An evening of Semillon, an underrated grape variety

Bruce Tyrrell

Yesterday evening I took part in a tasting at Australia house, focused on Semillon. It’s a variety that hides in the shadows, but which excels in Australia, and specifically in the Hunter Valley. Here, it makes tremendously long lived white wines that start out life crisp, fresh and lemony. Give them a decade […]

Controlling the wine media

I was alerted by an Eric Asimov tweet to an article in the New York Times about the growing tendency of interview subjects insisting on approving quotes before publication.

This is a huge no-no for journalists. One of the rules of journalism is that no one gets shown an article for approval purposes. It just isn’t […]

Some more Douro pictures

Old vine at Vallado

Just on my way home from the Douro, so only time to post a few more pictures. Yesterday was Vallado, then Vale Meao, then Niepoort’s Quinta do Napoles, and overnight at Vale Dona Maria. So much to take in. A lot to write about.

With Dirk Niepoort

Vale Meao


Some pictures from the Douro

I’m busy filming in the Douro this weekend. It’s harvest time and looking as beautiful as ever. Just time to post a few pictures from yesterday at Quinta do Crasto, and then it’s time to drive to Vale Meao (we stayed overnight in the lovely hotel at Vallado).


Video: tasting the lovely Domaine du Cros Marcillac

So, here I am tasting an inexpensive and delicious wine from the Southwest of France. It’s just so good, and so drinkable.


Two lovely Douro reds at the Dirty Dozen tasting

Thoroughly enjoyed the Dirty Dozen tasting today. It’s the start of term for us wine writers this week. We’re back in the tasting and travelling season. Tomorrow is the Bunch tasting, which will also be really good, and then on Friday I am off to the Douro for the weekend.

It’s so hard (and seems a […]

Recently on the main site

For the benefit of those who just read my blog, a pointer to some recent articles on the main site. Pictured above: the beautiful Haskell vineyards in the Helderberg, Stellenbosch.

Haskell and Dombeya: a grand new estate in Stellenbosch, South Africa
David Sadie: impressive new producer from South Africa’s Swartland
Lavradores de Feitoria: interesting collaborative project from Portugal’s Douro
Saint Cosme: distinctive, […]

What does £15 buy you in Burgundy?

I love Burgundy. It has been the source of some of my great wine drinking experiences. But it’s expensive, in part because it is widely recognized as being a great wine region. [Pinot Noir generally is expensive, though.]

So what does £15 buy you? Tonight I am drinking a £15 red Burgundy from a widely respected […]

First look at a new high-end Pinotage from Flagstone

The wonderful Bruce Jack sent me a bottle of a new wine that he’s making under his Flagstone label. Just 200o bottles of this Pinotage, from a single vineyard high up in the Bredekloof mountains, were made. It’s just an infant, and although it will be released this September, it’s a wine to hold onto for […]

Video: tasting the 2012 Grosset Springvale and Polish Hill Rieslings

Two beautiful wines. The Grosset 2012 Polish Hill and Springvale Rieslings. Here I taste them on camera.