Champagne Roederer Vintage 2005

Unsurprisingly, Roederer’s Vintage 2005 is a tasty Champagne indeed. Here’s my note on the bottle consumed this evening:

Champagne Louis Roederer Vintage 2005
12% alcohol. Very youthful, fine and taut on the nose. Crisp with focused, complex citrus fruit and some fine toasty notes on the nose. The palate is fruity and precise with nice structure adding [...]

A classic Rioja from Vina Tondonia

One of Rioja’s most traditional producers is López de Heredia Viña Tondonia. These wines are remarkable: they are made in a very traditional, somewhat oxidative style, but they always seem to work, with bags of personality. And they age really well. I’ve never seen one young, in fact – they are released as they just begin [...]

Why you need a dog

Or two dogs.

We’ve been dog owners for five years now. For almost a year, we have had two of them. Everyone should have a dog.

On one level they are a massive inconvenience. They cost lots of money. They create logistical challenges. They smell. You have to pick up poo. Owning a dog is an extra [...]

Two lovely wines from St Hallett

Impressed with these wines from Barossa producer St Hallett. The Faith Shiraz is riper and quite seductive, but with lovely fruit purity. The more expensive Scholz is deeper coloured, but less intense – it’s an elegant, expressive example of Barossa Shiraz with lots of personality.

St Hallett Faith Shiraz 2009 Barossa, Australia
Very appealing sweet berry fruits [...]

A superb, affordable Port from Grahams

Now this is pretty smart. It may only be an LBV, with a T-top rather than driven cork. But it’s actually a really good Port, and worth thinking about as something to have on hand as the nights draw in and finishing the day with a glass of something sweet, delicious and alcoholic becomes an [...]

Video: mechanical/robotic foot treading for Port

In this short film, Paul Symington describes the way his company have pioneered the use of mechanical foottreaders (also known as robotic lagares) for Port production. It’s not straighforward: Port needs a rapid but relatively gentle extraction, and the human foot is especially good at this.

Northern Rhone series 17, Chapoutier Petite Ruche Crozes Hermitage 2009

Now this I like. It’s just been listed by Waitrose at a very good price (£12.99), and it’s quite a serious expression of Crozes-Hermitage in a somewhat modern style. I get a lot of samples, but this is one that got drunk, rather than just tasted.

Chapoutier Petite Ruche Crozes Hermitage 2009 Northern Rhone, France
13% alcohol. [...]

At the sparkling wine symposium

Just back from day 1 of the 2011 instalment of the International Sparkling Wine Symposium, held at Denbies wine estate in Dorking, Surrey.

I’m one of the organizing committee, so it was a day on duty, hoping things went well. Did they? Yes, absolutely. It was a great day.

I can’t hope to summarize proceedings adequately here (I’m tired, [...]