Seresin Chardonnay Reserve 2013

Had this beauty from biodynamic Marlborough winery Seresin the other evening. It’s a really compelling Chardonnay. New Zealand’s top Chardonnays are underrated, and they can be superb.

Seresin Chardonnay Reserve 2013 Marlborough, New Zealand
13.5% alcohol. 20% new oak. This is beautiful. Lovely matchstick, mineral nose with some taut citrus and apple fruit. The palate shows complex [...]

Three Vermentinos

I’m quite a fan of the Vermentino grape variety, also known as Rolle in Provence. It makes white wines with character and freshness from warm climates. These wines are all available from online retailer Tannico, who list a staggering 51 examples of Italian Vermentino.

Guado Al Tasso Vermentino 2015 Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy
13% alcohol. Lively and juicy [...]

Grower Champagne: Egly-Ouriet Brut Tradition Grand Cru NV

Back in the day, when I was just getting into wine, the first ‘grower’ Champagne I encountered was Egly-Ouriet. This was in the mid-1990s, when grower Champagne wasn’t much of a thing, and the wines were stocked by Liz and Mike Berry of the fabulous La Vigneronne in South Kensington (which is now the equally [...]

Domaine Ganevat Les Grands Teppes Vieilles Vignes 2013

More Jura joy. There’s so much good stuff coming from this region, and it’s usually from producers taking a more natural approach. This was drunk last night looking out over the sea at Golden Bay, at the top of South Island, New Zealand. It was mesmerising.

Domaine Ganevat Les Grands Teppes Vieilles Vignes Chardonnay 2013 Côtes [...]

Loire adventure: visiting the remarkable François Saint-Lô

François Saint-Lô

The rain was easing as we arrived for an appointment with François Saint-Lô, but it was still a cold, damp day. Not ideal for tasting wine. There’s nothing fancy about his place, but it has a good feel about it. It’s a gem of a project: it seems like a wine-making commune, with [...]

Rui Falcao on Madeira, at MUST 2017

Rui Falcao’s presentation at MUST was on Madeira. He began by showing a picture of a bottle of Madeira from 1795, and revealed that most of his great old wine experiences have been with wines from this remarkable island. ‘The oldest wine I’ve had was from 1715,’ he says, which he thinks is the oldest [...]

Eating and drinking well in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Stillwell Beer Garden, Halifax

Just on my way out of Halifax, so I thought I’d report back on some of the eating and drinking options, most of which I visited more than once. It was a lot of fun.

Stillwell Bar

For beer: Stilwell. This is a fantastic craft beer bar, with good food, too. There [...]

Fine cool climate Aussie wines from Frankland Estate

Head 250 km east of the Margaret River wine region in Western Australia, and you’ll hit the remote Frankland River region. With the coast quite a distance south, this is a cool climate wine region. Frankland Estate was established here in 1988 on the Smith family sheep station, and has established quite a reputation for [...]

A night at Benjamin Bridge, Nova Scotia

The judging team from the National Wine Awards of Canada were hosted at Nova Scotian winery Benjamin Bridge last night. It was the best of maritime hospitality. Owner Gerry McConnell has sourced enormous quantities of the best lobster I’d ever tasted, which we devoured greedily, washed down with the fabulous Benjamin Bridge sparkling wines.

Gerry [...]

Loire adventure: Melaric, Saumur

It may have been May, but it felt like November as we arrived at Melaric in Saumur. It was cold, blustery and the rain beat down incessantly on the roof as we talked and tasted. This is the project of Mélanie and Aymeric Hilaire (above, in his cellar), two young vignerons whose fused names create [...]