David Clark: innovation in Burgundy

David Clark’s previous life was as part of the Williams Formula One racing team, but he changed pace by moving to Burgundy in 2003, where he now has a small winery in Morey-St-Denis and a couple of hectares of vineyards spread over a number of communes.  There’s a nice profile of him over at Bill [...]

Veraison, at last

Veraison – the stage in grape phenology where the berries change colour and the skins soften – is occurring at last with my Pinot Noir vines. I’ve deliberately chosen this rather ragged looking bunch to illustrate some of the challenges of growing wine grapes in the UK.

First, you can see the ‘hen and chicken’ effect [...]

Clarence de Haut Brion 2007

This is the second wine of Chateau Haut-Brion, which prior to this vintage was labelled ‘Bahans de Haut-Brion’. At around £40 a bottle, it isn’t cheap. It sort of delivers, but this isn’t a wildly pleasurable wine at the moment, although it does have some savoury interest.

Le Clarence de Haut Brion 2007 Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux
13% alcohol. [...]

Video: tasting Burgundy, with a hint of reduction

Three wines from Burgundy tasted, with some comments on ‘good’ reduction.

Descriptors on the mind

Describing wine in words is quite a difficult task. It’s certainly one of the challenges for wine writers.

Just listing descriptors isn’t all that helpful.

No matter how exotic they seem.

Metaphors are useful, but they can easily sound contrived. At least, though, they treat the wine as a whole, which is the way we experience it.

I try [...]

Heida: a brilliant Savignin from Switzerland

Swiss wines rock. I tasted a lot on a visit in 2006 (write up here) and was really impressed. Of course, in the UK we don’t see all that many of them. But they can be quite serious.

This is a superb Swiss white, part of the Chandra Kurt collection from Provins Valais. Chandra is a [...]

A pair of Mad Dogs - Shiraz and Sangiovese from the Barossa

I first reviewed the Mad Dog wines, made by Barossa grape grower Matthew Munzberg, some time ago. Here I’m taking a look at the latest releases, which are just fantastic.

This is the first ever convincing Barossa interpretation of Sangiovese I’ve encountered, and it was paired with a much improved Shiraz from the 2007 vintage. In [...]

At the cricket

I’m at the Oval – it’s the test match, England v Pakistan, first day. Shame not to see more people here. Ticket prices should be lower, I guess.

Anyway, it’s teatime, and England are seven down, but fighting back. I had a nice bottle of Petaluma Chardonnay 2006 for lunch, as well as some D’Arenberg Laughing [...]

MANA – a natural wine coalition from New Zealand’s Marlborough region

Very interesting development in New Zealand’s Marlborough region. I’s a coalition of Marlborough wine growers, called MANA, for Marlborough Natural Winegrowers. The five producers involved are Fromm, Herzog, Huia, Seresin and Te Whare Ra.

I like their approach, and like their wines. Here’s what they say about the venture:

‘Natural Winegrowing’ isn’t a prescriptively defined term and [...]

A beautiful, affordable natural wine

Natural wines are often expensive, but frequently worth it. Here’s one that’s fantastic, and affordable. I can’t find it on the Oddbins website, so it may be a case of scouring stores to locate bottles. But this is a wine worth hunting down, I reckon. One of my bargains of the year, especially at the [...]