The weather breaks

It has been an amazing summer here in the UK. The best I can remember, with perhaps the exception of 2003. Lots of sun, consistently warm temperatures, and almost daily opportunities to eat outside in the evening. Over the last few years such occasions have been rare.

The vines are loving it. It has been an [...]

Sweet wine season, 13: Trinity Hill Noble Viognier

The sweet wine season is not yet over, even though the Alsace one has begun.

It’s not been long that we’ve had New Zealand’s generally excellent sweet wines available in the UK. For a good while they were kept out by some EU legislation. Here’s a brilliant one.

Trinity Hill Noble Viognier 2008 Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay, [...]

Recently on the main wineanorak site

Recently on the main wineanorak site:

Sylvain Cathiard: visiting this prestigious Burgundy producer
Oak: how barrels shape wines
Eben Sadie: one of South Africa’s most interesting winegrowers
Semillon and Sauvignon: session 5, Landmark Australia Tutorial
Philippe Pacalet: incredibly pure naturally made Burgundies
Yabby Lake: sensational Pinot and Chardonnay from Australia’s Mornington Peninsula

Pictured above is one of Sylvain Cathiard’s 65 year old [...]

Anyone want to work in a winery?

James Frost, from the lovely Quinta de Sant’Ana in Portugual’s Lisboa region (see my report on a visit here) is looking to hire a temporary worker for vintage. This would be a fantastic way of gaining hands-on experience of making wine in a really nice part of the world. The advert is below.

We rely on [...]

Alsace season, 3: tasting four wines on camera

Four Alsace wines tasted, all from UK retailer The Wine Society.

Alsace season 2: Rolly Gassmann Pflanzerreben de Rorschwihr Riesling

The second in my current Alsace season, and it’s a lovely intense Riesling.

Rolly Gassmann Pflanzerreben de Rorschwihr Riesling 2008 Alsace
12.5% alcohol. Yellow with a hint of green. Rich, intense nose with bold melon and herb notes together with a hint of citrus freshness, as well as some pear. The palate is dry but rich with [...]

Video: Interviewing Richard Geoffroy of Dom Perignon

Here’s an interview I conducted last week with Richard Geoffroy, Chef du Cave of Dom Perignon. He’s a very interesting subject, and we tasted three wines on camera: the 2002 vintage, the 1996 vintage and the 1996 Oenoteque.

A fun family day

We had a fun family day today. It brought together the Steeles (my mother’s family) with the Guillebauds (the family of my mother’s sister’s husband) for a day of joliiness, hosted at Caldicott School where one of my cousins and her husband teach.

We began with a game of cricket (batting in pairs, with everyone else [...]

Some pictures from Châteauneuf du Pape

There’s something great about visiting wine regions. On Thursday and Friday I was in Châteauneuf du Pape, in France’s Southern Rhône. It’s an interesting region with four distinctive terroirs, including the famous galets roulés (big pebbles over clay soils) which account for around 60% of the appellation. The vines are trained as gobelets (bush vines), with [...]

Tosca in Orange

Just back from a few days staying in Avignon, as guest of Chateauneuf producer Ogier. The reason for the trip was that Ogier are sponsors of the Choregies d’Orange. Last night, as their guests, Fiona and I attended a performance of Tosca at the Roman theatre in Orange.

It was a spectacular setting: 8000 people in [...]