Grower Champagne: Marie Noelle Ledru Grand Cru 2009

I found this on the list at La Maison du Columbier in Beaune the other night. It was beautiful. This place has the most amazing wine list: it’s so good it hurts that you can only share a couple of bottles between two of you.

Champagne Marie Noelle Ledru Grand Cru 2009 France
Intense and bold with [...]

Château Pichon Baron 2013

Recently I was lucky to be able to taste all the Pichon Barons from the current era, 2001 until 2014. They were lovely wines, but one was missing: the 2013. This is widely regarded to be the weakest Bordeaux vintage of recent years (perhaps alongside the 2007), but I had a bottle lurking, so I [...]

Champagne Dom Pérignon 2009

This, the latest release of Champagne Dom Pérignon, was released out of sequence, before the 2008. It’s because of the ripeness of the year, which has produced a wine that drinks superbly young, but which has plenty of finesse and manages that ripeness superbly.

Champagne Dom Pérignon 2009 France
Amazing finesse and purity here. Fine aromatics of [...]

A gem from Yarra Yering

Yarra Yering, with its distinctive labels, is one of my favourite Australian wineries. I drank this gem last night: probably well before its time, but it was lovely. [Read more about Yarra Yering here.]

Yarra Yering Dry Red Wine No 2 2012 Yarra Valley, Australia
This is the Shiraz-based wine. Fresh, sweetly fruited and textural with a [...]

Pio X 1903 from Gonzalez Byass: an ancient Moscatel

There’s something special about very old wines. While I was tasting through the Las Palmas sherries with Martin Skelton last week, I got a chance to try this remarkable wine, and alongside it as a comparison, the same wine that had been aged in bottle since 1919.

The Pio X hails from a single barrel of [...]

Gamay 35, Château de Grandmont Beaujolais Villages Nouveau 2017 France

So, it’s Beaujolais Nouveau day. For quite a while, those of us who love Gamay and Beaujolais were a bit embarrassed by this seemingly outdated celebration. We cringed when we saw a region market itself through its worst wines. But as the reputation of Beaujolais has been rebuilt, now people are taking this day – [...]

Some thoughts on Minimum Unit Pricing of booze

Big news in the drinks trade yesterday, although this is less relevant to readers of this blog: Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) of booze has been ruled legal, and Scotland are going to roll it out.

It’s a big deal, because now this is legal (it was claimed by opponents that it broke EU competition law), it [...]

Back at the IWC for some more wine judging

It’s Tranche 1 of the 2018 International Wine Challenge this week. [In case you are wondering why it’s 2018, not 2017, a couple of years ago an extra week’s judging was included in November in order to (1) take some of the pressure off the two-weeks’ judging process in April and (2) suit better the [...]

Discovering new old varieties in southwest France with Plaimont

If a highly paid marketing consultant had come to Plaimont a decade ago, they might have given the following advice: give up on these difficult-to-pronounce, unusual grape varieties with their distinctive local flavours. Instead, plant the grape varieties that people know and love – Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. Make fruity, approachable wines. [...]

Rediscovering a love for Barolo

Two great recent experiences with Barolo, which I’ve struggled to love a lot in the past. I love the idea of Barolo, but I’ve often found the wines to be a bit too difficult, with firm drying tannins and no pleasure. Yet occasionally I have had the most sublime experience with this region. It’s very [...]