Naiades: a serious Spanish white

Spain, like Portugal, is best known for its red wines. But it is exciting to see some serious Spanish whites emerging. Like this: a thrillingly complex expression of the Verdejo grape variety. It’s big, bold, but not overblown – and coming back to it after 5 days in the fridge, it is still beautifully focused [...]

A note on comments

I’m really grateful for those who take the time to comment on this blog.

Since late February, when I moved to wordpress, I’ve taken away the ability for people to comment anonymously – now when someone comments for the first time, their comment needs to be approved, and after that all their comments will go up [...]

Back from Devon, and the Premiership begins again

So we packed up our tent and left Croyde, after a substantial breakfast and a couple of hours on the beach rockpooling with younger son. I also managed to catch some of the Man City vs. Spurs game – the opening one in the new Premiership season – on the radio. I’d love to think [...]

Wine in Devon

Our Devon excursion has extended itself by a few days. After a couple of days of lodging with family, we’ve moved out to a camp site in Croyde. It’s very pleasant, quiet and has views of the sea. What more could you want? (A bit pricey for just a pitch, though, at £36 a night, [...]

30670 - an appealing Languedoc red

This is a slightly curiously labelled wine. 30670 is the postcode of where the wine comes from, and it’s made by Domaine de la Dromadaire (the camel’s domaine?), which is a partnership by the Goellner and Redon families in the Languedoc. The innovative packaging contains a really appealing Languedoc red, which flirts with jamminess but [...]

In Devon, and the sun is out

We’re in Devon for a few days, and although it rained all yesterday, it cleared up in the evening for a big family do to celebrate niece Hannah’s 21st. And today has been spectacular. We started off on Braunton Burrows (above), wandering up and down the amazing dunes. It’s a huge area, right behind Saunton [...]

A brilliant 2009 Beaujolais

Beaujolais is a bit unfashionable these days. So many of the wines failed to deliver what Gamay from this part of the world is known for – ‘fun’.

Kermit Lynch famously described Beaujolais as the ‘one-night stand of wines.’ Fortunately, with the 2009 vintage, Beaujolais seems to have rediscovered fun, and mingled in a hint of [...]

Noval Nacional and VP tasting back to 1962

Just written up an amazing tasting of Quinta do Noval’s Nacional and Vintage Ports back to 1962. It was a remarkable, once-in-a-lifetime tasting, taking in 15 vintages of Nacional.  I wish I could share the wines with you, rather than just my tasting notes.

The Klima: a New Zealand innovation

On my recent trip to Kiwiland I saw an interesting innovation that looks set to save growers lots of money. It’s called the Klima (www.klima.co.nz): a mechanical gizmo that strips prunings from vines. Now this might not sound a big deal, but it is.

Marlborough’s 19 570 hectares of vines are almost entirely cane pruned. This [...]

Champagne Philipponnat ‘Cuvee 1522′ 2000

This bottle is continuing my recent exploration of Champagne Philipponnat, and I’m pleased to report it is also pretty serious. It is a blend heavy in Pinot Noir with a low dosage (the sugar added at bottling), and it’s a beautifully savoury, gastronomic fizz.

Champagne Philipponnat ‘Cuvee 1522′ Grand Cru 2000
60% Ay Pinot Noir; 40% Grand [...]