A winegrower potentially ruined by bureaucratic nonsense

This is wrong, and it shouldn’t happen.

I wish I could do something about it. All I can manage is this blog post.

Olivier Cousin, a natural winegrower in Anjou, makes some fabulously idiosyncratic wines that offend some, but bring others a great deal of pleasure. I love his wines.

He did something a bit mischievous. He put [...]

Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2011, the new release

The world’s most famous Sauvignon Blanc has had a few rocky years, but I reckon the 2011 is right back on form. This is a bity expensive compared with its peer group, but it’s really tasty. And it has that fabulous label. So stylish. I grew up with this wine, so it still has a [...]

Northern Rhone series 16, Domaine Clape Cornas Renaissance

Hmmm, I’m enjoying this Northern Rhone series. A chance to drink some wonderful wines. Here’s the latest: it’s a Cornas from Clape, but it isn’t at all rustic. Some people still characterize Cornas as producing rather stern, rustic wines, but I don’t think this is the case any more. It’s a serious appellation.

The Clape family [...]

Lunch at Launceston Place

Took my significant other for lunch yesterday at Launceston Place. Last time I was there was on 10th September 2001 (I know the date because of my blog from that time), for an offline dinner. Since then, things have changed (it’s now part of the D&D group of restaurants, who operate several high end London [...]

A delicious R&L Legras Champagne

This stuff rocks. It’s really elegant, precise and fruit-driven. Serious fizz, served before the Haut Bailly lunch at Berry Bros on Tuesday.

Champagne R&L Legras Presidence Vieilles Vignes 2002
12% alcohol. Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs. Intense, fresh, appley and fruity, this is very lively with nice citrus fruit freshness. Power and precision combine. Elegant and compelling [...]

Jamsheed Silvan Syrah is a beautiful wine

This is the new face of Australian wine. Wines from distinguished sites, naturally made, with personality, elegance and a sense of place.

It’s from Jamsheed, a small producer making wines from privileged terroirs in Victoria, and this Silvan Syrah comes from the Yarra Valley. More specifically it is from vines planted in the 1990s on red [...]

Chateau Haut Bailly vertical and lunch, 1986-2010

Some days I really feel I am quite lucky to have my job. Actually, most days. And I suppose you couldn’t really call it a job.

Today I attended a lunch at Berry Bros & Rudd focusing on Chateau Haut Bailly, the Graves (Bordeaux) property that is managed by Veronique Sanders (above), who attended also. We [...]

Some more thoughts on terroir

Prompted by the discussion that followed my recent post on the taste of terroir, here are a few more thoughts on the subject.

1. Not all sites are created equal
I recently read an article on terroir by Claude and Lydia Bourguignon. They made lots of points, some of them good, some plain patronising and chauvinistic. [...]

Northern Rhone series 15, Dard et Ribo Karriere

Now this is something a bit different. It’s a white Crozes Hermitage from old vine Marsanne on white clay soil. As with all the Dard & Ribo wines, it is made naturally, with no additions. For more on Dard & Ribo, see Bertrand’s article on his Wine Terroirs blog.

Dard et Ribo Crozes Hermitage Blanc Karriere [...]

Pictures from the vineyard at Denbies

Took the dogs for a walk around England’s largest vineyard yesterday – Denbies in Dorking, Surrey.

The weather was glorious, on the hottest October day since records began. Clearly, you want warm, dry weather like this just before harvest to help the grapes reach ideal maturity. Yields looked a bit patchy: some varieties seem to have [...]