Spring Trade Tasting, 1st May, London

Spring Trade Tasting | 10am - 6pm, China Exchange | London

Celebrating 30 years of artisan, terroir, organic and natural wines, we will be bringing to London a selection of wines from our favourite French, Spanish and Italian growers.

The tasting season’s not run till May has begun.

Tasting highlights:

170 wines
125 growers represented
90 different grape varieties being shown
All organic, biodynamic and natural wines
All from France, Italy and Spain
Pet Nats & sparkling wines, orange wines, zero sulphur wines, amphora and egg wines, island wines, volcanic wines, mountain wines…
20 under £10 ex vat

It was thirty years ago and Sergeant Pepper was twenty years of age and commanding a crack commando unit in the Ruritanian army, or, more literally, he was forty years old and in a retirement home run by his brother - and skilled fraudulent medic - Dr Pepper. Anyhoo, Les Caves de Pyrène, then called Santat Wines, from the Occitan word for santé, hatched. And we’ve decided to celebrate the hatching of that hatchling with an album (or tasting) of some of our greatest hits. And when we say “greatest hits” we mean the wines that nobody buys. And if you’ve wondered why Les Caves has grown from a founding trio to two score and plus, it is because we’ve had to recruit more and more staff to drink the wines that we are buying. It’s a vicious circle, but someone has to drink it.

It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Believe or not, o best beloved, way-back-when our list was once a slim volume, scarcely numbering ten pages. Now we park the doorstep… to the drawbridge. In days of yore, we had not so much a range of wines as a pitiless focus on the wines of SW France. We had Cahorses for courses, the maddest selection of Madiran and massed choirs of Jurançon. Of course, they were not in fashion, but every Cot must have its day, every Phil must drink his Buzet (there’s a pun in there somewhere) and someone, somewhere will manage to spit out the words Pacherenc-du-Vic-Bilh (Vick Beel? Vee-Bee?) in front of an incredulous and contumelious French somm.

Once we annexed the Pyrenees and lower reaches of Gascony we extended our remit to encompass the rest of regional France (50 Chenins? 15 Ploussards??), before ganging further afield. Immersion in Italy was next, converting our one wan Orvieto and I-would-hesitate-to-call-it-even-bog-standard-Chianti into something more prepossessing and worth investigating. Now, we cover that variegated country from the Alps to the elbow, to the Etna… Following that, it was a natural hop, skip and a plane ride over the Pyrenees to tackle Spain, which was represented solely by one knackered, wood-interred Rioja. Today, we represent around forty bodegas, and some of the best and brightest that Spain has to offer. And a heck of a lot of Rioja!

This tasting is to remind people who we were -  and how far we’ve come. We can’t promise sulphurous Orvieto, vinegary Chianti, oaked Rioja lollipops, but hey, you can find that anywhere. We will be celebrating our love of terroir, our attraction to wines that are made in the vineyard and are the result of environmentally sensitive farming, wines that are made with native/wild ferments, wines that speak clearly of their origin and vintage, express the personality of the vigneron(ne) and are testament to the decisions that they made. We’re happy to call them natural wines, but what’s in a name – they taste real, authentic, interesting. They are damn drinkable.

And what a choice! We have everything and qvevri-thing from ancient Albillo to zippy Zibibbo. You wanted a rosé made from Atlantic-kissed Grolleau Gris? Check. Fancy a skin contact local version of Malvasia from an obscure volcanic Aeolian isle fermented in amphora? Centenarian Carignan vines? Zero-sulphur Jurancon? The “evidencia” is in the bottle. A Melon a Queue rouge – under voile, naturellement? A Gamay from Jules Chauvet’s own vineyard? A Spanish Riesling from the high Pyrenees? And on t’other side of the mountain track a biodynamic Irouleguy Blanc? Aligoté in an egg? Cracking idea! Pineau and Pineau d’Aunis? Both on the menu! Champagne made from old Pinot Blanc vines? C’est vrai. Manzanilla Pasada en rama? The flor the merrier! A blushing Pinot Grigio fermented for 8 months? A dulcet Dolcetto dimpling delightfully?  A high-rise volcanic rosé from Etna from an historic 1,300 m vineyard? Check!

If you're interested in attending, register your interest with us by emailing [email protected]

For more information on the wines that we will be pouring, contact us directly:

[email protected] | 01483 554750