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London Wine Fair 2007

Well, I had a blast in the Downriver end of London yesterday. Even missing the last flight home and all that went with that hasn't spoiled it. The sun was shining, London is great so long as you don't have to live there, and from the minute I arrived, the show was a regular love-in. The first thing that caught my eye was one of the wines we enjoyed at the Australian tasting in Cork last week, and while I was sampling the Chardonnay-Viognier from the same stable, I was amiably accosted by Pablo de las Heras from Bodegas Pingón in Spain's Ribera del Duero, suppliers of some of our most popular Spanish wine. Pablo is an extremely good egg, and a good friend, and we met up later on for coffee with Tamara Trapez of Pazo Pondal, who make very fine Albariño (Fortnum and Mason's Albariño comes from them). A pity the effervescent Tamara escaped the camera.

I met the man responsible for our wonderful Argentinean Malbec, Alessandro Speri, and his export assistant Justin Sharkey. Alessandro is the fifth generation of a famous Italian winemaking family, and his decision to swan off to Argentina and give Malbec a try didn't go down too well at first with the folks, which is why he calls his wines Prodigo. He's not such a black sheep now, though. Taste and you'll see why. I joined Alessandro and Justin for necessary refreshment at the end of the day, and it was no bad thing to find a Bury St Edmunds beer on offer. Suffolk abu!

Hugh Mcleod was on the Orbital stand, so I stepped up to the edge of the gaping void and said hello and tried my hardest not to look a complete fool. I can see the cartoon: "I have a blog too, you know..." I didn't even try the wines or anything. Hugh was very gracious indeed for a man with so much on his plate. As was Garech from Orbital when I asked why Stormhoek never ring, never write, to discuss who might bring Stormhoek wines into Ireland. We'll see. The fair's blog looks a bit slow, but I suppose everyone's too busy with business to write. Here are some snaps.

I met Olivier Roches from Château le Tap, who came to see us in Cork not so long ago, and also, as I'd hoped to, Eric Chevalier, whose Fié Gris not only has our approval, but in its 2006 vintage has been voted Best White of Show among the 100 top vins de pays 2007. This is a reasonably big deal, and great for Eric. We'll have to get our order in pronto if we want any of his remaining stock.

Over at the Bottle Green stand, I met the young man who is winemaker at La Fortuna, our Chilean supplier. Christian Merino Lobos has been making progress in this family-run business for just two years, and I hope my nagging about their unrepresentative website goes back to Chile with him... the wines deserve better. I also bumped into Munster's own Mary Pawle, shopping at Bottle Green for more good organic wines.

And the newly-married Elena, née Sanchez, from our Rioja suppliers, Bodegas Altanza, was as charming as ever and pleased to hear about all the latest developments at Bubble Brothers. We'll be giving her wines a good push at Dublin airport in a few weeks' time. You read it here first.

That was one great day out.

9 thoughts on “London Wine Fair 2007”

  • Emilio Saez van Eerd
    Emilio Saez van Eerd May 25, 2007 at 9.22 pm

    Hi Julian, I was reading your blog, and it's refreshing to see a your point of view as a distributor of wines. Your blog makes it really easy to contact you. I wish all importers had a blog! So this is probably the first time I openly offer a wine from a very interesting winery in Spain to a blog. My name is Emlio Saez van Eerd, export manager for Bodegas Tintoralba in DO Almansa Spain,and I like to work on the edge of wine sales and internet marketing/wine communication (see example on www.atlasdelvinoespanol.com). So why not trying to make you interested in our wines through this blog? I was at the London wine fair too. We are looking for importers in the UK and Ireland.

    At this moment we are looking for a quick way to get a blog for this winery (actually our webpage is not worth visiting, although the basic information about most of the wines is on it.

    I see you are working with high quality Spanish wines. I won't bother you with stories like, our wines are made of an unkown grape called garnacha tintorera, and our winemaker Pedro Sarrion is one of the upcoming winemakers in the Murcia/Castilla La Mancha area. Our wines tend to score easily 90 points here or 89 points there, and has an ex cellar price below two euros.
    We work with serious importers world wide. Our main market are Japan, US, Korea, Canada, Germany, Switzerland and The Netherlands

    Maybe it could be fun working with an importer that has an own blog too. I would like to send you some samples, only if was for you to say, "now I now what a garnacha tintorera tastes like, and "it was tintoralba that showed to me first".

    Pls contact me whenever you want.

    Emilio Saez van Eerd

  • Julian

    (Sorry not to reply sooner - I'd forgotten that our new Wordpress blog has a very predatory spam trap that needs supervising.)

    Dear Emilio,

    Thanks for writing - I wish more suppliers, including our existing ones, realized that the blog format is very convenient for the kind of discussion we're having now.

    You could start a blog today, easily. Try www.wordpress.com, or Google's www.blogger.com, for instance.

    It would certainly be interesting to add some more non-Tempranillo-family wines to our list. If you do wish to send me some samples, I can't promise to buy from you of course, but I will happily blog the results of our tasting. You never know.

  • Emilio Saez van Eerd

    Dear Julian, pls let me know the adress to send the samples to. As you wrote in your reply, maybe it's something you can add, or maybe not. Nevertheless let me know what you think...

    Emilio Saez van Eerd
    Bodegas Tintoralba

    N.D.WINES PVT LTD July 3, 2007 at 5.03 pm

    please send me the data which contains the importor in england.

  • Emilio Saez van Eerd
    Emilio Saez van Eerd July 9, 2007 at 10.03 pm

    I wish I could give you a direct answer, but one of the reasons we were in London was to find an importer in England. We did got some interesting leads. We're patient.

    We are working though with some of the finest importers world wide. Just to name a few...

    USA: Grapes of Spain
    Canada (BC): Christopher Stewart
    Canada (Quebec): Saq
    Switzerland: Moevenpick
    Japan: Mottox
    South Korea: Wine Castle

    Hope it helps, and if you have any contacts for us in England don't hesitate to inform me.


  • Emilio Saez van Eerd
    Emilio Saez van Eerd September 19, 2007 at 1.38 pm

    Dear julian, how are you? Summer has passed and was asking myself, did you taste the wines from Bodegas tintoralba? Or did you already post the tasting on your blog? if so I didn't see it.

    Would like to read your comments

    best regards
    Emilio Saez van Eerd
    0034 616236754

  • Julian

    Dear Emilio,
    You're quite right to wonder what's happening. We didn't really have a summer at all here... but it has been another very busy year for Bubble Brothers and I still haven't had time to organize that tasting - and have been feeling very guilty about it. I'm just back from a week off, but I hope to have something for you in the next short while. Thank you for your patience!

  • Bodegas Tintoralba » Blog Archives » I wish all importers had a blog December 3, 2007 at 9.08 pm

    [...] Recently, about 6 months ago, I stumbled upon a blog called the bubble brother of a wine importer based in Cork, Ireland. I particpated at the LIWS fair (London wine fair) and was looking for some back ground information after the fair. As I started to read Julian’s wine importer’s blog, I couldn’t resist to write a comment which turned into a conversation on line. [...]

  • Bodega Tintoralba » Blog Archives » Bubble brothers’ contribution to wine marketing April 18, 2008 at 9.04 am

    [...] blog, one of the first importers with a blog. I asked the owner Julian from Bubble Brothers in a comment on a post in May 2007 to check out our wines of garnacha tintorera. He looked like a passionate wine importer [...]

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