A serious Languedoc red from Mas Belles Eaux

I am a huge fan of the Languedoc. It’s a region that possesses some serious terroirs, and where winegrowers have the motivation, they can use these to make serious wines that usually represent great value for money. The potential of the Languedoc has attracted the attention of larger wine companies: AXA Millesimes purchased Mas Belles [...]

Guimaro Mencia 2012 from Ribeira Sacra

This is a lovely wine. It’s from the Mencia grape variety and it comes from the fabulous Ribeira Sacra wine region in Galicia, north west Spain. The vineyards are terraced, a bit like the Douro – and this region isn’t all that far from the Douro, located just north of where the Douro river becomes [...]

Casa Marin Miramar Vineyard Syrah, Chilean elegance

This is quite a remarkable wine. It’s also quite challenging, with really bold, edgy flavours. But brave winemaking like this – and, in particular, the decision to pick early, has to be rewarded. I reckon it’s one of Chile’s most interesting Syrahs, up there with the likes of Matetic and Vina Leyda – which, incidentally, [...]

Learning to love Nebbiolo (1) Pio Cesare

A while back I posted on ‘Nebbiolo, I’d love to like you more’, which drew some very intelligent responses. I’m sure I lost a few followers – people who realized that if I question the greatness of Nebbiolo, I clearly have no palate and am not a serious person. I understand.

But even if I [...]

Vagabond, Drakes Tabanco and the Draft House, a great night out

London is an interesting place for food and drink these days. Last night I went out with buddy Daniel Primack of Around Wine to have some fun in Charlotte Street, taking in three establishments that represent the best of London’s new gastro/booze scene.

We started of at Vagabond (pictured above), which I reckon represents the future [...]

The Mirabeau YouTube miracle

Wine videos on YouTube don’t usually get all that many views. Mine occasionally go into four figures (unless it’s about labradoodles, where I can hit six!), but some recognized wine journos regularly fail to get to 100.

It’s everyone’s dream, of course, that their video will go viral. For Stephen Cronk, of Provence producer Mirabeau, the dream [...]

Two superb Chardonnays, Yarra and Burgundy

I was presented with these two wines blind by my brother-in-law Beavington. It was a fascinating challenge: both were clearly serious expressions of Chardonnay (we share an appreciation for great Chardonnay). But where were they from? I was in and out of Burgundy, Victoria (Australia) and New Zealand a few times. Subtle cues led me [...]

Burgundy 2012, second part, questions of style

So today I went to the Goedhuis Burgundy en primeur tasting. It was excellent: lots of really good producers, and a lovely setting in the Philip Mould Gallery in Dover Street.

I tasted 80 wines, which at this level is enough for a day. Let’s face it: with top Burgundies, we are talking about fine discriminations [...]

Hugel Gewurztraminer Vendange Tardive

I really like the wines of Alsace. It’s a region I’d like to focus on more in the future, because I think it’s seriously underrated and often forgotten. If you are a white wine fan, there’s a lot of fun to be had here without spending serious money.

It’s from Hugel, a solidly good producer, and [...]

Mirabilis, a serious new Douro wine

This is a new wine from Douro property Quinta Nova, which I visited back in March 2010. It’s made from old vines (interestingly, not Touriga Nacional, the celebrity grape, which used to be quite rare in old vineyards), and has an unusual bottle shape – short and squat like an 18th century bottle.

What do [...]