Meet the Dirty Dozen

Astrum Wine Cellars

Aubert and Mascoli

Clark Foyster Wines

Flint Wines

FortyFive10

H2Vin

Indigo Wine

Raymond Reynolds

Roberson Wine

Hallowed Ground

The Wine Treasury

Vine Trail


We are the Dirty Dozen and we invite you to our tasting

The Importers up close

Astrum Wine Cellars Auburt & Mascoli Clark Foyster Wines Flint Wines FortyFive10 H2Vin Indigo Wine Raymond Reynolds Roberson Wine Hallowed Ground Vine Trail Wine Treasury

Astrum Wine Cellars

astrumwinecellars.com

Astrum Wine Cellars imports exclusively around 40 European wineries and distilleries with a specific focus on the Italian peninsula. Our portfolio is an exciting combination of growers from the most celebrated appellations as well as wines coming from lesser known areas. We believe in quality and service matched by an unparalleled delivery package (2 to 24 hours after the order is placed) from our warehouse in South London.

Aubert & Mascoli

ubertandmascoli.com

At Aubert & Mascoli, we offer superb French and Italian artisan wines from ambitious vignerons - growers who use their intuition and savoir-faire to make truly wonderful wines. These wines are well kept secrets, made on a small scale and sold regionally. The reasons these winemakers do not export are the small quantities available, and more importantly, they are not on the radar of the English wine trade yet. Each vineyard has its own story, but what these artisan winemakers share is a passion to produce - without compromise - exceptional, handcrafted wines which express the characteristics of a place, a soil, a plant and a climate.

Clark Foyster

clarkfoysterwines.co.uk

Clark Foyster Wines Ltd imports fine wine to the UK, from countries including Austria, Portugal, France (Burgundy, Languedoc and Champagne ), Australia and New Zealand. This year we are proud to celebrate our 10 year anniversary as independent importers. Our philosophy is a simple one; we aim to be specialists in our chosen field and sell only wines in which we believe. Our range is eclectic and has developed by happy accident through experience of various aspects of the wine trade, ranging from vineyard work, via independent retail to selling to the multiples. For most of our wines, we are the direct importer and in general we are exclusive agents for those wines. We believe in close contact with both our suppliers and our customers. Our growers are generally small family-run estates producing wines to the highest standards. They are keenly aware of the fierce competition of the British wine trade and welcome feedback from the UK market. At the same time, we like to provide maximum support to our customers by offering expertise and detailed information on the wines, gained through personal knowledge and genuine enthusiasm.

Flint Wines

flintwines.com

We specialise in Burgundy, working with both established star names and young, up and coming growers of the future. We buy on quality rather than price but remain very competitive thanks to our low overheads. Now entering our sixth year we have real depth of stock in terms of vintages. Outside of Burgundy, we apply the same buying policy of working with small production, quality-driven domaines, whether they be in the Rhône Valley or the US. We offer a very personal, flexible and informed service.

FortyFive10

fortyfive10.com

At FortyFive10° we import, wholesale and retail some of Italy’s finest wines, often exclusively within the UK. Our speciality is selecting outstanding Italian wines from family-run producers. The wines are chosen because they demonstrate the true characteristics of a grape - with distinct personality, and a real sense of 'terroir'. We work alongside our producers to support and offer wines that celebrate the complex relationship between grape and soil. We look to support the craftsmen who hand down their expertise from one generation to the next in order to offer a selection of wines from great vintages of grand estates through to high quality everyday drinking wines. FortyFive10° was founded by Italian born Massimiliano Jacobacci, whose passion is selecting wines that express the history of a region through traditional wine making techniques as opposed to the current trend for wines of immediate accessibility at the expense of complexity and longevity.

H2Vin

h2vin.co.uk

H2Vin was founded in 2009 by Christian Honorez and Matt Wilkin M.S. The two have shared a professional vision for many years so when they finally saw an opportunity to work together, H2Vin was born. The enthusiastic pair complements each other in every way and their joint determination to constantly achieve the best is evident. Christian’s extensive knowledge of the industry, coupled with his vast experience of sourcing authentic and individual wines, have earned him an enviable reputation in the wine world. Matt has achieved international recognition as the first Australian Master Sommelier (one of only 184 world-wide) and has won numerous accolades, including the prestigious U.K. Sommelier of the Year award in 2005. The company has established a reputation for offering an exceptional portfolio to hotels and restaurants, as well as independent wine merchants across the U.K. H2Vin prides itself on working mostly with smaller, family-owned wineries that excel in everything they do. Their portfolio includes many well-known boutique wines and all of their producers are at the very top of their game, aiming to create exceptional wines from quality grapes. H2Vin is dedicated to sharing these wines with exemplary service, diligence and passion.

Indigo Wine

indigowine.com

Indigo Wine is an agency business supplying high quality wines to the on-trade and retail sectors. We specialise in fresh and balanced wines with a sense of place from family-run estates in Spain and France, with some real gems from Portugal, Italy, Austria, Australia and South Africa. We now work with some of the most renowned winemakers in Spain, from the well-established to up and coming ground breakers creating one of the best selections of Spanish Wines in the country. This was recognised in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 when Indigo was named Specialist Merchant of the Year for Spain at the International Wine Challenge. We have also just won Harpers Best Supplier to Independent Merchants 2013.
Most of our producers are small holders and grape farmers who aim to make wines that show the flavours garnered from their wonderful fruit rather than from lots of new oak. We believe that this stylistic approach makes our wines fresh and balanced. Increasingly, we have moved towards a more natural style of winemaking, which reflects our personal tastes. Indigo also seeks out interesting indigenous grape varieties that offer vinous sanctuary in an increasingly homogenous world of Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc.

Raymond Reynolds

winesfromportugal.com/

Raymond Reynolds Limited has specialized in single estate wines from Portugal for over 20 years, and Raymond, Danny and Jackie have collectively over 40 years of experience in the country’s wines. Icon producers like Soalheiro, Ameal, Roques, Malhadinha, Niepoort, Luis Pato, Vale Meao and Mouro are all shipped direct. In the last few years, a number of border raids have resulted in some notable additions from Spain. Boutique Port and Madeira are a speciality too, in the form of Niepoort and Barbeito respectively. Delivery is direct from LCB bond in modest minimum quantities.

Roberson Wine

robersonwine.com

Twenty years ago we began building what we believe to be the finest place to buy wine in London. From the start, we knew the ingredients: an unparalleled range of fine, rare and mature Bordeaux & Burgundy, wines imported directly from renowned and undiscovered producers of fantastic quality and staff with the knowledge and enthusiasm to champion the cause of good wine. Today we continue to believe in the same things. We remain passionate advocates of wines from all over the world that offer value, character and substance. We choose wines that we like - wines that speak of place and individuality from small, artisanal producers. Most of them make their wines without excessive intervention and many of them farm organically or biodynamically. At Roberson, customer service is of paramount importance. This commitment to great wine and great service has been rewarded in the past three years with ‘London Merchant of the Year’ awards from the International Wine Challenge, Drinks Business and Decanter Magazine.

Hallowed Ground

hallowed-ground.co.uk

Hallowed Ground is an exclusive membership club which represents premium, boutique Australian and New Zealand fine wine estates. We have a small, hand-selected portfolio consisting of twelve first-class small producers which are individually recognised for their attention to detail and ability to craft truly outstanding wines from their unique vineyards. Hallowed Ground champions minimal intervention and modern winemaking linked to an intrinsic understanding of provenance - we believe that this is the key to the future success of Australian and New Zealand fine wine.

Vine Trail

vinetrail.co.uk

Vine Trail are specialist importers of artisanal, small domaine French wines. As a six strong team – Nick, Cath, Andrew, Robert, Lionel and Joe, we research areas in depth by travelling to France, visiting growers and immersing ourselves in their work both in the vineyard and cellar. Using no agents or brokers, we have developed a very individual selection of wines. These include an excellent selection of top growers’ champagnes, fine selection of Rhone and Loire, and little gems from areas both well-trodden like Bordeaux and Burgundy, and off the beaten track such as Savoie and Jura. Finding wines that are natural, well-balanced and accurately reflect their terroirs is our aim; wines made by growers who through hard work in the vineyards, minimal chemical intervention, and good touch and judgement are able to transfer the maximum potential from soil to glass. Whilst the quality of the wine in the bottle is paramount, many of the wines are made by organic or bio-dynamic viticulture.

The Wine Treasury

http://winetreasury.com/

The Wine Treasury is a small but perfectly formed specialist wine importer which represents fifty or so quality-driven and charismatic wine producers from around the world and places their wines primarily with restaurants and independent retailers in the UK. Our perhaps slightly unorthodox portfolio reflects our enthusiasm for the diversity of the world's wines: from the Loire Valley to the Napa Valley, from the Rio Negro to the Tuscan coast it embraces both the classic and the contemporary, the former somewhat less than the latter. We're just a little bit different: we're not trying to cover all the wine regions of the world. Instead¬ we have formed close, usually UK exclusive partnerships with a limited number of wineries which we consider to have something truly distinctive and unique to offer: wineries run by people we like, making the sort of characterful wines we like.

On camera

The big event

  • The 2014 event

    We're pleased to announce this year's line up and the brochure to accompany the tasting

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  • The 2013 event

    Have a look at last year's line up and the brochure to accompany the tasting
    Dirty Dozen Importer Tasting 2013

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  • The event explained

    The Dirty Dozen is a co-operative collaboration between twelve of Britain's most exciting specialist independent wine importers.

    We are committed to wine of integrity and authenticity.
    We believe in wines that speak of their terroir.
    We select winemakers that cherish their vineyards and the environment.
    We choose small over large and real before synthetic.
    We import wines for people that care, made by people that care.

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  • 2012 Reviewed

    The past two Dirty Dozen events have been met with rave reviews. We can't wait to see what you make of this one. Take a look at these from 2012's event at The Music Room, W1K 5LF:
    The Morning Claret "The UK may be one of the toughest, most price conscious wine retail markets in the world, yet somewhat miraculously the independent and on-trade sectors are developing a real love of the small, the quirky and the characterful. Exhibit A: The Dirty Dozen is a conglomerate of twelve passionate and free spirited UK wine importers, who pulled off one of last year’s most talked about tastings. I wondered if this year could live up to the hype? It’s becoming quite the fashion to have a statement for your tasting event – a manifesto if you will – and the dirtsters have certainly captured the zeitgeist with theirs"
    Harpers Online "Anne Krebiehl dishes the dirt from the Dirty Dozen tasting on 12th September. She selects 2 wines from Vine Trail - Chanudet’s Fleurie and Berlioz’s Chignin. So why exactly is the Dirty Dozen Tasting the most exciting, least predictable and most hotly anticipated event within the crazy wine circus that London is in September? Why is there such a buzz, such animated discussion, such beatific satisfaction on the face of the enthusiastic tasters? Well, it's the event that allows us to select compelling, unusual but very real wines for our wine lists. In an ideal world, we would all like to cherry-pick the best, pay handsomely and fairly for the fruit of the producers' labours and make out clients swoon with the finest and most expensive wines - in the real world however we often struggle to put thrilling and authentic wines on our list for less money and this is exactly where the Dirty Dozen tasting delivers and excites…"
    The Wine Detective "Last year the wine trade, myself included, waxed lyrical about the maiden dirty dozen importer tasting. Licenced to thrill, said dirty dozen did it again this week. The room fizzed with passionate folk and the wines were as eclectic as they were exciting – exactly what fires me up about wine."
    Jamie Goode "It’s so hard (and seems a bit unfair) to pick out individual wines from a great tasting, which involved 12 importers who state that the are committed to integrity and authenticity (and the evidence is that they are), and who believe in wines that speak of their terroir. ‘We import wines for people that care, made by people that care.’ Amen!"


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  • The 2012 event

    in words and pictures
    The Dirty Dozen Wine Tasting

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  • 2011 Reviewed

    The inaugural Dirty Dozen event didn't disappoint. Read all about it in these reviews from the 2011 event:
    Jamie Goode "This was one of the best tastings I’ve attended this year. It reminded me why I love wine, and why I’ve chosen to make it my profession. I’m not naive: I know that we need the commercial, commodity end of the wine market, and that most people just want something cheap and drinkable that they can get with their weekly supermarket shop. That’s fine, if a little depressing. But the wines I tasted today excited me. They had a life-enhancing quality. They moved me; they challenged me; they made me want to go out and spend my hard-earned – and for a journalist swimming in samples, that’s quite a confession."
    Tim Atkin "It's rare that you attend a tasting where there are almost no bad wines. I didn't taste everything -- there were more than 200 wines on offer -- but even the ones I didn't love were interesting. The group's aim is to promote wines of "integrity and authenticity" that "speak of their terroir". Wine merchants say that kind of thing all the time, of course, but they rarely deliver in such an impressive way.
    So who are The Dirty Dozen? Step forward, in alphabetical order, Astrum Wine Cellars, Aubert & Mascoli, Clark Foster Wines, Dynamic Vines, Flint Wines, Fortyfive10°, H2Vin, Indigo Wine, Raymond Reynolds, Roberson, Vine Trail and the Wine Barn. With the exception of Roberson, part of a larger business, these are all small operations with a handful of employees and a passion for wine. Some of them were familiar, but several were new discoveries."
    Anthony Rose "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 the supermarkets. Largely specialising in specific regions or countries, what the twelve have in common is their focus on wines made with tlc. Typically, says Roberson for instance ‘ ‘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’."
    Fiona Becket "So who are the (surely misnamed) Dirty Dozen? A group of wine merchants who specialise in artisanal producers including a fair number of organic, biodynamic and natural winemakers. They included some familiar ones to me - Aubert & Mascoli (hardcore natural), Burgundy specialists Flint Wines, Indigo Wines (largely Spain), London-based Roberson, Bristol-based Vine Trail (very well sourced wines from France) and German specialist The WineBarn, so having a limited amount of time I concentrated on a few I wasn't so familiar with."
    Natasha Hughes "I didn’t get to taste as much as I would have liked, but what I did taste was (by and large) exciting.
    The Wine Detective "For now, I just want to flag the highlights of my first encounter with the so-called Dirty Dozen whose number include some of the UK’s most inspired importers (see their mission statement above). As exciting a tasting as I’ve attended this year. Though I largely kept focused on my areas of specialism, it was tough!!!! Still, I made some great new discoveries, which is how it should be."

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Our Venue - Il Botaccio, 9 Grosvenor Place London, SW1H 7SH. If you have any questions about the venue or the event, just drop us a line

Register

We are now opening up the registration process for our 2014 tasting. Please note The Dirty Dozen Tasting is a TRADE tasting and therefore not open to members of the public. All attendees will be vetted and credentials checked where it is deemed necessary


Eventbrite - Dirty Dozen 2014