An old fashioned day at the beach

Just back from a long day spent with two other families on the beach at West Wittering, near Chichester.

It’s a wonderful place, free of amusement arcades and overt commercial exploitation, perfect for an old-fashioned day at the beach.

We do this trip every year with the same families. The routine is to rendez-vous for breakfast at 0630, [...]

Recently on wineanorak dot com

Been quite busy of late adding new material on to the main part of wineanorak.com. If you travel and taste a lot, the challenge is to write everything up. It’s something I try to do, even if I’m fighting a backlog. Anyway, for those who mostly visit the blog, here are some recent articles.

Mitolo: impressive [...]

Video: tasting three rather interesting Chardonnays

A short film of me tasting three interesting Chardonnays, two from Australia and one from South Africa.

Baron de Ley's Graciano and Maturana

Following on from my recent report of new varieties in Rioja, I was pleased to see that Tesco are now stocking two wines from Rioja producer Baron de Ley’s new Varietales range. They consist of a Maturana and a Graciano, and both are competitively priced at £8.99.

I’ll be honest: both might have been slightly better [...]

A lovely natural Garnacha from Bodegas Ponce - Buena Pinta

Continuing a bit of an Iberian theme here on the world’s second oldest wine blog, this is a wine that I can heartily recommend. Imported into the UK by the fabulous www.indigowine.com, it’s a natural expression of Garnacha/Grenache that scores high for its drinkability and elegance. I’ve reviewed other wines from Ponce here.

Bodegas Ponce Buena [...]

Why I love camping

So just back from five days camping. We were in a field in somerset, with three other families plus a few supernumerary kids on loan.

It rained quite a bit – well, it rained more than the sun shone. But it was great fun.

I love camping. It’s a great antidote to modern life. You connect with [...]

Two Alentejo whites: Esporao and Torre de Frade

It’s not just Spain that is making some really impressive new-wave white wines. Portugal is also a happy hunting ground for fans of deliciously expressive whites. Here are a couple that have impressed of late.

Torre de Frade Viognier 2010 Alentejo, Portugal
12.5% alcohol. Paulo Laureano is the consultant winemaker here. Aromatic, varietally true nose with [...]

Cracking Pinot Noir from De Bortoli

Very impressed with pretty much everything De Bortoli are making at the moment. Steve Webber is heading off in the direction of restraint, low alcohol and elegance, and that’s exactly my sort of thing.

De Bortoli Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2008 Yarra Valley, Australia
13% alcohol. Serious stuff this. Fresh and lively with some green herby characters [...]

Domaine de Silène Grande Cuvée 2004, a serious Languedoc red

This is impressive. It’s a Languedoc red from large producer Skalli. It’s expensive, I guess, but reinforces just how good Languedoc reds can be when grown on decent terroirs and taken seriously.

Domaine de Silène Grande Cuvée 2004 Grès de Montpellier, Coteaux du Languedoc, France
13.5% alcohol. This blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Grenache really impresses. [...]

Northern Rhone series 10, Georges Vernay Condrieu

We’re heading to Condrieu for episode 10 in the northern Rhone series. It’s an appellation that’s a bit of an outlier in the region, but it adds some welcome diversity. Viognier is the grape here: recently fashionable, as evidenced by the growth of the appellation. Back in1965 there were just 8 ha (that’s all the [...]