Catching up with Yabby Lake

Caught up with Tom Carson today, over lunch with him and Robin Davis of SWIG. He’s winemaker at Mornington Peninsula winery Yabby Lake, which is one of Australia’s new stars. We looked at the 2009 releases, which is the second vintage Tom has made, and the first where he’s been involved all through the [...]

V V Vermentino!

Vermentino is a white grape variety known for making very fresh, bright wines, even in warm climates. It’s Italian by origin, and does well in Sardinia, but has also crossed to France, and, in particular, Corsica and Provence. Expect to see it more often in the future: growers in the Languedoc like the way it [...]

Video: Malhadinha Nova in Portugal's Alentejo

Here’s a short film from last week’s visit to the wonderful wine estate, farm and country hotel of Malhadinha Nova in Portugal’s Alentejo.

Northern Rhone series 5, Jamet Cote Rotie 1999

This wine is a favourite of mine, and I’ve drunk it on perhaps a dozen occasions. Well stored bottles, like this one, are really singing now, but there’s no hurry to drink it up. We enjoyed it last night at a family gathering at my brother-in-law’s place. He had the wisdom to buy two cases [...]

In Portugal, day 2

Another day of relaxation under the blue Alentejo sky. We began the day with a cycle ride round the vineyard before breakfast, and since then we’ve spent the best part of the day poolside.

Last night’s dinner at the restuarant here at Malhadinha Nova was really impressive.

Starter of tuna tartare with wasabi ice cream was a [...]

In Portugal again

Delighted to be back in Portugal, this time for a bit of a break with Fiona, sans enfants. My plucky parents are looking after our teenage boys. Good luck to them!

We’re staying in the Alentejo, at Malhadinha Nova’s country house and spa. Yes, it’s attached to the vineyard and winery of the same name, and [...]

Fontanafredda Barolo 2006

Fontanafredda Barolo 2006

Leaving aside all the arguments about traditional and modern styles in Barolo, and small versus more commercial producers, this is a delicious wine.

Fontanafredda Barolo 2006 Piedmonte, Italy
This spends two years in oak: the majority in large botti, but some of it in small barrels. Quite full in colour with some bricking of [...]

A day of Vinho Verde

Today was the Vinho Verde seminar and tasting, held on a jetty overlooking the Thames, just downstream of Tower Bridge. It was my job to present the seminar.

The Vinho Verde region is a big one, and its undergoing some transition. the 20 000 hectares of vines are tended by some 20 000 growers these days. [...]

Alert: a remarkable charity dinner for Pebbles

A heads up for a remarkable charity wine dinner in aid of Pebbles, the South African childrens’ charity with a strong connection to the wine trade, to be held in the cellars of Berry Bros & Rudd on 9th September.

It is being organized by Keith Prothero, who has donated all the wines. This means that [...]

Seven lessons that other wine regions can learn from Bordeaux

Following up on my somewhat controversial post on the coming wine war last week, here are some thoughts about what the wine world can learn from the current success of high-end Bordeaux wines.

Of course, Bordeaux, the world’s most famous wine region, has a split personality. On the one hand we have the wealthy classed-growth Châteaux [...]