The wines of Te Whare Ra, Marlborough, New Zealand

Anna and Jason Flowery, Te Whare Ra

Last week, I popped into Te Whare Ra to taste the new releases. This is one of the most interesting producers in Marlborough. When the vineyard was originally planted by Joyce and Allen Hogan in 1979, it was pretty early days for the region, and this was the […]

Gamay 36, Mount Edward Muirkirk Vineyard Gamay 2017

Had this last night at Scotch Bar in Blenheim. It’s a new wine from Mount Edward, and it’s a Gamay with no additions at all, including sulphites. And it’s utterly delicious and brilliant. Good work Duncan Forsyth and team!

Mount Edward Muirkirk Vineyard Gamay 2017 Central Otago, New Zealand
13.5% alcohol. No added sulfites. Concentrated, fresh and […]

A mixed case of reds from The Wine Society

Following hot on the heels from my selection of 12 top whites from The Wine Society tasting, here are notes on 12 top reds. There’s some great drinking here: these are all wines that I would buy.

Aldinger Trollinger Fellbacher Alte Reben 2015 Neckar Valley, Germany
12.5% alcohol. Light red in colour. Pretty, supple and expressive with […]

Walking the Abel Tasman

This weekend Nat and I headed off to spend a couple of days walking the Abel Tasman Track, a stunning route at the top of the South Island. To do the 60 km path properly takes three to four days, and you carry all your stuff with you, staying on camp sites or in huts. […]

A mixed case of whites from The Wine Society

Just been looking through my notes from the recent tasting put on by The Wine Society, which is one of the very best places to buy wine in the UK. Here’s my choice of 12 whites. I’ll select some reds, too, later in the week.

Santa Venere Vescovado Guardavalle Bianco 2016 Calabria, Italy
13% alcohol. This intriguing […]

AA Badenhorst Dassiekop Steen, a thrilling South African Chenin

I’ve spoken of my love of Adi Badenhorst’s Dassiekop before: it’s one of my favourite Chenins. I brought a bottle to New Zealand and shared it with friends. It was lovely.

AA Badenhorst Dassiekop Steen 2015 Swartland, South Africa
This is thrilling. Powerful and spicy with citrus and pear and white peach. Lovely lemony brightness under the […]

In New Zealand (for a very long time)

The Awatere Valley, Marlborough

For the last week I have been in New Zealand. It’s my fourth trip here this year, and it will also be my longest ever: I’m staying here until the beginning of February.

Yes, that means I will have my first ever warm Christmas! I’ve never spent Christmas outside the UK before. […]

Moss Wood Amy’s 2015 Margaret River, Australia

2015 was a very successful vintage in Margaret River, by all accounts, and this Bordeaux-style blend from Moss Wood is quite beautiful. It’s also relatively inexpensive for the quality. While you can drink it now, it should age really well.

Moss Wood Amy’s 2015 Margaret River, Australia
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot […]

My birthday bash with lovely wines and even lovelier people

Me, David Shaw, Emily Harman, Natalie Christensen, Greg Sherwood

I had a big birthday recently. I’m not going to bore you with some intense post on time, ageing and pseudo-profound thoughts on how age brings more than it takes away, and that we are just playing a role, and we pass the baton on – […]

The wines of Ricci Curbastro, Franciacorta, Italy

Riccardo Ricci Curbastro

As a fan of sparkling wines, I was pleased to get the chance to meet Riccardo Ricci Curbastro and taste through his wines, at a masterclass hosted by Vini Italiani in South Kensington.

The Ricci Curbastro family have been growing grapes in Franciacorta since the 14th century, but sparkling Franciacorta as we now […]