A quick comparative Pinot Noir tasting (and drinking)

So tonight, I have four Pinot Noirs open. A chance to do some comparative tasting.

I love Pinot Noir. It’s such a great grape variety. So, for me, this is a joy of an evening. How do the wines rate?

Cono Sur 20 Barrels Pinot Noir 2011 Casablanca Valley, Chile
I actually opened this wine yesterday evening, and [...]

Wine on television

Wine industry commentator Robert Joseph has recently written about wine on television. The reason we don’t have much wine on TV, he asserts, is because wine isn’t interesting as a subjectfor TV. It’s not visual enough. He lays down a challenge to anyone who disagrees: make a pilot program and see how many views you get [...]

At the Feria Vinos de Lujo, Santiago

Last night I headed over to the Grand Hyatt in Santiago for a remarkable wine festival. It was fortunate that of the two nights I was in town, one should coincide with this event. Organized by Patricio Tapia, It wasn’t cheap at 42000 Pesos (around £50), but there was an amazing array of Chilean wines [...]

In Santiago, day 2, sunshine and lighter style wines

A cork oak (above) 

So this morning was a conference on lighter-style lower alcohol wines here in Santiago, for the Chilean wine industry. I was one of the speakers. This is a growing category that looks set to get quite big. Only today New Zealand Wine Growers announced a seven-year project researching lighter-style wines with NZ$17 [...]

In Santiago, and to begin with, a Sauvignon Blanc

So, I am in Santiago, Chile. I arrived here this afternoon, after a fairly gruelling flight on an old BA 777 (predictably, the Highlife entertainment system wasn’t working, so I couldn’t watch any films) and then a quick hop over the Andes with LAN Chile. I’m just here for a couple of days to take [...]

Craggy Range Te Muna Road Pinot Noir 2011

This was the standout vintage of a recent 10-year vertical tasting of Pinot Noirs from Craggy Range’s Te Muna Road vineyard in Martinborough. It’s not a rich, dense, flashy Pinot, but rather one of refinement and precision. The vines were getting to the stage when they were really beginning to express the vineyard, and not [...]

Reyneke Reserve Red 2010 one of South Africa's finest

This is probably one of the best South African reds I have tasted. And I have tasted quite a few. It’s a blend of 60% Syrah and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, and a third of the Syrah fraction was whole bunch, crushed by foot, with the remaining destemmed grapes added on top. It was wild yeast [...]

Sparkling Wine Symposium 2013, a stunning line-up of speakers

OK, this is a plug. For an event of which I’m one of the organizing team. But I just wanted to bring everyone’s attention to the International Sparkling Wine Symposium 2013, which is being held at Denbies in a couple of weeks’ time.

There’s a stunning line-up of speakers, so if you have any [...]

A Beaujolais Nouveau that's delicious

Is there still life in Beaujolais Nouveau? It’s a very young wine, bottled and shipped by the third Thursday of November (today), very soon after harvest. It used to be a big deal; now, not so much. We’ve already started seeing 2013s from the southern hemisphere, who are six months ahead, and this has taken [...]

A lovely South African Chardonnay, and a top Champagne

I have been judging wines at Tranche 1 of the International Wine Challenge this week. The idea is, for the first time, to split judging into two sessions: the customary April two weeks, plus an additional week in November. This helps with southern and northern hemisphere wineries releasing wines at different times.

But I wanted to [...]