An interesting South African Sauvignon: Mulderbosch

Given the climate of the Western Cape, South African Sauvignon Blanc shouldn’t be up to much. But the proof is in the wines, which are frequently very good. This is a nice example, distinctively packaged.

Mulderbosch Sauvignon Blanc 2008 Western Cape, South Africa
12.5% alcohol. Fresh, crisp and fruity with lovely balance between the grapefruit and lime [...]

Summer's almost over

It’s the last day of what has been a rather miserable August here in the UK. But it’s going out in some style, with a perfect sunny day finishing the month off. It could almost still be summer, were it not for a slight autumnal bite in the air, and the way the day is [...]

Beer: Greene King Very Special IPA

This is quite a nice beer. It’s Greene King’s attempt at replicating the famous India Pale Ales of the 18th century, and while I imagine it’s more polished and pretty than the originals, it’s still quite delicious.

Bronze in colour, it combines spicy, hoppy notes with rich, almost sweet toffee and honey flavours, finishing with a [...]

Alsace season 5: Rieffel Pinot Blanc 2008

Of all the Alsace varieties, Pinot Blanc is the one that gets forgotten most easily, I reckon. It’s underrated. Good Pinot Blanc is lovely. This is a nice one, from Lucas and Andre Rieffel.

Rieffel Pinot Blanc Vieilles Vignes 2008 Alsace
13.5% alcohol. Full flavoured with notes of citrus, herbs and straw, as well as subtly toasty [...]

Recently on the main wineanorak site

Quite a few additions to the main wineanorak site lately. Here are some that blog readers may have missed:

Mullineux Family Wines: an exciting new producer from South Africa’s Swartland
Tapanappa: fine wines from priveliged sites in Australia, by Brian Croser
Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier: a vertical tasting of this remarkable wine, 1997-2008
Bodega Arribes del Duero: visiting Arribes, a [...]

A 2007 Bordeaux that I like, and on offer, too

UK supermarket Waitrose are doing a French Wine Showcase over the next month, with 25% off a range of French wines. The emphasis is on good value stuff, and there are some bargains. Here’s a 2007 Bordeaux that’s actually really nice. It’s proper Bordeaux, the way it should be, with no spoofiness, and it’s drinking [...]

Domaine of the Bee: a new high-end Roussillon wine

A couple of years ago, Justin Howard-Sneyd, who was then in charge of wine at UK supermarket Waitrose, told me he had bought a small vineyard in the Roussillon, as a sort of hobby project. Justin is a competent guy, so I was intrigued – what sort of style would he go for?

Then, a few weeks ago, [...]

Brewster’s Hophead – brilliant beer

Just back from a quick lunchtime pint at my local Wetherspoons, over the road. Now I’m not discussing whether Wetherspoon is a good or bad chain of pubs, all I know is that they usually have some superb guest ales, at amazingly low prices. And one of these was my tipple today, and it was [...]

The 2007 Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier

I’ve just written up a remarkable vertical tasting of Clonakilla’s Shiraz Viognier, one of Australia’s best and most consistent red wines. Of the 12 vintages tasted, my joint favourite was also the rarest – the 2007, of which only 1800 bottles were made.

This was because of an disastrous frost on November 16, which wiped [...]

Brilliant red and white Rioja

These two wines are brilliant. Rioja is a frustrating region: some great old vineyards, but average quality dreadfully low. However, like all leading wine regions, there remains a core of ambitious, talented producers willing to make quality their only goal. One of the new wave producers doing this is actually an old hand: Basilio Izquierdo, for [...]