Anthony Rose: 'The Dirty Dozen are passionate advocates of wines that speak of individuality from artisanal producers'

 

Was it the prospect of The Dirty Dozen yapping at their heels that prompted The Bunch to pull out the stops at their autumn tasting a fortnight ago? Let me explain. The Dirty Dozen is a new grouping of some of the UK's top independent wine importers, The Bunch an association of independent wine merchants that's been going strong for a little while now. No one's suggesting that The Bunch has been resting on its laurels, far from it, but The Dirty Dozen is a new force in the land.

Choosing a name to reflect a dirt-under-the-fingernails approach (in the winemaking sense), The Dirty Dozen reflects a growing interest in distinctive wines of character, in contrast to the brand-orientated fare churned out by supermarkets. Largely specialising in specific regions or countries, what the 12 have in common is their focus on wines made with TLC. The wine merchant Roberson, says, "we remain passionate advocates of wines that offer value, character and substance; we choose wines that we like – that speak of place and individuality from small artisanal producers".

Last year, Roberson won Decanter Magazine's London Wine Merchant of the Year for wines such as the lime-zesty 2009 Marcel Deiss Riesling, £19.95, the smoky 2010 Domaine les Goubert Côtes du Rhône Blanc, £10.50, and the outstandingly complex 2002 Domaine Peyre Rose Coteaux du Languedoc, £46. One of the major differences between The Dirty Dozen and The Bunch, whose six members are totally focused on consumer retailing, is that TDD includes both retailers and suppliers to the trade. Most of TDD will sell by the mixed case to consumers.

Barely known outside the trade, The Wine Barn, for instance, has established itself within the restaurant trade as a supplier of high-quality, often dry, German wines. Over 11 years, its founder Iris Ellmann has built up an impressive portfolio, selling a host of excellent German rieslings, among them the refreshingly dry 2009 Hans Wirsching Riesling Spätlese Iphofer Kronsberg, £24.75, and introducing a raft of fine German pinot noirs such as the sweetly raspberryish 2009 Spätburgunder 'Franz Anton' from Franz Keller, £20.10.

With a focus on family-run estates in France, Portugal and Spain, Indigo Wine is another similar supplier. A terrific Spanish list includes, among others, the tangy, bone-dry El Maestro Sierra Fino Sherry, £14.95, Indigo, as well as the smoky-scented, stonefruit-flavoured 2009 Coto de Gomariz Blanc, Ribeiro, £14.50, The Sampler, and the richly concentrated and ultra-stylish 2009 4 Kilos, Mallorca, £31.95, The Sampler, Harvey Nichols.

Flint Wines is a relative newcomer specialising in high-quality burgundy and including a few gems from the Rhône, too – and Oregon. Among its quality white burgundies, look for the dry, mineral 2009 Domaine Bernard Defaix Chablis 1er cru Côte de Lechet, £18.50, and the spicy, strawberryish 2009 Cristom Vineyards Mount Jefferson Pinot Noir, £25.95.

H2Vin, for its part, only two years old, is the brainchild of sommelier Matt Wilkin and the experienced Christian Honorez. Their portfolio includes superb burgundies such as the 2008 Domaine Moreau Naudet Chablis Vieilles Vignes, £15, and the wonderfully savoury 2007 Bruno Colin Chassagne Montrachet 1er cru Morgeot, £38.75. This may be the first you've heard of The Dirty Dozen but not, I suspect, the last. For their full contact details, check out anthonyrosewine.com.

The Wine Gang Christmas Fair 2011 ticket giveaway

The Wine Gang is five of the UK’s most respected wine critics: Anthony Rose of The Independent, Joanna Simon of House & Garden, Tom Cannavan of wine-pages.com, David Williams of The Observer and Jane Parkinson of janeparkinson.com.

For the third year running, they have put together an incredible all-day festival of wine where you can taste from 600 wines priced £6 to £80, take part in a fun and a free wine walk conducted by the Gang, and meet and learn from some famous names who will present tutored masterclasses including Bollinger Champagne, Michael Chapoutier of the Rhone, Bodegas O Fournier from Argentina and Jane Ferrari presenting the icon wines of Yalumba.

This is Britain’s brightest, best and most relaxed wine event and is a fabulous chance to plan your wine drinking for Christmas and beyond. Many of the exhibitors at the fair will be offering exclusive discounts on the day, too.

We have three pairs of tickets to the event, including a masterclass of your choice (subject to availability) to give away (each of the three prize packages is worth £70).

The Wine Gang Christmas Fair 2011, Vinopolis, 1 Bank End, London, SE1; Sat 29 Oct; £20, early bird £15, optional tickets for each masterclass £15; ticketSOUP.com; 0844 481 8898

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Guru Careers: Events Coordinator / Junior Events Planner

    £24K + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Events Coordinator ...

    Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: Chief Executive Officer

    Salary 42,000: Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: The CEO is responsible ...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

    £35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

    Ashdown Group: Technical IT Manager - North London - Growing business

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...

    Day In a Page

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?