34 hours in New York, eating and drinking well, part 2

Saturday morning comes to soon. We’re up early to meet with Abe Schoener, who’s taking us to Brooklyn to visit an urban winery that he’s involved with: Red Hook. He meets us outside our hotel in Chinatown and in the taxi he explains about the project.

The tasting bar at Red Hook winery

The focus is […]

34 hours in New York, eating and drinking well, part 1

Olmsted, Brooklyn

After exploring the Finger Lakes and Long Island wine regions, Christina Rasmussen and I had just a short time in the city of New York before heading back to the UK. I hadn’t been to New York since 1998, and this was Christina’s first visit. We arrived in New York at 7 pm […]

Some natural wines with the Grape Witches

A few weeks ago I was invited to host a tasting of natural/authentic wine in Toronto with Nicole and Krysta, the Grape Witches. It was for local somms and trade and was a sell out. The wines were lovely: here are my notes.

Guiberteau Les Moulins Saumur 2016 Loire, France
13% alcohol. Tight and complex with lively […]

Golden Bay: Pupu springs, the source of the Riwaka and the Wainui Falls

I just spent a weekend in Golden Bay, which is part of the Abel Tasman region at the top of New Zealand’s South Island. Here’s a short film of the highlights:

 

It’s a beautiful part of the country, and at this time of year it’s relatively uncrowded. There were three elements that really stood out.

The first […]

Gamay 41, Jean Foillard Morgon 2015

I have been nervous about the 2015s from Beaujolais. At the time this was hailed as an amazing vintage, but in retrospect it was just a bit too ‘good’: too ripe and with many of the wines tasting a bit heavy and atypical, and a lot of them showing brett.

This was a nice surprise. The […]

Latest releases from Centre Loire star Pascal Jolivet: Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé

Domaine Pascal Jolivet is one of the most significant producers in the centre Loire, making some impressive wines from the Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé appellations.

As a family, the Jolivets entered the wine business in the 1920s, working as winemakers and owning a wine merchant. In 1982, they started a distribution business, and young Pascal Jolivet, then […]

A pruning masterclass: cane-pruning Sauvignon in Marlborough

The Awatere: time to prune

This morning Mike Eaton kindly took me out to a vineyard he’s working with in the Awatere Valley (Marlborough, New Zealand) to give a quick pruning masterclass.

Here’s the film – it’s quite long at 14 minutes, but it goes into detail about some of the decision-making process in pruning a vineyard.

In […]

New releases from Black Estate, North Canterbury, New Zealand

I’ve been following the wines of Black Estate for a while now, with interest. They farm organically and make wines in a lo-fi sort of way. This is interesting New Zealand, and these latest releases are really impressive.

Black Estate Home Chardonnay Young Vines 2017 North Canterbury, New Zealand
12.5% alcohol. 1 hectare block, 6172 vines/ha, sedimentary […]

Y2KX The Mystical Being 2017, a skin-contact Sauvignon from Marlborough

Skin fermenting Sauvignon (top), with the striking Y2KX labels (bottom). This particular wine is the unicorn on the left.

It was good to try this: a really characterful, interesting Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough. It’s from Y2KX Collective, a virtual winery, who are specialising on making interesting wines. Alana Mcgettigan is the winemaker here, and the director […]

In Niagara, Canada: Jackson-Triggs/Arterra

Jackson-Triggs is an important winery for Canada. The story begins back in 1989, when Dr Allan Jackson, who managed the Canadian wine company of brewer Labatt, joined forces with Donald Triggs, who’d previously worked with Labatt, to complete a management buyout of their Canadian wine operation. This became Cartier Wines, and it had operations in […]