A beautiful Syrah from the Grampians

Never heard of this wine before, but it’s brilliant. A great example of the new wave of serious, small scale Aussie producers who are shunning over-ripe, sweet, oaky styles for those with freshness and precision. It also shows that it is possible to make world class Australian red wine at just 13.5% alcohol. More people [...]

Michelle Richardson's Central Otago Pinot Noir

I first met Michelle Richardson a few weeks ago at a dinner at Providores in London. She’s making wines under her own label from a range of New Zealand regions, as well as being a partner in the Waitaki Braids project along with Peter Gordon and Michael McGrath from The Providores, and Stephen Cozens. [Waitaki [...]

Champagne Bollinger La Grande Année 2002

I feel a bit daft writing a review of this wine. After all, it’s not headline news that Bollinger’s Grande Annee from a top vintage is a really good wine. But given a chance to take a sneak preview of this yet to be released Champagne (which will be available from February 2011), I thought [...]

Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, in the 2010

Cloudy Bay enjoys legendary status in the UK, fetching prices a notch above those commanded by other New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs (although you are more likely to find it on the shop shelf than you would have a few years back). I guess the label has something to do with it, and the fact that [...]

Is Oddbins back?

Oddbins press tasting today. For those outside the UK, Oddbins were in the early 1990s a pioneering wine merchant who brought interesting wine to the masses.

Then, in the noughties, they lost their way. The interesting wines and enthusiastic staff were replaced with pap and the less enthusiastic staff (you couldn’t really be excited about the [...]

Sijnn: a really interesting South African red

Now this took me by surprise. It was a sample that appeared one day, and I had no idea of where it was from or what it was, or how much it cost. So I tasted it, with just the back-label information to fall back on. And I was really nicely surprised. It’s a serious [...]