Beers from Thornbridge

Delighted to find three beers from Bakewell-based brewery Thornbridge in Waitrose today. They’re all brilliant.

First up, Thornbridge Jaipur India Pale Ale. It’s aromatic, spicy and hoppy with a hint of malty sweetness and complex, concentrated flavours of citrus, herb, spice and bitter hops. 8.5/10

Next, Thornbridge Kipling South Pacific Pale Ale. It’s made with Nelson Sauvin [...]

Champagne Robert Moncuit Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru NV

This is one of several wines I was recently sent by Lot18, which is a new (to the UK; it has been going for a couple of years in the USA) wine retailer specializing in selling small lots of wines to a member-only audience. I’ve not seen enough of Lot18′s offers to comment on whether [...]

Spotted in the Douro: wild vines

Now this is terribly geeky: I know. But when I visited Quinta dos Malvedos last September I was delighted to see a wild vine growing in a tree.

This is really interesting to me, because this is the native habitat for the grape vine. Originally, all vines would have been woodland climbers. They are adapted for [...]

Bordeaux: scoring and pricing

It’s primeurs at the moment. A time in the year when the wine world’s attention is focused on Bordeaux. After all, it’s the world’s most important fine wine region, even if it isn’t necessarily the most interesting.

So, some thoughts on two issues that get a lot of air time. Scoring and pricing.

Scoring. Most of the [...]

Two brilliant 2010 Chateauneuf du Papes from Caillou

I really enjoyed these two brilliant examples of Chateaneuf du Pape from Le Clos du Caillou, a domaine with just 9 hectares in the appellation, as well as 44 hectares in Cotes du Rhone. They’re from the 2010 vintage, so I am assuming they are cask samples, although the bottles I received seemed to be [...]

Video: Lammershoek's beautiful vineyards

A short film of Lammershoek’s vineyards, which I find rather beautiful. They’re just typical of the Swartland, with most of them dry-grown bush vines.

Only in the Swartland: Hárslevelű and an underwater wine

I have just written up my visit to Swartland producer Lammershoek, which you can read here.

It was unusual for two reasons. First of all, they’re making a new series of wines, called ‘Cellar Foot’. These are heaven for wine geeks: oddities bottles in small quantities. I tried one, as yet unreleased example: a varietal Hárslevelű, [...]

I hate half-price wines and would like to see the back of them

I hate half-price wines.

Of course, there’s nothing new about discounting being used to sell wine.
Many wine brands are priced with a view to being promoted. The wine might be listed at £6.99 and two or three times a year be discounted to £4.99.

Typically, the producer will agree to fund some or all of this promotion, [...]

A lovely, inexpensive Chilean Riesling

This is a nicely poised, brilliantly drinkable and well balanced Riesling from Cono Sur. Can’t think of a better one for the money (£6.45 from Tesco.com, although currently listed as out of stock).

Cono Sur Bicycle Riesling 2010 Central Valley, Chile
13.5% alcohol. Minerally, lemony nose leads to a sweetly fruited melon and citrus palate that is [...]