A new Spanish producer, and quite a discovery

In  Madrid today at lunch I was sitting next to David Gonzalez, who together with three friends has started a new winery in the DO of Arlanza. It’s a region directly north of Ribera del Duero, sitting neatly above it. A century ago there were 30 000 hectares of vines; now there are just 3000 [...]

A perfect wine list, what's yours?

A question. What would your perfect wine list look like? If you were to go into a restaurant and pick up the wine list, what – in an ideal world – would you like to find?

I’m going to set a rule: no wrongly priced or under-priced wines. We have to be a little bit realistic, and [...]

Rhone 2011, a pretty good vintage

 

Isabel Ferrando

It has been a busy day. I was leading a team at the Sommelier Wine Awards in Vauxhall until 3.20 pm, and then I hot footed it along the Thames to Westminster, and One Great George Street, for the Berry Bros & Rudd Rhone 2011 en primeur tasting.

This is a great chance to [...]

Great lunchtime wines: Kumeu River and Raymond Lafon

Didn’t want  to waste some fine white Burgundy samples that I opened, so headed over to brother-in-law Beavington’s house for some Sunday lunch today en famille. More on the Burgundies later, but for now I wanted to write about two wines he opened.

The first is Kumeu River Hunting Hill Chardonnay 2010 Auckland, New Zealand. Beavington [...]

Pinot Noirs from Torii Mor, Oregon

I visited Oregon back in 2008, and one of the wineries I had a look at was Torii Mor. Bid For Wine have managed to secure a stash of these small production Pinot Noirs which they are offering through their website. I got to try them and my notes are here. These are particularly balanced [...]

An amazing Sauvignon Blanc tasting

As part of the recent launch of Brancott Estate’s Chosen Rows Sauvignon, we were treated to an amazing tasting of top Sauvignon Blancs from around the world. You can read about the launch in full, but here I’m just going to post notes on these wines.

They were quite a varied bunch in terms of style. [...]

A beautiful Viognier

When Viognier is good, it can be great. I remember first being introduced to the grape in the early 1990s. Then, it was quite rare, with a reputation for being difficult to grow. Now you get it everywhere, and it can be very ordinary. When it fulfils its promise, however, it produces the most beautiful [...]

Domaine Parigot Savigny Les Vergelesses, a lovely red Burgundy

Really impressed by this, a stylish red Burgundy that marries sweet fruit beautifully with a refined savoury dimension. This is something Burgundy does really well: non-fruit complexity.

Domaine Parigot Savigny-Les-Beaune 1er Cru Les Vergelesses 2008 Burgundy
13% alcohol. Palish cherry red colour. Fine, expressive, slightly savoury nose with dried herbs, turned earth and red cherry fruit. The [...]

Three lovely wines: Burgundy, Martinborough and Tasmania

It was a beautiful pre-spring day today in London. I was doing some staff wine training for Hakkasan, the brilliant Chinese-inspired restaurant chain with two London outposts. The first session was on ‘smooth reds’, and among the tasting wines were these three beauties.

Domaine Daniel Rion Nuits St Georges Les Hauts Pruliers 1er Cru 2006 Burgundy
This [...]

Two great, affordable Spanish reds

Two really good Spanish reds here, which I have tasted (and drunk) as part of my research in compiling a Top 100 reds under £10 feature.

Spain has been particularly strong in this price bracket. The reason? Lots of old vines, and good wine growing terroirs. When the oak use is restrained, or absent even, the [...]