Tara Pinot Noir, a lovely wine from Chile's Atacama

This is a remarkable wine, made by large producer Ventisquero on a very small scale from vineyards in the Atacama desert, in the far north of the country. It hardly every rains here, so the soils are quite unique. I reported on the Tara white a while back after tasting it in Chile; this red [...]

My thoughts on the Huet debacle

So, leading Vouvray producer Huet appear to have banned two UK-based wine journalists. Both Chris Kissack and Jim Budd were refused tasting pours by Huet at the recent Salons des Vins du Loire for some comments they’d made on a previous vintage, which happened to be the first one with a new winemaking team in [...]

ViniItaliani, a great London destination for Italian wine

Last Wednesday I made a new discovery (new for me, at least). It’s ViniItaliani, a wine shop/wine bar on the Old Brompton Road in South Kensington. It also acts as a wholesaler for some wines that it imports directly, and has an associated consumer-directed online wineshop at www.italianwines.com.

London is becoming a great place [...]

Two impressive Sauvignons: Bordeaux and Marlborough

I know that it’s not all that cool, but I really love Sauvignon Blanc. Here are two good ones: an oaked Bordeaux example (which is actually a blend with Semillon and a touch of Muscadelle), and a slightly atypical Marlborough Sauvignon.

Clos Floridene 2012 Graves, Bordeaux, France
13% alcohol. A blend of half Sauvignon Blanc with Semillon [...]

Novelty at the expense of quality?

Star wine writer Jancis Robinson’s latest FT column is worth a read. You can find it here.

She is focusing on the quest for novelty in the wine world, and whether it comes at the expense of quality. The article was prompted by the recent rant by Robert Parker, which Jancis quotes:

What we also have [...]

Learning to love Nebbiolo: Ar.Pe.Pe Rosso di Valtellina

So I continue in my noble quest to learn to love Nebbiolo (see my previous posts here and here). This time, I am turning to the Valtellina region, a 70 mile long valley running east to west on the Italian-Swiss border. The vineyards here are terraced, and the primary grape is Nebbiolo, known locally as [...]

In Marlborough, day 3, my last in New Zealand

The last day of my New Zealand trip turned out to be a very good one. It began at Te Whare Ra, a small 11 hectare vineyard planted in 1979, and run since 2003 by Anna and Jason Flowerday.

It was a lovely visit: they are doing great work in the vineyard, and it is paying [...]

A unicorn wine, the Clos Joliette Jurancon

I have just written up a tasting of Jurançon Sec held at The Sampler a while ago. You can read it here.

One of the wines was truly remarkable. It’s what is known as a unicorn wine: people hear of them but they never see them. The Sampler’s Jamie Hutchinson reckons he has all the available [...]

A second day in Marlborough, New Zealand

So day 2 in New Zealand’s most important wine region. Lots to be done, beginning with a regional tasting held at Spy Valley, a winery located in the lower Waihopai Valley. There was a range of wines: some excellent, and some reminding us that Marlborough can achieve mediocrity quite easily in the wrong hands.

Paul [...]

Introducing my new book, Wine Science, with a short video

Here’s a short video in which I introduce my new book, Wine Science/The Science of Wine

The UK version is available now; The US version will be available in April.

To buy from amazon.co.uk: Wine Science: The Application of Science in Winemaking

To buy from amazon.com: The Science of Wine: From Vine to Glass

If Amazon doesn’t [...]