A day full of Sauvignon

Patrick Materman

Just a quick post as time is short. Had a busy day tasting and discussing Sauvignon Blanc yesterday at the Brancott Estate Heritage Centre with winemakers Patrick Materman and Jamie Marfell.

Jamie Marfell

Among other things, we looked at a selection of recent vintages of the classic Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc, which is a [...]

Meeting the Prime Minister at the opening of the Brancott Estate Heritage Centre

John Key speaking at the opening of the Brancott Estate Heritage Centre

Last night was fun. It was the official opening of the new Brancott Estate Heritage Centre, which has recently been completed. The centre has been built on a small hill overlooking the historic Brancott Vineyard, where Marlborough’s first Sauvignon Blanc grapes were planted [...]

More Rugby and some very nice Gosset

A big day yesterday. It began with a stroll down to the waterfront for some beers with Nick Stock and Iain Riggs (of Brokenwood in Australia’s Hunter Valley), but this morphed into lunch when Stocky successfully got us a table in a crowded restaurant by slipping a member of staff some $$$. His view is [...]

At the rugby, and a disappointing night for Wales

Last night was the first semi-final of the Rugby World Cup, and it was a crushing night for Wales, who lost by the smallest of margins to France.
I was with Oz Clarke, aussie wine journalist Nick Stock and Adrian Atkinson of Pernod Ricard, who were hosting us.

The evening began so well. We were in good [...]

Some affordable Kiwi wines with friends

I’m just waking up after my first sleep in New Zealand. After arriving at 7 am yesterday from London, I’m very proud that I managed to stay up until midnight, and slept through until this morning. I’ll need my energy: tonight it’s Wales v France, and I suspect a late night coming on.

I spent yesterday [...]

Getting to know a wine

Does our relationship with a wine – or, indeed, a type or class of wines – change as we get to know it or them?

I think it does, and this is one of the reasons that I think of the practice of wine tasting as an interaction between us and the wine – one in [...]

Are you 'new media' or 'old media'? 11 differences.

OK, a bit of provocative fun. Are you old media or new media? Here are 11 differences. Agree? Disagree?

The difference between old and new media

New media is having a conversation; old media is delivering a lecture
Old media takes itself very seriously; new media has a sense of fun
New media welcomes criticism and attempts to learn [...]

Old VORS Sherries from Harveys

Old Sherry is fabulous. It is one of the wine world’s great treasures, although it doesn’t really get the limelight that it deserves.

Here are three VORS wines from Harveys, which retail at £20.82 each for 50 cl. That’s not cheap, but these are very impressive, complex wines. All are available only from  www.thedrinkshop.com in the [...]

Veuve Clicquot Vintage 2004 and Vintage Rose 2004

A chance to taste the new releases from Veuve Clicquot, both of which are really impressive. Caveat: these bottles had been open for a while.

The Vintage 2004 is quite deep coloured, and has lovely concentration of citrus fruit with some richer, toasty notes. Really great balance here, with quite powerful flavours. Lovely intensity. 93/100

The Vintage [...]

Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2011

So, after reporting the new release of Cloudy Bay’s Sauvignon Blanc, here’s another Marlborough classic: Brancott Estate.

Until 2010 this was labelled Montana, and as such, it was another wine I grew up with. The 2011 is fabulous – one of the best vintages of this wine that I’ve tried. List price is around £9, but [...]