Kennedy Point Chardonnay from Waiheke Island

This is an interesting wine. You wouldn’t expect to find this in the UK, such is the small scale of its production, but Sam Harrop brought me back a bottle from a recent visit he made to New Zealand, which was very thoughtful of him.

It’s from Kennedy Point, in Waiheke Island – an interesting place [...]

St Hallett Dawkins Vineyard Shiraz

Now this is interesting. It’s a new single-vineyard Shiraz from Barossa producer St Hallett, and it has bags of personality. It won’t be to everyone’s taste, but it’s distinctive and potentially ageworthy. Very Australian in style, but quite serious with it.

St Hallett Single Vineyard Release Dawkins Vineyard Shiraz 2009 Eden Valley, Barossa
From a single vineyard [...]

Touraine Sauvignon Blanc seems to rock

Been very impressed with the recent Touraine Sauvignon Blancs I’ve tried. The Loire fights back! Here are three that I’ve enjoyed over the last couple of days.

Famille Bougrier Touraine Sauvignon Blanc 2010 Loire
Very fresh, precise and lively with lovely grapefruit and citrus character. Precise with a real zip to it. Nicely aromatic with good acidity [...]

Northern Rhone series 4, Jean Luc Colombo Gravieres Crozes Hermitage

I admit to not having been a great fan of Jean-Luc Colombo in the past. His wines have seemed slightly too polished and modern, lacking the raw essence of northern Rhone Syrah at its edgy best. But this is one I like. Perhaps it is the vintage?

Jean-Luc Colombo Les Gravieres Crozes Hermitage 2008 Northern Rhone
From [...]

The debate on wine writer ethics

Fiona Beckett, in The Guardian, is the latest wine writer to opine on winewriter ethics.

I like Fiona – but find this piece a little annoying. There’s the totally unnecessary line about ‘and bloggers’, which Ryan Opaz correctly picks up on in the comments. And it also follows the general tone of ‘some people do this [...]

At the Tesco press tasting

Off to Millbank today for the Tesco press tasting. Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket, is also one of the globe’s biggest wine retailers. So it’s important for many consumers that they get their range right.

At the last major Tesco tasting in October 2010, the signs were that all was not terribly well with the Tesco [...]

Lunch at Hibiscus with some New World classics

It has taken a few days, but I wanted to report on last week’s great lunch at Hibiscus. Hosted by Doug Wregg of Les Caves de Pyrene, the lunch accompanied a tasting of new wines from the Les Caves portfolio.

Yes, Les Caves are taking on the New World, and they are now developing a very [...]

Puppy's procedure

Puppy, aka FFS (Fat Furry Slug) is feeling a bit sorry for herself tonight.

She went to the vets today to be neutered. Now she is decidedly groggy, but hopefully not in too much pain.

I have spent the day working on the science of Sauvignon blanc, and this evening we’ve taken advantage of another balmy summer [...]

A real time tasting note on Churchill Estates 2007 Douro

OK, a real-time, as it is drunk, straight to blog tasting note, typed as I sit here in the garden on a lovely warm Sunday evening.

I’ve just finished dinner – it was a BBQ for my younger son and I as the others are out. The evening is still and warm, with a relaxed Sunday [...]

Northern Rhone series 3, 1967 Hermitage

So after two white Hermitage wines, we’re heading to Syrah, but sticking with the Hermitage hill. This wine is very interesting. It was a gift from Richard Kelley MW, who’d bought a few bottles at auction, and knew it was my birth year.

Now 1967 is not a great birth year for wines. I don’t have [...]