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Event: Decanter Fine Wine Encounter 2019 – Decanter Highlights

With the Decanter Fine Wine Encounter only a few days away now, the Decanter team share their highlights and tasting wish lists for Sat 2nd and Sun 3rd November…

The Decanter team share their upcoming highlights and the wines they can’t wait to taste…

James Button
Associate Regional Editor – Northern Italy, Loire, Alsace & Champagne
For me, the highlight of the entire weekend will be Saturday’s Gaja masterclass, where Gaia Gaja will talk us through the winery’s incredible Nebbiolos from Barbaresco. As you might expect, tickets sold out quickly. If you managed to get yourself a seat, you’re in for an extraordinary treat. But if you missed out, you can still read Stephen Brook’s expert opinion on the wines on Decanter Premium later in November.

Amy Wislocki
Decanter’s Print Publisher
I’ve already earmarked the catalogue with some Old World favourites this year. I’ll kick off at Champagne Delamotte (stand 70), a wonderful brand under the same ownership as cult classic Salon. I’ll be tasting the Blanc de Blancs 2012, a Christmas favourite of mine. Then down to Bordeaux, and Château Olivier (stand 123). I’m looking forward to catching up with Laurent Lebrun, General Manager at the Château. When I visited a few years ago, he showed me the new vines being planted in an area of the estate that was formerly forested but was highlighted by soil analysis as having great potential for vine-growing. I love Pessac-Léognan, white and red, and Olivier is always a good buy. Last but not least, Greece. I’ll be making a beeline for the Ovilos white at Biblia Chora’s (stand 33): a 50/50 blend of Assyrtiko and Semillon, it’s my top-pick Greek white wine, with amazing structure. And the Malagousia at Gerovassiliou’s stand next door (stand 34) will remind me of a week in northern Greece in September – it was a lunchtime favourite.

Julie Sheppard
Regional Editor – Spain, Portugal & South America   
As Marqués de Murrieta is one of my favourite Rioja producers, I’m really looking forward to their Masterclass with Vicente Cebrián-Sagarriga. It will be a chance to taste some of their fabulous older vintages, including Castillo Ygay 1980 and also the brilliant Castillo Ygay Blanco 1986, which is an eye-opening example of just how well white Rioja can age. As a Sherry fan, I’ll certainly be heading to Bodegas Osborne on Table 67, to try their Rare India Solera Oloroso. And finally with Christmas on the horizon, Quinta do Noval’s Ports will be high on my must-taste list.

Last few Decanter Fine Wine Encounter tickets available 

Tina Gellie
Decanter’s Content Manager
I’m always so grateful that busy winemakers make the effort to travel across the world to meet wine lovers attending our Decanter Fine Wine Encounter, so I will be making a beeline to stand 97 in the Grand Ballroom say hello to JD Pretorius, the cellarmaster of Warwick Estate in Stellenbosch, South Africa, and taste through his range – particularly the White Lady Chardonnay and Trilogy Bordeaux blends. Then, to prime my palate for Jane Anson’s Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon masterclass at 1.30pm on Sunday, I will visit representatives of two of the 10 wineries she has selected – winemaker Chris Howell of Cain and owner Phil Ross of Diamond Creek Vineyards on stands 75 and 76 in the Grand Ballroom.


Sylvia Wu
Regional Editor, Asia and Northern & Eastern Europe
I can’t wait to try the wines from the four Chinese producers at this year’s Fine Wine Encounter. The Jiabeilan Reserve from Helan Qingxue and Pretty Pony from Kanaan Winery have both won top awards in previous Decanter awards so are great examples of quality wines from the Ningxia, the up-and-coming fine wine region of China. The other two Ningxia producers, Jade Vineyard and Ho-lan Soul are first-time participants at the London Encounter. Jade Vineyard represents one of the ambitious newcomers in the region, while Ho-lan Soul has invested in Marselan, which many believe to be the future ‘signature grape of China’.


Book your Decanter Fine Wine Encounter tickets before they all go

Georgie Hindle
Associate Regional Editor – Northern Italy, Loire, Alsace & Champagne
I was lucky enough to visit Thelema Mountain Vineyards in South Africa earlier this year so I’m really looking forward to seeing them again at the Encounter – especially to taste their cool-climate Sutherland Chardonnay and Pinot Noir – as well as visiting Stellenbosch’s Idiom and the Western Cape’s Spier stands. I’ll definitely be stopping by to speak to Marjan Simčič and taste his wines – particularly his Ribolla Opoka Medana Jama Cru, Goriška Brda 2017 – a single vineyard white wine made like a red with skin maceration and ageing in small oak barrels. I’m also looking forward to tasting Viña Ventisquero’s range of wines including their two Tara bottlings made in Chile’s remote Atacama desert, the ‘driest place on earth’ and one of the most challenging areas to make wine.

Alex Layton
Head of Marketing
This year I’m really excited to taste a huge range of Gold, Platinum and Best in Show winners from this year’s Decanter World Wine Awards (table 43). I’m delighted to say that this year we have a whopping 43 wines available to taste from 14 countries. In terms of highlights, there are far too many to name here but some of our Best in Show wines include a supremely elegant English Sparkling Blanc de Blancs from West Sussex, a glorious Greek Assyrtiko/Semillon blend, a benchmark Gran Reserva Rioja and intriguing red blend from Conca de Barberà in Spain and a spectacular Amarone della Valpolicella. We have all styles of wine represented here, so this is definitely a table to keep visiting throughout the day.

Eleanor Douglas
Digital Editor
The Decanter Fine Wine Encounter is a great chance to try something different and exciting, from wineries around the world. I’ll be making sure I get over to some of the Chinese winery stands – including Jade Vineyard, Helan Qingxue and Kanaan Winery, on stands 68 and 69. I’m looking forward to trying Kanaan’s Riesling from Ningxia, and comparing some Ningxia Chardonnays too.

We’re excited to see what our guests have been enjoying tasting too, so don’t forget to share your highlights on social media using #decanterfwe


Only a few tickets left for the Decanter Fine Wine Encounter – book today


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