Video: tasting two Viogniers

So here’s another short film of me tasting two Viogniers: Georges Vernay Condrieu 2008 (£36.75 Yapp) and Bellingham The Bernard Series Viognier 2010 (£11.99).

Northern Rhone series 8, Tardieu Laurent St Joseph

Continuing with the northern Rhone series, and the third in a run of St Josephs, this time from superstar negociant Tardieu-Laurent. Originally involving Dominique Laurent, this firm is now run exclusively by the Tardieu family, under the guidance of Michel Tardieu. They source wines from across the Rhone and Languedoc, usually from old vines, and [...]

Penfolds to price fix Grange?

Interesting article in the Drinks Business today by Patrick Schmitt. He has interviewed David Dearie, who is the new CEO of Treasury Wine Estates, which includes Penfolds, who make Australia’s most famous wine, Grange. Grange sells for much more in Australia, than, for example in the UK. This has resulted in grey market imports hitting [...]

A couple of decent Bordeaux wines

Bordeaux, when it is good, is usually very good indeed. Here are two wines that are drinking very well now. Indeed, this seems to be the skill with Bordeaux: catching the wines when they are ready to drink. How many tasting notes do you read where people say that the wine isn’t yet ready, or [...]

A name for English sparkling wine – the Britagne debate

There has recently been some debate about whether or not English sparkling wine needs a name, prompted by the release of Coates & Seely’s new fizz, for which they have coined the term Britagne. Here’s my take, delivered in nine points.

It is an important time for English sparkling wine. New vineyards will soon [...]

Northern Rhone series, 7, Coursodon Silice St Joseph 2007

The Northern Rhone journey continues. Sticking with St Joseph, an appellation with some excellent terroirs as well as some poorer ones, we move to a superb example from 2007.

This is one of those Syrahs that, with real elegance, begin to taste a bit like fine Burgundies. It’s from old vines on granitic slopes, and relatively [...]

Sacred Hill Deerstalkers Syrah 2009

Now this is a remarkable New Zealand Syrah, from the famous Gimblett Gravels terroir of Hawkes Bay. It’s a style I like a good deal, and which I predict has a very bright future. As is typical for this blog, I’m not just giving you a tasting note based on a quick slurp and spit, [...]

Lunch at La Trompette

A quick note on Wednesday’s lunch at La Trompette in Chiswick, with Robin Davis and Tom Carson. It’s under the same ownership as the excellent Glasshouse in Kew, a joint venture between Nigel Platts-Martin and Bruce Poole, and is similarly excellent.

This is all that a high-end restaurant should be. Excellent food, at very fair prices, [...]

Northern Rhone series 6, Gilles Barge Clos des Martinets St Joseph 2001

I don’t make whole-case purchases all that often. Usually I find that 12 of a particular wine is a little too much. 6 is usually better. But this is the last bottle of a case purchase I made that I was very pleased with. I’ve just looked up my report on the tasting at Bibendum [...]

Two Provencale roses that I really like

Rose tends to be a functional sort of wine. You enjoy it in the right circumstances, but don’t really feel like writing a long essay on it. And I find it hard to think of many pink bottles that really excite.

Well, here are two Provencale roses that I found quite serious. They’re texturally interesting and [...]