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Ep 15 TNWG Wine Times: VinExpo Paris 2024 - Forward Thinking in Wine and Recommendations

There are a number of 'great' months of the year when looking at wine. We have in fact covered some with a number of publications in this series, and if you followed me on LinkedIn, you will have seen previous videos on topics like Beaujolais, Burgundy En Primeur and Bordeaux En Primeur.

However, it is when the 'tasting season' for trade and press really kicks on, that you start to see the excitement build, this has been happening for the last few weeks and culminates in the start of the 'BIG 3' - namely, VinExpo, ProWein and VinItaly. 

They rather handily are done on different months of the year, to ensure then that people like myself, can scrape together the funds to head over and sample the latest editions to the wine world. Now do not get me wrong, I am far from complaining, in fact it is the best time to be alive, because I purposefully scour the scene, not for world beaters, but for those new emerging wines.

Why? Well for a number of reasons, one it showcases innovation in the industry, it outlines what winemakers can produce year on year, vintage variations, new grape varietals used in regions not seen previously and emerging trends and wines that we are going to get excited about in the coming year.

Sounds pretty cool, no? Well, I think so!

So, what did VinExpo outline?

Great question, I am glad you asked.... 😃

👉 Well quite a few things, namely the changing and evolution of the industry and how it is best represented - most notably via the increased impact of wine communicators and social content creators. 

👉 There were discussions on sustainability in wine - the impact of monopolies in the industry (this is becoming more and more of a weekly development as conglomerates build in size) and gatekeepers to the import, export and retail sectors.

👉 We have touched on some of these bits before - but with global wine consumption falling - how do we make wine cool again? How has AI been developing and changing the business and wine worlds and how can we adapt to increase productivity for SMEs especially.

👉 However, what was one of the best and biggest developments was that the drinks industry appears to be continually in motion. Wines Unearthed  is one such example. Wines Unearthed was a new addition to VinExpo Paris with 33 supremely talented wine producers from 14 different countries (and one spirits producer) looking for distribution. I cannot name all of them here but particular stand outs were Hewitson Winery, in the heart of Barossa producing some wonderful Aussie wines producing around 300,000 bottles a year. Weingut Emil Bauer, a 5th family generation wine producer from Austria, producing around 120,000 bottles a year and Casa Valduga from Brazil, a family business founded way back in 1875!

Okay, I can hear you say it from here though, this is all great but do you have some wine recommendations for us....well of course 😃🍷

So here are my top 10 wines that I tasted during VinExpo which I would recommend seeking out or looking out for:

1.Joseph de Maistre - Valentine - 2020 Menetou Salon 🍷

-From the Loire Valley, a lovely white wine, dry and aged in oak. A stunning example of freshness of acidity with the vibrancy and grassy notes designed by the Sauvignon Blanc grape varietal. It is from the Upper Loire Valley more specifically and really shines with minerality, green apple, a subtle creaminess on the finish thanks to the oak ageing and a delight with shellfish for me!

 2. Domaine Martin Clerer - Condrieu Cote Bellay 2022 🍷

 - A superb white here in the form of a Viognier (one of my favourite's, think apricots!), this has been aged with oak and on lees to give it a bigger body and rounded feel. Super wine from the Rhone region! An estate created back in 1991 by Louis Clerc. Honeyed limes, that nectarine/tangerine type feel with supple floral notes all emerge in the glass. High class Condrieu Viognier!


3. Domaine Sigalas, Santorini 2023 🍷

- Another great white but this time from Greece and the island of Santorini. If you are not aware or have heard of the Assyrtiko grape then you need to go out and try one. It is expressive but elegent and dances on the tip of your tongue. As one of my wine expert friends mentioned on a podcast just recently said, ' is as good as a really impressive chablis'. This is a young expression having only recently been bottled (vintage 2023). Domaine Sigalas has been churning out award winning wines year on year and this is set to be no exception to the rule, see Tim Atkin 's work on the area and an outline of just how good these wines really are in the region.


4. Riffel, Binger Scharlachberg Riesling Trocken 2022 🍷

- Wowsers, this wine is good! I am a HUGE fan of Rieslings, not least because they age wonderfully in bottle but also because they are a super food wine - especially with Thai and curries more generally. However, this has soooo much more going on. It is defined, full of body and having had some partial ageing in oak is refined and elegent too. Those petrolic themes starting to emerge from the bottle ageing which is a seriously awesome autolytic character. From the Rheinhessen region, a delightful interpretation of minerality and spicy nose with scents of flint, candied lime peel and orange blossom. 

5. Bodegas Jose Ignacio Marin, Marin Granacha Blanca 2023 🍷

- This was probably the most surprising wine all week that I tried. It was probably a combination of unexpected refined fruit constructed within the wine alongside the lack of expertise in Garnacha Blanca which totally threw me and took me on a wonderful tasting journey. Refreshing and elegant in equal measure, this gave attractive fruit and floral aromas with good vibrancy too.

6. Chateau Sainte Lucie D'Aussou, Bella Dama 2019, Corbieres Boutenac 🍷

- A blend of Carignan, Grenache and Syrah from the Languedoc Region. A lovely balance of deliciously edible dark fruit profile and beautiful smooth tannin on the mouthfeel with well integrated structure throughout. Rich and intense!

7. Maison Francois Ducrot, Rouge Petard 'La Vie En Rouge', Pays d'Herault 🍷

- This brought my fun side out. A fun, light hearted expression which plays with you and would be welcome at any BBQ that I had from spring onwards. A drink now and enjoy the moment type of wine. Made from Aramon grapes and at 12.5% still not holding back, but an indigenous varietal to the Languedoc region, grown on silt and limestone from vines aged between 20-40 years old. 

8. Domaine Roumagnac, 'O Grand R' , Fronton 2022 🍷

- Another blend from the South of France, this time coming from the Fronton region. Blending Cabernet Sauvignon and Negrette to give a rich, full bodied and luxurious element to the glass. This is typically a 50/50 blend with the Negrette bringing with it some aromas of red fruit but also liquorice on the mouthfeel as Cabernet gives you a seductively smooth body, balance and structure with dark fruits to accompany the wine. You can tell I like it !

9. Alpasion, Malbec 2020 Argentina 🍷

- From the Uco Valley in Argentina, an organic wine producer with Malbec at the heart of all it does. Having used some aged in oak and some in stainless steel to produce this vibrant and yet sophisticated wine in a bottle. Founded by a group of friends this has a perfect balance of low acidity with silky tannins. Easy drinking and boy is it good!

10. Domaine Bessa Valley, Enira 2018 Bulgaria 🍷

- Probably not something which you were expecting to see in my top 10 but I found the steal of the show. A Bulgarian red blend of Merlot, Petit Verdot and Syrah which is structured incredibly well. It has great balance and has had now 6 years of ageing and is in perfect condition, with the tannins having softened. It has Bordeaux - esque winemaking skills at the heart of it, Count Stephan von Neipperg, the owner of Bessa Valley, owns a Bordeaux Chateau and you can see the influence within the wine. Having had 12 months in French oak - think of vanilla and menthol packed with berry fruits, on the palate, especially dark fruits. A great food wine! 



This was a topical post given that we have been speaking to Te Kano winery just last week (see podcast download here) alongside looking forward to speaking to our guests Valli next week too. The quality is said to be sensational this year, thanks to the climatic conditions so keep your eyes peeled for the 2024 vintage from NZ!



On the week (as at 15/02 10:30 LDN) changes:

EQUITIES: ⬇️ FTSE 100 down 0.078%; ⬆️ DAX up 0.6% ; ⬆️ S&P up 0.1%; ⬆️Nikkei 225 up 3.48%; ⬇️ Dow Jones down 0.07%;

COMMODITIES: ⬆️ Brent Oil up 1.37% ; ⬆️ Crude Oil up 2.14% ; ⬇️ Gold down 1.75%; ⬆️ Silver up 1.1%; ⬇️ Copper down 0.7%

BONDS (in yield terms): ⬆️ UK 2yrs higher 0.036%; ⬆️ UK 10yrs higher 0.04%; ⬆️ German 10yrs higher 0.0115%, ⬆️ US 2yrs higher 0.138%; ⬆️ US 10yrs higher 0.111%

Short but sweet this week as we see key Central Bankers looking to downplay the early requirement this year of cuts to interest rates. My call has been that we will see the UK move first, but this is tempered by what the BOE is suggesting of late. I still hold the view that cuts are not far away and the second GDP negative print today showcases that we were in a technical recession over year-end, however, it is far from a hand forcer at this juncture. The FOMC look set to be holding out (my call was June) and with presidential elections on the horizon too, this is getting slightly more complicated as a result. US equities continue to be going swimmingly! So much so that a brief knock back over a daily session has been quickly swallowed up with outperformance overall. Keep holding those US techs for now!


As mentioned previously, The Northern Wine Guy will have not ONE but TWO residencies in Sheffield coming up. Here are the events for you to take a look at and get BOOKED! They are also available on the website.

🙌 Event 1: An Introduction to Wine Tasting

📍Picture House Social, 383 Abbeydale Road, Nether Edge, Sheffield S7 1FS

📅 Saturday 2nd March 2pm till 4pm


🙌 Event 2: Blind Wine Tasting accompanied with Charcuterie and Cheese

📍Hideaway Bar, 61 Eyre Lane, Sheffield City Centre, S1 3GF

📅 Thursday 21st March 6.30pm - 8pm


There has also been a lot of trade events as tasting season kicks on, thanks to Vinexposium for the Paris 2024 event, alongside the Wine Australia in Edinburgh and NY Wine Tasting Masterclass in Manchester. There is a lot in the diary for the upcoming week, starting with the Nottingham Wine Festival.

That's all from me this week, I hope you have enjoyed the content. As always do SHARE, LIKE, COMMENT, DM me for more information or to discuss anything wine related.

For updated wine recommendations and reviews, do follow me on social media @thenorthernwine

All the best and Cheers 🍷


The Northern Wine Guy

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