in Alsace

So nice to be back in Alsace. It is such a beautiful wine region. I’m here for just a few days with a big group of UK wine journalists and sommeliers for Millesimes Alsace, a large tasting with more than 90 top producers, and associated dinners and gatherings. For now, a few pictures of the [...]

Why judging super-expensive wines is difficult

I always like Emile Peynaud’s quote about how expensive wines tasted blind frequently disappoint. Along similar lines, there’s the well known scientific experiment where subjects had their brains scanned while they were tasting the same wine, but being given different price information each time. They liked the wine more – and their brains responded differently [...]

Holly's Garden Pinot Gris 2013, a Victorian gem

Neil Prentice’s Holly’s Garden wines are made from biodynamically tended vines grown in Whitlands, Victoria, at 750 m altitude. Normally, the prospect of drinking Australian Pinot Gris doesn’t thrill me, but this wine is different. Neil showed his commitment to it by planting 6 hectares, which along with 4 hectares of Pinot Noir constitutes his [...]

Cambridge Road Syrah from Martinborough, New Zealand

From a small biodynamically managed vineyard in New Zealand’s Martinborough wine region, we have this, a supremely elegant and drinkable Syrah with the poise of a ripe Pinot Noir and more than a hint of the northern Rhone about it. It’s not cheap, but it’s quite brilliant.

Cambridge Road Syrah 2011 Martinborough, New Zealand
Ripe, smooth, complex [...]

Success is an enemy

Whether you are a winemaker, a winery, a wine brand or a wine writer, one of the biggest threats can be success itself. It’s made more dangerous by the fact that it would never be suspected of being a threat, because it is a goal.

You begin to believe your own hype. You get complacent. You [...]

Caves d'Auvergne Gamay 2012

This is a sensational wine for the price, if – like me – you have a fascination with lighter, more elegant red wines. I’ve written about its sibling Pinot Noir before, which is equally good, but in 2012 I love the Gamay from this winery, which has a bit more weight than most Beaujolais, while [...]

Why I love working in wine - some unrestrained positivity

I love working in wine. For lots of reasons. Here’s some unrestrained positivity about the wine community, and why it’s a good place to earn a living.

I have such wonderful colleagues. So many positive interactions, such collegiate spirit!

Wine is endlessly fascinating, and you can never grow tired of it, as long as you have an [...]

Sager and Wilde and the London Wine Sessions, with some great wine

Such a great afternoon. I was speaking with Doug Wregg of Les Caves de Pyrene at the London Wine Sessions in Hackney. We arrived early so headed up the road to Sager & Wilde for a quick drink (Michael Sager Wilde is pictured above). I had a quick beer (Partizan Saison Lemongrass, which I will [...]

Video: Arnaud Aucoeur Beaujolais Villages Vieilles Vignes 2012

Just loved this Beaujolais Villages. Here’s my tasting note, and a video of me tasting it. Cracking value.

Arnaud Aucoeur Beaujolais Villages Selection de Vieilles Vignes 2012 Beaujolais, France
12.5% alcohol. From 60 year old vines, this has a wonderfully complex, taut nose of minerals, cherries and plums with a hint of pepper. The supple palate has [...]

Vin de Constance, one of the world's great sweet wines

Yesterday I had the chance to taste, for I think the third time, the 2008 Vin de Constance. I didn’t spit my sample.

This is one of the world’s great sweet wines. It’s made by Klein Constantia, and it’s a wine that has been made to replicate, as closely as possible, the famous Constantia wines of [...]