The fab 2015s and 2016s from Alheit, one of South Africa's star producers

Chris Alheit and Franco Lourens

Chris and Suzaan Alheit’s story is one of discovering great vineyards, and then making wine from them, very simply (see my article from a visit three years ago, when they were just starting out). ‘I’ve spent innumerable hours looking on google earth and driving around, looking for the best sites,’ [...]

Alexandre Jouveaux Combarnier (2010) NV Vin de France

This is quite a wine. It’s seven years old, made in a very natural way, and it’s still incredibly reductive, with a strong matchstick/mineral character. There are some subtle oxidative notes, too, but overall the wine is very fresh. This is a wine that clearly demonstrates that reduction is not simply the opposite of oxidation, [...]

Beginning two weeks judging at the International Wine Challenge

I’m on my way to day 2 of the second tranche of the International Wine Challenge judging at the Oval. For two weeks we will be sifting through an unspecified number of wines (the number isn’t publicized because otherwise the two major competitions get sucked into a ratings war, but it’s in the range of [...]

Grower Champagne Focus: Chartogne-Taillet Cuvée Sainte Anne

This is really good. And it’s just £24 at The Wine Society. Stunning value for money.

Champagne Chartogne-Taillet Cuvée Sainte Anne NV France
12% alcohol. 60% 2014 and 40% 2013, disgorged in December 2016. Equal parts Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Merfy in the Montagne de Reims, with sandy clay soils over chalk. All the wine comes [...]

Tasting some interesting South African Chenin, with a video

Tasted some nice Chenins lately. It’s such an interesting and adaptable grape variety.

Raats Granite Block Chenin Blanc 2015 Coastal Region, South Africa
Very fruity mandarin and lime notes with some pear richness. Hints of herbs with a nice bright mineral edge to the fruit. Lovely precision to this bright wine with plenty of flavour but a [...]

Lovely wines at Noble Rot

Was in Noble Rot on Friday night with Mark and Dan. It ended up becoming quite a big evening and we had some nice wines. How did we manage in London before Noble Rot came along?

Three Champagnes. Jacques Lassaigne Nature Blanc de Blancs 2007 was fine, mineral and detailed with a citrus core. I really [...]

Little Farm Pied de Cuve Chardonnay 2015 Similkameen Valley, BC, Canada

I’ve been impressed by the wines from Rhys Pender and Alison Dredger’s Little Farm winery in the Similkameen Valley. This is a valley next door to the Okanagan in Canada’s BC,  and their 4 acre organic vineyard is in in Cawston. I reckon this is their best yet. It’s the first release of this naturally [...]

The new non-vintage Classic Cuvée from Nyetimber

Popped into Waitrose yesterday and picked up a bottle of this: the new non-vintage Classic Cuvée from England’s most famous sparkling wine producer, Nyetimber (it’s currently on offer at £25, which makes it a very good buy).

They’ve made the very wise move to shift from a vintage model for their main production wine to a [...]

The world's flintiest vineyard?

I have seen a lot of vineyards in my relatively short career, but this one was one of the most remarkable. Flint on flint.

Sébastien Redde

Back in 2009, Domaine Michel Redde (Thierry and his two sons Sébastien and Romain), decided that they wanted to produce a remarkable vineyard. In their region, Pouilly-Fumé, silex (flint) is [...]

Who decides the news agenda? The Internet?

A small story becomes a big story because of the Internet. The recent media frenzy over a passenger being removed from an overbooked United flight has been interesting to watch.

Back in the day, news rooms decided on the merits of a story. The editor edited. Now, the Internet can decide that a story is news [...]