Mullineux Schist and Granite 2010

Swartland-based Mullineux is one of the most respected of the new wave of South African wine estates, and in the 2012 Platter Guide they achieved a remarkable clean sweep of three out of three five star wines.

Last year they added two more wines to their portfolio: a pair of high-end Syrahs named ‘Granite’ and ‘Schist’. [...]

Naturae wines from Gerard Bertrand, made with no added sulfur dioxide

Very interested to try this pair of wines made by Gerard Bertrand, and stocked by UK retailer Marks & Spencer. They’re not what you would associate with the natural wine movement (Bertrand is a conventional producer making some very smart commercial Languedoc wines), but they are both made without any added sulfur dioxide, or indeed [...]

Abbe Rous Cornet et Cie Collioure Blanc, a mini vertical

Does it count as a vertical when you taste just two vintages of the same wine? Not sure. But I enjoyed opening two consecutive vintages of this lovely white wine from the Roussillon. It’s made by Banyuls producer Abbe Rous, and it’s largely old vine Grenache Gris and Blanc, with some Marsanne, Roussanne and Vermentino [...]

Video: tasting Champagne - Roederer NV compared with Lanson NV

Haven’t done one of these in a while: here I am on camera, tasting two non vintage Champagnes. Roederer and Lanson.

Consider a tear

Consider a tear. [I’m referring here to the tear that comes from our eyes, not the tear that occurs in a fabric, or the sort that runs up the inside surface of a wine glass.]

We can describe a tear in scientific terms. But this is a completely inadequate, and almost stupid way to describe a tear.

When [...]

Northern Rhone series 26, Jean-Luc Colombo Les Fees Brunes Crozes 2009

Cornas-based winegrower and negociant Jean-Luc Colombo divides opinion. To some, he’s too modern – and I have had mixed experiences with his wines, finding some a little oak influenced, and perhaps too polished. But I have had some really nice wines from him, too, like this superb and very typical Crozes Hermitage.

Jean-Luc Colombo ‘Les Fees [...]

Cricket at Hampton Wick

So, the hottest day of the year so far. A muggy 30 degrees, under a blue sky with just a hint of haze. And time for some wine trade cricket, against Royal Hampton Wick Cricket Club.

It’s a beautiful ground, inside Bushy Park. I arrived just in time to take the field, after changing hurriedly, and [...]

Te Tera Pinot Noir from Martinborough

Kiwi Pinot Noir rocks. And this is one of my favourite inexpensive examples. It’s made by Martinborough Vineyard, and comes from the wonderful Martinborough/Wairarapa region, not far from the capital city Wellington.

Martinborough Vineyard Te Tera Pinot Noir 2011 Martinborough, New Zealand
Supple, fresh and smooth with bright cherry and raspberry fruit. Midweight with nice purity of fruit [...]

Curious Brew, a remarkable lager

A beautiful evening. In the mid-20s, with a gentle breeze. Time for some beer.

It’s Curious Brew, a lager from UK winery Chapel Down. (See www.curiousbrew.com.) Made with East Anglian Malt, Saaz and Cascade hops, and then refermented with a Champagne yeast, and given a ‘dosage’ of lovely Nelson Sauvin hops.

It’s a gold colour, and is [...]

Northern Rhone series 25, Pierre Gaillard St Joseph 2010

2010 is an incredible vintage in the Northern Rhone, and this is a lovely, balanced wine that displays the best of cool climate Syrah. I love this sort of wine.

Pierre Gaillard St Joseph 2010 Northern Rhone, France
Subtly peppery, fresh and bright with lovely raspberry and cherry fruit. Finely spicy, even with a hint of ginger [...]