natural”, have you tasted in order to declare that finding wines with “alive” and “unmanipulated” characteristics are hard to find? Or are you really just making this up and offering an unsupported assertion?

According to Ms. Legeron:
“the vast majority of natural wine I come across is not only not faulty, but is deliciously complex and shows far more interesting taste profiles than conventional wine. To be frank, this isn’t really surprising either — if, as you would do in conventional winemaking, you kill off all your native bacteria and yeasts to then add lab-bred ones that have been developed to show specific aromas, you will necessarily have less complex aromatics than if nature — with its infinitesimal variations — is involved.“

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Distell is to preview its wines for the Nederburg Auction at the London International Wine Fair.

 

The 39th Nederburg Auction, which centres around rare South African wines, is to feature 133 wines from 80 wineries – 24 fewer wines than in 2012 in a bid to “let the best wines stand out”.

 

Sarah Gandy, Distell international marketing manager for wine in the UK and Europe, said: “London International Wine Fair is a great platform to showcase a range of the wines which have been entered to the Nederburg Auction while all of the key industry players are under one roof.

 

“The event gives potential buyers a chance to taste the Nederburg wines and facilitates pre-auction bids. We will also have the Nederburg white winemaker, Wim Truter with us throughout the event to help raise the profile of Nederburg wines and the auction.”

 

Commenting on the Nederburg wines chosen by the selection panel, cellar master Razvan Macici said: “This is a healthy development in the evolution of the auction.  With the wider availability of exceptional quality wines globally through a variety of channels, it becomes essential to present auction bidders with options deemed truly original or unique and we are proud to be among those having such limited-edition wines to offer.

 

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Big spender!

Big spender!

Beyoncé blew £17,000 on booze at the Andaz Hotel in Liverpool Street last Sunday to celebrate finishing the London leg of her tour.
According to The Sun newspaper, the star shelled out the sum on drinks at the hotel’s Champagne bar following six nights performing at the capital’s 02 Arena.

“Beyoncé wanted to say thanks to all of the backing dancers, crew and everyone else involved with putting on the six shows,” a source told The Sun.

“Between the lot of them they managed to drink their way through more than £17,000-worth of booze in just a few hours.

“They got stuck in as they knew they had a few days off afterwards. They were still in there at closing time at 4am.”

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Please, don't leave us!

Please, don’t leave us!

 

An English producer that saw its wines served to the Queen during last year’s Jubilee celebrations has gone into administration.
Wickham Vineyard in Hampshire, which produces about 80,000 bottles a year, ceased trading just before Christmas with the loss of around 24 jobs.

Having established its first vineyards in 1984, the estate had since expanded plantings to around 20 acres of 10 different grape varieties. Three Wickham Vineyard wines were served at a lunch in London that was attended by the Queen and Prince Philip to mark her Diamond Jubilee.

Although the UK downturn had made trading difficult over the last year, with future prospects dampened by the disastrous 2012 vintage, which saw fellow producer Nyetimber abandon its entire harvest, Wickham Vineyard’s main issue is thought to have stemmed from its high street wine retail business.

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