The Hermit Ram Pinot Noir Whole Bunch 2017 North Canterbury, New Zealand

I’ve talked about the wines of Theo Coles here before on this blog. His brand is The Hermit Ram (although he also works on other projects), and the other night at Scotch we had this: the latest release of his Pinot Noir. I see that I scored the 2016 the same, but this 2017 may […]

Air New Zealand lounge wine round up

I’m in the lounge at Auckland airport heading to Hong Kong and then Thailand. Flight delayed by a few hours, so time to try all the lounge wines. Airlines don’t have much money to spend on lounge wines because passengers chug a lot of wine while they are waiting, so it’s always interesting to see […]

Vincent Carême Vouvray Sec 2015

I visited Vincent Carême a year ago, and loved his wines, as well as Vouvray, which makes some of the most compelling Chenin Blancs you could hope for (as well as some bad ones, alas). This is the sort of wine I like: it’s not easy, but instead it is multifaceted, taking its time to […]

An evening of cocktails and fine dining at Arbour with Elemental Distillers

Ben Leggett, spirits guru

I’m used to going to dinners that match posh food with snazzy wines. But on Saturday night it was time for something different. Arbour restaurant, the top fine dining destination in the Marlborough region, hosted Ben Leggett of Elemental Distillers for an evening of cocktail and food matching. Ben already sells […]

Video: Pinhão station and its famous tiles

Ever since I first arrived at Pinhão station in Portugal’s Douro Valley, I’ve been amazed by its beautiful blue tiles (azulejos). Overall, there are 3024 of these hand-painted tiles, arranged in 24 panels depicting wine production in the Douro as it would have been a century ago.

The station dates back to 1880, but the tiles […]

Grower Champagne: Larmandier-Bernier Latitude Blanc de Blancs

Larmandier-Bernier is one of the leading lights of grower Champagne. The domaine, which consists of 15 hectares of vines in the Côtes des Blancs, is farmed by Sophie and Pierre Larmandier, who took over in 1988. In 1992 they began farming organically, and in 1999 they started working with biodynamics. The old vines (average age […]

Albariño series (3) Terras Gauda O Rosal 2017 Rías Baixas, Spain

Technically, I shouldn’t be including this wine in my series because it’s a blend, in this case of 70% Albariño, 20% Caiño and 10% Loureiro. Stainless steel fermented with vineyard yeasts carrying out the fermentation, this is a slightly richer style (O Rosal is a warmer subregion in Rias Baixas running along the border with […]

Some red wine highlights from Bibendum

Following my round-up of white wine highlights from the recent Bibendum (major UK agent/wholesaler) tasting, here are some nice reds from their range. A few real gems here.

Gal Tibor Titi Egri Bikaver 2016 Eger, Hungary, Eger
A blend of Kékfrankos, Kadarta and Syrah. Beautifully packaged. Fresh, stony cherry and plum fruit nose with a damson twist. The palate […]

The importance of the stuff around wine, with reference to West Ham United

It’s not just about a liquid in a bottle. The stuff around it matters more than we realise.

The BBC recently put together a short film about the effect on fans of moving a football (soccer) team from an old, traditional stadium to a new one. The club in question is West Ham United, and two […]

Some white wine highlights from Bibendum

These were some of the white wine highlights from a recent portfolio tasting with major UK agency business Bibendum.

Litmus Element 20 2013 Surrey, England
This is lovely: really expressive with a subtly nutty edge to the grapefruit and pear fruit, together with some citrus brightness. Complex and beguiling with a subtle hint of green and refined fruity […]