In Beaujolais: Chaize, Lapierre and Lapalu

Day one in Beaujolais began at Château de la Chaize in Brouilly, the largest and most diverse of the crus. It’s a proper Château, too. Grand and ornate with beautiful gardens, and a separate, exceptionally long winery. This has to be one of the longest wineries I have ever seen, and I have seen a […]

Some highlights from RAW Fair (1)

Held at the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane in London’s East End, RAW Fair was great fun. Over 200 wineries exhibiting, representing a fair spectrum of natural/authentic/real/artisan wine (or however you want to describe it. There was a good energy about the place, and as long as you are happy with knowing that you […]

Suilven Chardonnay 2015 Adelaide Hills

This is the latest release from Thistledown, a collaboration between Giles Cooke, Fergal Tynan and Peter Leske, based in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia. Suilven is a beautifully packaged, sophisticated Chardonnay with potential for development, and this is its debut vintage.

Thistledown Suilven Chardonnay 2015 Adelaide Hills, Australia
13% alcohol. Very fine and expressive with nice […]

Money and wine

Money lies at the roots of our society. It is a structural entity – a skeleton around which much of what happens is built. It is also symbolic. Of itself it has trivial value: the notes and coins in your pocket are only worth something because society has agreed that they should be. But this […]

Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2002

I do like Comtes. It’s invariably a beautiful wine, and it ages well. I’ve written up a vertical of these wines before, and recently tried the current vintage, 2006. This 2002 is from a ripe, seductive year, and it’s shaping up very well. This is drinking very well now, but will probably still develop a […]

Some treats at 67 Pall Mall: Pignan, Montebello, Villard, Vazart Coquart

Had a lovely evening last night with a small group at 67 Pall Mall, the wine-friendly club that opened last year. It was my first time at 67 Pall Mall, and they seem to get most things right: the space is beautiful, the wine list excellent, the food spot on and the Zalto glassware just […]

Black Elephant Vintners Semillon 2015 Franschhoek

This is an important wine, because of the vineyard that it is made from (pictured above). It’s a very old (1905) Semillon vineyard in Franschhoek owned by Basil Landau. Basil makes a wine from these vines, which are now over 100 years ol , called Landau du Val, but he is also selling some of […]

New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc Seminar: classic versus alternative styles

Yesterday I took part in a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc seminar at New Zealand House in London. The aim of the seminar was to compare classic styled Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc with newer alternative styles, such as those that are barrel fermented, or fermented using wild yeasts.

My job was to make the case for the classic […]

Raising the bar behind us

There’s a human tendency which many of us fall prey to. It’s to do with how we got to where we are today. Putting it metaphorically, we got here by jumping over a bar (I’m thinking the high jump bar here, not the booze-dispensing type). Then we progress, and jump over the next bar, as […]

O-Port-Unidade 2013 Vintage Port

This is a great project – one that I mentioned last year when I tried a cask sample with lunch. It’s a charity Port project to which 20 of the leading Port producers from the Douro each contributed around a ton of grapes. These were fermented together in a lagar at the Niepoort winery, and […]