Is elevated atmospheric CO2 to blame for rising alcohol levels in wine?

Lisa Perrotti-Brown of the Wine Advocate recently published an article that caused quite a stir on the Internets. Lisa begins by saying that that the rise in alcohol levels in many wines is inexplicable. It has left her scratching her head. She’s puzzled, as are many of the winemakers that she’s been speaking with. Baffled, [...]

Tasting the icons and Pizarras wines from Errazuriz with Francisco Baettig

Francisco Baettig

Yesterday I met with Errazuriz winemaker Francisco Baettig, tasting some new releases. He’s the man behind the ‘icon’ wines of Errazuriz owner Eduardo Chadwick, and also the new venture in coastal Aconcagua, Las Pizarras. In recent years, Francisco has been on a journey which has seen him change the style of the icon [...]

New releases from urban winery Ldn Cru, Gavin's last

Gavin Monery, winemaker, Ldn Cru

Yesterday afternoon I met with winemaker Gavin Monery, to taste through the new wines from urban winery Ldn Cru, plus the previous vintage. It was Gavin’s last tasting, but he was keen to show the wines because he’s very proud of them.

There have been changes at Roberson, the wine agency [...]

Quinta da Romaneira Vintage Port 2015

I’ve been enjoying this wine over the last few evenings. It’s a superb expression of a very fine year in the Douro, the 2015 from Quinta da Romaneira. I have no idea why this vintage wasn’t widely declared. Romaneira is a spectacular, well situated property in the Cima Corgo region of the Douro, and it [...]

Moët et Chandon Grand Vintage 2009 and Grand Vintage Rosé 2009

Tasted the latest vintage releases from Moët, the 2009s. This was a season that starred badly, with lots of rain. But this all cleared by mid-July, and the rest of the summer was hot and dry, resulting in a harvest of very ripe grapes. It was a particularly good Pinot Noir vintage, and this variety [...]

On wine prices: the've risen a lot, but this isn't all bad

The wine world is a lot more interesting now than when I first started drinking wine in earnest back in the mid-1990s.

At the same time, the prices for fine wines are much higher than when I started drinking, to the point that they are now out of reach for most people.

Case in point: the first [...]

English Sparkling Wine 2017: my new report

Today I launch my English Sparkling Wine Report 2017. There’s been a lot of interest in the progress of English sparkling wine over recent years, and I have been busy trying as many of them as possible. I thought that it would be useful to gather all my notes together in one place, and attempt [...]

Celebrating the Gourmet Traveller Wine Winemaker of the Year awards in Adelaide

David Bicknell receiving the Winemaker of the Year Award 2017

Twenty years ago, Clare Valley Riesling genius Jeffrey Grosset was the first recipient of the Gourmet Traveller Wine Winemaker of the Year award. That was back in 1998. And on Friday night at at glitzy gala dinner in the National Wine Centre in Adelaide, the [...]

Visiting Wirra Wirra, McLaren Vale

Wirra Wirra is one of those wineries that we sometimes take for granted. They’ve been there for (seemingly) ever, making good wines in reasonable quantities, but don’t often get the headlines. But the great thing about wineries like this is that they connect with lots of people, and you can find the wines pretty much [...]

D'Arenberg, with Chester and his Cube

On Wednesday I visited D’Arenberg, an important producer in Australia’s McLaren Vale region. I remember when I was first getting into wine in the mid-1990s and being seduced by the D’Arenberg reds, with their beautifully detailed back labels and distinctive red sash design. I remember buying and selling the famous Dead Arm Shiraz, which is [...]