Masi Toar 2011 Valpolicella

This high-end Valpolicella, which until recently was labelled as IGT Veronese,  contains the well known Veneto varieties of Corvina and Rondinella together with rare, Masi-rediscovered variety Oseleta. Toar refers to the volcanic soils of the vineyards used to make this wine – from what I can gather it’s the local name for volcanic outcrops found here. […]

Gamay focus 1, RPM, a serious Gamay from California

Gamay is happening. Officially. Here’s a really interesting one from California. RPM is a collaboration between Nathan Roberts and Duncan Arnot Meyers of Arnot-Roberts, and Raj Parr of Sandhi Wines/Domaine de la Cote. The concept is to make Gamay from granitic soils in the sierra foothils. Two vineyards are involved, both in El Dorado County. There’s […]

Video: planting an Arinto vineyard in Vinho Verde, Portugal

A brief film showing an Arinto vineyard being planted in Vinho Verde, Portugal. It’s from Casal de Ventozela, which is one of the properties I visited in April when I was looking at the concept of single-variety Vinho Verde. This is old school vineyard planting: effective, but time consuming. You can get laser-guided machines to […]

How to have a cool, happening palate

Scared of being labelled as an old-timer has-been with yesterday’s palate? Want to stay relevant in the modern world of wine? Want to be able to hang with the cool kids?

You have come to the right place. I’m here to help.

By following my essential guide to cool wine, you will be able to recalibrate your […]

The beginning of a new era: the 2013s from Reichstrat von Buhl

I was really impressed by these 2013s from one of the leading Pflaz wineries, Reichstrat von Buhl. This large, important winery has recently made a fresh new start, and this was the first vintage of the new regime. Former Bollinger chef du cave Matthieu Kauffmann is now in charge of winemaking. He arrived in 2013, […]

More great rosé, this time a pair from Château d'Esclans

Following on from my glowing review of the Gassier 946 rosé, here are a couple more Provence examples worthy of serious attention. They are from super-ambitious Château d’Esclans, who make the world’s most expensive rosé, and probably the second most expensive, too. These new releases from them are quite lovely. Is it time to start […]

The question people always want to ask: how do you make a living?

I realize that I am fortunate to be doing the job I do. It’s hugely interesting and fun. But there’s one question that people I meet always want to ask me: how is it that you earn a living?

First, let me say that it is a living. I don’t have a private income (that would […]

Equipo Navazos Fino En Rama

Regular readers will know that I have been quite a fan of Fino En Rama, ever since Gonzalez Byass reintroduced the concept a few years ago. Here’s the en rama 2015 edition from one of the most celebrated of all sherry producers, Equipo Navazos. It’s available in the UK from their agent, Alliance Wine.

Equipo Navazos Fino […]

Vinteloper Odeon Pinot Noir 2012 Adelaide Hills

Dave Bowley, the Vinteloper, came round to dinner. And he bought this: one of the best Australian Pinot Noirs that I have tasted. It’s from a single Vineyard in Lenswood, Adelaide Hills that was planted in 1986. The slope faces east; the clone is  D5V12; the elevation is 550m.

Winemaking: pigeage by hand & foot, wild […]

Gassier 946: an amazing fine rosé

Rosé is a very exciting category at the moment, and Provence is the world’s premier region for this increasingly popular wine style. Sometimes, though, it is hard to really get excited about rosé. It’s a style that’s easy to enjoy, for sure, especially in the right situation. But it doesn’t get wine geeks buzzing. I […]