Domaine Leflaive's switch to DIAM

Celebrated Burgundy producer Domaine Leflaive have switched away from natural cork to DIAM for all their wines, beginning with the soon-to-be released 2014 vintage.

I was alterted to this news by a tweet from Neal Martin, and I spoke on the phone this morning with Adam Brett-Smith of exclusive UK agents Corney & Barrow, who confirmed [...]

Canada versus New Zealand: two top Pinot Noirs from 2011 compared, and a lesson learned

Three nights ago I opened this pair of Pinots, both from the 2011 vintage. They’re wines that I’d cellared. The first is the Te Muna Road Pinot from Craggy Range, which I liked enough on first tasting to buy a six pack. I think it’s good to put your money where your mouth is: if [...]

Terroir: the rumours of its death have been greatly exaggerated

There’s a very interesting article on Jancis Robinson.com today, in which she reports on a recent Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW) seminar on mineralogy. It deals with some very interesting issues. In her piece, she reports on Maltman’s talk, but I think she jumps to too-hasty a conclusion about its implications.

As geologist Alex Maltman [...]

Gamay focus 22: Château de Durette Morgon ‘Hommage’ 2014 Beaujolais

The Belgian Beaujolais? This wine is from Château Durette, based in Régnié-Durette. In 2006 this was bought by Belgian Jean Joly. He got together some friends from Liège who purchased parcels of vines, with a view to making the wines at Durette, and the project is now quite sizeable, drawing on 30 hectares of vines. [...]

The remarkable Deconstructed wines of Richard Kershaw, Elgin, South Africa

Richard Kershaw is a British ex-pat and MW who has been making his own wines out of Elgin for a few years now. Previously he was winemaker at Mulderbosch. Richard has received lots of critical acclaim for his Chardonnays, and has been pivotal in leading the current Elgin Chardonnay crusade: his new releases represent a [...]

Elgin Ridge, a biodynamic pioneer in South Africa's Elgin region

Elgin Ridge winery from the air

Brian and Marion Smith are biodynamic pioneers in the Elgin Valley, with their Elgin Ridge wine estate. I visited them for a look around the vineyards with vineyard manager Taurai Matunbwa, and then a tasting with winemaker Kosie van de Merwe. I really like what’s going on here, and [...]

Inside the Cité du Vin, Bordeaux

The Cité du Vin is a major new tourist attraction in Bordeaux. I visited and spent a couple of hours looking around.

Here’s a short film of the visit:

It’s like a museum, but it’s very modern and creative, making good use of technology to create varied, creative, interactive displays.

You navigate with the aid of an iPhone-like [...]

Tapas crawling in Logroño, Rioja

I’m in Rioja, on a short trip with Vintae, a dynamic wine company looking to make authentic wines across several Spanish wine regions. They’re working with organics, marginal vineyards, forgotten vineyards and have a particular focus on Grenache. We’re staying in Logroño, so on the first night it was pretty much obligatory to go tapas [...]

Viña Tondonia Reserva 2004

This is a lovely wine. Lopez de Heredia is an ultratradtional winery in Rioja, with no concessions made to modernity. I really like their wines, which show lovely complexity, made in quite an oxidative style. This Reserva 2004 is still a baby, but shows brilliant potential. If you can find any of the whites, they [...]

The stunning Pichon Baron 2012

Bordeaux is on my mind at the moment. So I dug this beauty out and shared it. It’s too young, for sure, but what a wine! I was so impressed. This is why we come to Bordeaux: no trace of over-ripeness here, but great concentration and harmony.

Château Pichon Baron, Pauillac 2012 Bordeaux, France
This is sensational. [...]