Two stylish Pinot Noirs from Neudorf

You know, I just love Pinot Noir. And I get a lot of my Pinot pleasure from New Zealand these days. Here are a couple of recent releases from Neudorf, who make their Pinot Noirs with a distinctly savoury twist. It’s not just about sweet fruit here.

Neudorf Moutere Pinot Noir 2010 Nelson, New Zealand
14% alcohol. [...]

Syrah and Serine

I have just written up the wines of Eric Texier, who is doing some really interesting work in the northern Rhone. For me, his two best wines are both made from Serine, which is a special clone of Syrah (some people claim it is actually a separate variety; there’s quite a bit of confusion about [...]

Luis Pato Vinhas Velhas, a lovely Portuguese red

I’m a big fan of Baga, a Portuguese red grape variety. It’s the traditional grape of the Bairrada region, and to me it’s reminiscent of Nebbiolo: quite tannic and difficult, but capable of making ageworthy, perfumed wines.

Luis Pato is one of the top Bairrada growers, and yet he names his wine ‘Beiras’ rather than Bairrada. You [...]

Two lovely German Rieslings

Like most members of the wine trade I have a fondness for Riesling. It rocks. And especially from Germany: nowhere else makes Rieslings that are quite the same. Here are two good ones, both new to me.

Pauly Lieser Niederberg ‘Helden’ Riesling Trocken 2011 Mosel, Germany
Really fine, fresh nose of melon, citrus and grapefruit. The palate [...]

Piggy Bank wines, with a charity/social media angle

Website: http://www.piggybankwine.com/

The concept? Six wines in three pairs, made by talented consultant winemakers, at at £7.99 price point, with 50 pence from the sale of each bottle being given to charity. You scan the QR code on the back label and you are taken to the piggybank website, where you can vote on where your [...]

Sommelier of the Year competition, and why sommeliers deserve more credit

Back in May I attended the finals of the Moët UK Sommelier of the Year 2012 competition that I was covering for Sommelier Journal. From a short list of 12, three sommeliers had reached the final round, which was held in sweltering conditions in one of the gallery rooms at the ExCel exhibition centre.

The three [...]

Detoxing and abstinence, a considered view

Every now and again I hear on twitter that a wine trade colleague is having a break from the booze. Frequently, this is badged as ‘detoxing’, and is accompanied by a peculiar and rather frightening diet.

Now, unless you are caning rather too much wine than is good for you—and just what this harmful level might [...]