Torre de Oña Martelo Reserva 2012 Rioja, Spain

This is a new wine from La Rioja Alta’s sister property in Rioja, Torre de Oña. They bought the estate in 1995 with a view to doing something a bit different: making single-estate wines, which has not been the model for the region. This wine is a single plot selection, and it’s mainly old vine [...]

An amazing meal at Houraiken, Nagoya, with Japanese wine

Hot on the heels of one of the most memorable meals of my life a few days ago in Tokyo, I had a very special experience last night, dining at the main restaurant of Houraiken in Nagoya (they have three branches). Houraiken is an old, traditional restaurant whose speciality is eel (unagi).

Here is a short [...]

New releases from Kutch: truly elegant Californian Pinot Noir

The new releases from Jamie Kutch are out. You can read more about him here: he’s making particularly elegant expressions of Pinot Noir from northern California, and also a lovely Chardonnay.

Kutch Chardonnay 2016 Sonoma Coast, California
12.5% alcohol. Beautiful stuff, combining sweet ripe pear and apple fruit with some lively grapefruit freshness, and also a subtly [...]

Sushi Nishimura, Tokyo, with Chablis and Assyrtiko to match

I had one of the most amazing meals of my life in Tokyo. I was lucky enough to dine at Sushi Nishimura with Kenichi Ohashi, Yamamoto Akihiko and Moto Ohoshi. This is a beautiful, small restaurant in Roppongi run by chef/owner Fumiteru Nishimura. We enjoyed a succession of amazing dishes, and compared the sushi-matching abilities [...]

Tasting some Japanese wines from the Hokkaido region

Today I got to taste some Japanese wines, as part of a tasting for Yamamoto Akihiko’s www.winereport.jp publication.

These wines are all from Hokkaido, a relatively new wine region in the far north of Japan that is now the most important in the country. Because of global warming it’s now possible to plant vinifera varieties here, [...]

Eben Sadie shows his wines and describes his philosophy (with video)

[Eben Sadie, in a suit, in the glam surroundings of the Lanesborough Hotel in London. Fortunately even these can't keep him down. He was his usual thoughtful, opinionated self. He really cares, and he understands wine deeply. But he's also fun.]

It was great to catch up with Eben Sadie, Swartland pioneer and one of South [...]

Highlights from Ribera del Duero

I popped into the Ribera del Duero tasting yesterday at Glaziers hall, and tried some wines. These were my highlights.

Goyo Garcia Viadero Finca Valdeolmos 2012 Ribera del Duero, Spain
From a dry-farmed 1.5 hectare plot, with red sandstone over limestone soils, 90% Tempranillo and 10% Albillo. 42 months in oak. Open aromatic nose with sweet raspberries [...]

Video: in Elgin for the Chardonnay Colloquium

Here’s a film from my recent visit to South Africa’s Egin wine region for the Chardonnay Colloquium:

Lunch at the Short Market Club, Cape Town

Had a brilliant lunch experience today in Cape Town, at the Short Market Club. It’s a newish restaurant that’s an offspring of two of Cape Town’s most celebrated eateries, the Test Kitchen and the Pot Luck Club. So how did this, the latest venture from Luke Dale-Roberts, stack up? It’s a project he has handed off [...]

Elgin Chardonnay Colloquium: Elgin versus the rest of the world, a blind tasting

This was very interesting: as part of the Elgin Chardonnay Colloquium, we did a blind tasting with 21 different wines, pitching Elgin’s finest against some international benchmarks. Michael Fridjhon and I tasted blind, too, and gave our comments on each wine before revealing their identity. These are my notes and scores as written blind, and [...]