Dinner with Camille Lapierre and natural Beaujolais

On Monday evening I caught up with Camille Lapierre, of domaine Marcel Lapierre, which she runs with her brother Mathieu.

The domaine was founded by their grandfather, who was one of the first to bottle in the area. It was their father Marcel, who died in 2010, who was largely responsible for the reputation Lapierre enjoys […]

The new releases from Testalonga, one of South Africa's most interesting wineries

Craig Hawkins

Caught up with Craig Hawkins to try the new releases from Testalonga, one of South Africa’s most interesting and bravest wineries. Craig and Carla left the safety of being based at Lammershoek (which was owned by her parents) and have moved to a remote but beautiful farm on the very edge of the […]

At the Real Wine Fair

Yesterday and today (Monday), it’s the Real Wine Fair. This is one of two large natural wine fairs that takes place annually in London, and it’s completely, utterly fabulous. Around 150 winegrowers from around the world are gathered to pour their wines, and there’s also lots of food, and a seminar program. Sunday was the […]

The Marques de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, an important wine for Chile

This is an important wine for Chile. Marcelo Papa, chief winemaker with Concha y Toro, has been on a journey away from excessive ripeness. He has been picking as much as a month earlier for the Marques de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon. While his experiments began in 2010, it’s only with this 2014 vintage that […]

The Wine Show: at last, wine on mainstream TV in the UK, but is it any good?

So, wine is on mainstream TV. A new series of 13 one-hour episodes has just started airing on prime time Sunday evening ITV4, and will be repeated the following weekend at an earlier slot on ITV. It’s called The Wine Show, and this evening on catch up I watched the first episode. The wine trade […]

Two Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos: Billaud Simon and Louis Michel

Over the last couple of years I have grown to love Chablis. Its appeal is a little less obvious than many other expressions of Chardonnay, but the best wines are definitely ones that repay cellaring. Indeed, one way to waste money is to drink Grand Cru Chablis young. What I love in good Chablis is […]

Judging at the International Wine Challenge, day 1

Yesterday was the first day’s judging at the International Wine Challenge (IWC). Taking place at the Oval Cricket Ground, which has been an excellent home to the challenge for the last few years, it’s a major operation with 20 tables of five judges working hard all day. This first week involves four days of sifting […]

On belonging

For two weeks each year, around April, I’m reminded what it is like to go to work. Like normal people do. As in have a job. It’s the International Wine Challenge (IWC), and as a panel chair I’m there every day. I commute by train to Vauxhall station, and then wander down to the Oval […]

Neudorf Rosie's Block Chardonnay 2015, with video

This is the latest release from Nelson winery Neudorf, and it’s a new name for an old wine. Rosie’s Block is named after Judy and Tim Finn’s daughter Rosie, and used to be known simply as Neudorf Chardonnay. They also make a more expensive Moutere Chardonnay.

The wine comes from a block overlooking the home vineyard […]

A lovely wine lunch at La Colombe, Cape Town, with Coche, Raveneau, Jamet and Montrose

It was great to catch up with Keith Prothero, Ryan Mostert and Sam Suddons on Wednesday for lunch at one of Cape Town’s most celebrated restuarants, La Colombe. It was my first time there, and I was impressed. It’s in a beautiful setting high up in the Constantia valley, located in the grounds of the […]