A very interesting Turkish red: Kayra Öküzgözü

This rather delicious, old-world-styled Turkish red is from Elaziğ in Eastern Anatolia, the birthplace of wine. This is in the south east of the country, not all that far from the Iraq border. It’s grown at 850-1100 m on chalky clay and decomposed granite. The variety is named ‘eye of the bull’ and produces large [...]

Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels

The London wine bar scene is thriving. On Wednesday evening I paid my first visit to a relative newcomer (almost a year old now), Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels in Seven Dials. It’s owned by the team (a group of young-ish French guys) behind the Experimental Cocktail Club, who also have places in Paris, New York [...]

In action: the video from my talk on minerals and terroir in Barcelona

So the video of my talk from the Wine and Culinary Forum (nice review of the forum here from top Canadian wine journo Treve Ring) is finally live and posted to Youtube. Here it is:

 

Do Ferreiro Albariño Cepas Vellas from 200 year old vines

This was a remarkable Albariño, made from a one-hectare plot of vines that’s over 200 years old. It’s made by Gerardo Méndez of Do Ferreiro, who farms 10 hectares, split into numerous small plots, more or less organically. This Cepas Vellas is from a hillside vineyard with sandy granitic soils. The grapes come in with around [...]

Does 100 point thinking poison the mind?

I remember when I started getting interested in wine. This was in the early 1990s, before the internet. A friend had a copy of one of the early editions of Parker’s Wine Buyer’s Guide, which I pored over. The sweet spot for me was the ’86A’ bracket of wines: in those days 86 was a [...]

Site-specific Chenin Blanc from Mullineux - Quartz and Schist

As you all know, Chenin Blanc is officially one of the two coolest white grape varieties, along with Riesling. Chenin’s attributes are its good acidity, its structure, its ageability, its flexibility and, of course, its terroir transparency. It’s a grape that is good at interpreting soils, and making wines that are different depending on the [...]

A brilliant, affordable Syrah from the Ardèche

This is one of the best affordable wines I’ve had in a long time. It’s a Syrah from the Ardèche, and it’s just so brilliantly drinkable. Made by Cave Saint Desirat for Marks & Spencer, it manages to capture that northern Rhone Syrah quality. This is what M&S wine buyer Belinda Kleinig had to say [...]

How to succeed as a wine writer by writing boring wine articles

Most wine writing in wine magazines is boring and formulaic. What does that tell us? A logical conclusion to draw is that if you want to be a successful published wine writer then you need to learn how to write boring, formulaic wine articles, because this is clearly what the market is looking for.

So I’m [...]

In the Ahr Valley, Germany, home to some great Pinot Noir

I’ve spent the last day and a half in the Ahr Valley in northern Germany. It’s my first visit here. This is a small, compact region that’s a tight valley with vineyards on either side, many of which are incredibly steeply sloped. The predominant soil type is slate, and this is Pinot Noir country. I [...]

Two lovely whites: Vincent Carême Vouvray Sec 2013 and Ganevat Grusse en Billat 2012

I have just been in the Netherlands, presenting a talk and tasting to wine professionals here over two days, with the same 10 wines both days. I met some really great people and enjoyed talking about organic/biodynamic/sustainable/natural/authentic wine. It was also nice to look at the wines over two days. Interestingly, the wines seemed all [...]