Some 800 wines from 42 exhibitors will be on show at the Specialist Importers Trade Tastings next week. The events, in London and Manchester, give independent buyers the chance to taste a range of wines from all over the world in one place, many of which will not be available to the multiples.
Newcomers to this year's tastings include South African specialist Yeo & Co, Greek importer Vickbar Wines, Corney & Barrow and Armit's fine wine section.
Organiser Judy Kendrick says: "We try to balance exhibitors, and not have too many of one kind of speciality. Size doesn't matter - we have anyone from big companies like Moreno to small companies like Clark Foyster Wines, who specialise in Portuguese and Austrian wine. They have to be independent and they have to be selling all over the country."
Kendrick is deliberately keeping the event small, and this year turned away over 80 potential exhibitors: "It is important that we keep it the same size, so we keep a focus on the specialities and so people can get around it in one day," she says.
Highlights from the New World
Great Western Wine is making its debut at the tasting, showing Chenins from Ken Forrester, Cabernets from Martin Meinert and Sauvignon from Elk Valley in Elgin, South Africa, as well as Syrah and Carmenère from Chile's northern Elqui Valley, and Steve Green's Otago Pinot.
Another newcomer, South African specialist Yeo & Co, has taken on Kevin Grant's Ataraxia Mountain Vineyards label, which includes a Sauvignon Blanc and a Cabernet/Merlot/Shiraz blend.
Orbital Wines is presenting the
Stormhoek Siren range, featuring a single vineyard Sauvignon Blanc and Pinotage, as well as wines from young winemakers Bruwer Raats and Bruce Jack in South Africa, and Ben Riggs in Australia. All the wines are exclusive to the independent trade.
McKinley Vintners has added Wellington's Doolhof Estate to its list, and will be showing its Signatures of Doolhof Pinotage 2005 and Sauvignon Blanc 2006, alongside Finca el Retiro from Mendoza, Argentina: a range of high altitude wines including Tempranillo Reserva Especial, produced from 50-year-old vines.
New Zealand Pinot Noir specialist Larry McKenna will be at Seckford Agencies' table to present his Escarpment Wines range from Martinborough - including its premium single vineyard Kupe Pinot Noir 2005 . Seckford will also be introducing the McLaren Vale's Mollydooker wines. Both ranges are exclusive to independent wine merchants.
John Armit Wines is introducing two Australian wineries: Austin's Wines, from the cool climate Geelong region in Victoria, is showing its SixFootSix Chardonnay 2005 and SixFootSix Pinot Noir 2005 . McLaren Vale winery Dowie Doole's new Spitting Spider range has been labelled exclusively for Armit.
Moreno Wines is launching Chilean range Quinta de Viluco, made by Alvaro Espinoza in the Maipo Valley. ABS Wine Agencies is launching wines from Tamar Ridge in Tasmania, Amicus in McLaren Vale and Sumaridge in South Africa. Clark Foyster Wines will be introducing new arrivals from Corsica, Australia and New Zealand.
HispaMerchants is launching its first range of Argentinian spirits and liqueurs, Tapaus . The South American and Spanish specialist will also be showing wines from its new wine agency in Patagonia .
Jim Cancilla from Rutherford Ranch in Napa Valley and Nora Sperling from Delheim Estate in Stellenbosch will be at Jackson Nugent Vintners' stand to show off new wines and vintages.
Europe and beyond
Laytons has added Loire producer Baumard, Mosel winery Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt and Pfalz producer Burklin Wolf to its portfolio.
Richards Walford is launching Selection Jean-Louis Chave's first releases from Hermitage as well as new NV Blanc de Noirs and NV Rosé Brut Champagnes from René Jolly, from Landreville in the Aude.
Burridges of Arlington Street will be showing new Garnacha-based wines from Bodegas Santo Cristo in Campo de Borja, the newly released Castillo de Almansa Coleccion 2006 Syrah Rosado from Bodegas Piqueras in Almansa, and the new vintage of Conde de San Cristobal from Ribera del Duero.
New wines on show at the Wine Treasury's stand include La Spinetta's Tuscan Nero di Casanova, Stag's Leap Wine Cellars' Napa Valley Chardonnay Karia, Duck Pond's Oregon Pinot Gris, and a Chilean Syrah from Odfjell Vineyards.
Astrum Wine Cellars recently started importing from Slovenian producers, Sutor and Edi Simcic, whose wines will be on taste alongside a range from Italy.
Sami Ghosn from Massaya in the Lebanon will be at Thorman Hunt's stand, and Lebanon's Château Musar - which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year - will also be at the show.
The Specialist Importers Trade Tastings
Feb 26, 10am-4pm
Bridgewater Hall, Lower Mosley Street
Feb 28, 10am-6pm
Vinopolis, No 1 Bank End
Tickets: Judy Kendrick Marketing,
tel 01829 720130
e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, www.sittastings.org
How to find it
Argentina: Great Western Wine, HispaMerchants, Laymont & Shaw, McKinley Vintners, Moreno Wines, Prestige Agencies
Australia: Arthur Rackham Emporia, ABS Wine Agencies, Bella Wines, Great Western Wine, Haughton Agencies/Adnams, John Armit Wines, Laytons, Moreno Wines, OW Loeb, Seckford Agencies
Chile: ABS Wine Agencies, Great Western Wine, Haughton Agencies/Adnams, Jackson Nugent Vintners, Laymont & Shaw, Moreno Wines, Prestige Agencies, Vintage Roots, Wine Treasury
France: Bella Wines, Charles Taylor Wines, Corney & Barrow, Genesis Wines, Laytons, Louis Latour, McKinley Vintners, OW Loeb, Pol Roger, Richards Walford, Ruinart, Stevens Garnier, Thorman Hunt, Vintage Roots, Winegrowers Direct
Germany: ABS Wine Agencies, Laytons, OW Loeb
Italy: Astrum Wines, For the Love of Wine, Haughton Agencies/Adnams, Wine Treasury, Winetraders
New Zealand: Laytons, OW Loeb, Seckford Agencies, Vintage Roots
Portugal: Charles Hawkins & Partners, Clark Foyster Wines, McKinley Vintners, Laymont & Shaw, Raymond Reynolds
Spain: Burridges of Arlington Street, C&D Wines, HispaMerchants, Laymont & Shaw, Moreno Wines, Vinites, Vintage Roots, Winegrowers Direct
South Africa: ABS Wine Agencies, Arthur Rackham Emporia, Bella Wines, Charles Hawkins & Partners, Great Western Wine, Jackson Nugent Vintners, McKinley Vintners, Orbital Wines, Yeo & Co
US: Jackson Nugent Vintners, Prestige Agencies, Wine Treasury
Spirits: Arthur Rackham Emporia, Compass Cognac.