On raw tasting ability: is there a Messi of wine tasting?

As a Manchester City fan, it was a little uncomfortable watching last night’s game against Barcelona. The Catalans were much the better team, and had it not been for the heroics of Joe Hart, the City goalkeeper, the scoreline could have been a lot worse than the 1-0 it ended up as. Lionel Messi, one […]

Sang des Cailloux Vacqueyras Cuvée Azalaïs 2012, a brilliant Southern Rhône red

This was another Prowein discovery. It’s from biodynamic Vacqueras producer Le Sang des Cailloux. This is the domaine’s traditional cuvee and it alternates over a three-year cycle with the names of each of the daughters of proprietor Serge Férigoule: Floureto, Doucinello and Azalaïs. I was so impressed I have just bought some: it has an almost Burgundian […]

Liebkind, a truly great Blaufränkisch

Last year Robert Parker had a little rant about things he doesn’t like in the wine world. It was quite funny, but also – in my opinion – misguided. In it he dismissed Blaufränkisch (including with it Savagnin and Trousseau and a host of other varieties) as being ‘godforsaken’. Yes, really!  He may have been reviewing […]

Great New Zealand Pinot Noir, from Yealands and Greystone

Nik Mavromatis of Greystone

I’m at Prowein. It’s a huge trade fair, with 50 000 attendees from around the world. The scale of this fair is daunting. It is the first time I’ve attended:I’d been scared off by its size in the past. Once you get past the frustrations of having 50 000 people swelling […]

Riecene Chianti Classico and IGT Toscana

It’s fair to say that I am not the biggest Sangiovese fan out there. But when I come across great wines, I don’t mind what they are made from or where they come from. This pair from Riecine are really lovely.

Riecine Chianti Classico 2012 Tuscany, Italy
13.5% alcohol. Complex and aromatic with elegant red cherries, plums, […]

Two German Pinot Noirs

Seeing that I am off to Germany for a few days I thought I’d write up two German Pinot Noirs that I opened last night. I really like German Pinot Noir, mainly because I love Pinot Noir generally, and Germany makes some very good ones. But they vary a lot. In my experience, most are […]

Meeting Mark Driver of Rathfinny, talking PDOs

Mark Driver’s Rathfinny Estate has become one of the most talked about English wineries, even though they haven’t released any wine. I caught up with him (he’s pictured above) to hear a bit of his story, and discuss the move towards a PDO (protected designation of origin) for Sussex wine, which has been in the […]

A lovely Greek white, Semeli Mantinia Nassiakos 2013

I really liked this Greek white, which is a varietal Moschofilero, from grapes grown at 650 m altitude, made by Semeli winery in the Mantinia region. It has personality and character, but it’s also really well made.

Semeli  Nassiakos 2013 Mantinia, Greece
12.5% alcohol. Really stylish, exotic dry white with fresh melon and pear fruit nose. Lovely […]

Eugenio Collavini Refosco 'Pucino' 2013 Friuli Colli Orientali, Italy

This is interesting. And we like ‘interesting’ here. [And I’m not using ‘interesting’ in the typical British sense, which is when a grower shows you a bad wine you politely say ‘interesting’ when really you mean it’s a bit crap but you are too polite to say it.] It’s a Friulian red made from a […]

Château Plaisance ‘Alabets’ 2010 Fronton, France

Marc Pénavaye’s Château Plaisance consists of 30 hectares of vines in the Fronton appellation, near Toulouse in southwest France. This is a varietal Negrette, which is such an interesting red grape variety, unique to the region and with records indicating it has been grown here since the sixth century. Marc started farming organically in 2006 […]