Quinta do Noval Vintage Port 2015

Quinta do Noval have lately become known for what the English wine trade describe quaintly as ‘eccentric’ declarations. They released a vintage Port in 2013, for example. Now they’ve released 2015. It’s not a surprise, because 2015 was a really good vintage, and I’m surprised more people haven’t declared it. Of course, these days there’s [...]

Sidecar Tinto NV Portugal: a bi-regional, amphora-aged beauty

This is a lovely wine. It’s a collaboration between Susana Esteban (who works in the Alentejo), and Filipa Pato and William Wouters (who work in Bairrada). Half of the wine comes from Portalegre in the Alentejo, and half is Baga from Bairrada. It’s made in amphora.

Susana created the Sidecar brand with a view to working [...]

Mr Glover Wilde Vineyards Agent Field Blend 2016

I tried this with its creator, Ben Glover (previously of Accolade, now focusing on family business Zephyr and other projects), in Scotch Bar in Blenheim a few weeks ago. I’d just been speaking at a biodynamic and organic conference and I’d urged New Zealand producers to take a few more risks and make the odd [...]

Two orange wines from Spain

Last night I drank two orange wines from Spain. Both different in style, but both very good. The first, a distinctive Albillo, was on the list at the brill Morito. The second was a Macabeu in a distinctive ceramic bottle, which was purchased at Furanxo, a lovely Spanish deli and bar in Dalston.

Alfredo Maestro Lovamor Albillo [...]

Grower Champagne: Vouette & Sorbée Brut Nature Fidèle NV

Champagne Vouette et Sorbée is one of the star growers in the Aube, in the south of the Champagne region. Bernard Gautherot was persuaded to begin making his own wines by Selosse back in 2001, and the first release was in 2004. Based in Buxières-sur-Arce, he has 5.5 hectares in the Côte des Bar, which [...]

Video: in the spectacular Mosel region with Ernie Loosen

The Mosel is one of the most remarkable wine regions of all. Here, I’m in the vineyards with Ernie Loosen, visiting the Erdener Prälat and Urziger Würzgarten, before heading back to the winery for a tasting. The steep slopes are quite terrifying.

A couple of lovely Kiwi Pinots: Ma Maison and Yealands

Continuing my journey into the wonders of Kiwi Pinot, here are two lovely bottles recently consumed. The first was new to me. The second, Yealands, wasn’t a surprise: I always like these wines, and they are underpriced.

Ma Maison Cuvée Two Richards Pinot Noir 2014 Martinborough, New Zealand
14.5% alcohol. A blend of equal parts Abel, 667 [...]

Gamay 32, François Rousset-Martin J'en Suis Gaga 2015

I had this wine on Wednesday night at the fab Westerns Laundry. It’s a Gamay from the Jura, but is labelled as Vin de France. François Rousset-Martin grew up in Burgundy where his father was a medical microbiologist at the Hospices de Beaune. But the family had some vines in the Jura: 12 hectares in [...]

Tasting six inexpensive Pinot Noirs on camera, and with tasting notes

Pinot Noir is one of my very favourite grape varieties. It’s a tricky grape, though, and finding good affordable Pinot can be a challenge. So I tried six inexpensive Pinot Noirs on camera, and gave my robust, honest opinions of them.

Mr Noir Pinot Noir 2016 South Australia
14% alcohol
£11.99 Virgin Wines
Very fresh and supple with a [...]

One of the weaknesses of the growing degree day concept, and similar climatic indices

I remember back in my old job, when we had a scientific conference on the nature of intelligence. It’s a topic you approach with caution. Nature versus nurture? Genetics versus environment? Which wins?

One of the concepts that got me was that we assume that two kids living side by side would be exposed to a [...]