Napa Valley Cabernet, a question of style

After writing up yesterday’s Napa Cabernet tasting, I dug around and found this report, from a tasting held at the Jackson Family Wines internal meeting in Napa back in May 2017, which I hadn’t previously published.

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world’s most famous wine styles, but it’s not without controversy. Sometimes over-ripe […]

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005-2014

The Napa Valley is one of the world’s most famous wine regions. Just 30 miles long and five miles wide, this may be a celebrated wine region but it only accounts for around 4% of California’s wine production. As part of the Vancouver International Wine Festival, I attended a tasting that took us through 10 […]

More airport lounge wines

Off to Vancouver, so a bit of time in BA’s T3 Galleries lounge. Sampled the wines, just as I did a couple of weeks ago.

Reata Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2016 California
14% alcohol. This is a new one to me, and it’s clearly a reasonably ambitious wine, although fairly technologically made. Quite rich with some apricot, pineapple […]

A clichéd natural wine producer review

I love natural wine (well, whatever that is…), but as with any style of wine there’s good and there’s bad and then there’s some stuff in the middle. So, here in a spirit of friendly fun-poking, here is my prototype clichéd natural wine producer review. [Just in case you were trying to guess, this doesn’t […]

What to do in Porto

I’m back again in Porto, for the excellent Simplesmente Vinho festival, and also to catch a bit of the much larger wine fair called Essencia. Porto is a lovely city to spend time in. And since my first visit back in 2002, it has changed quite a bit. It has a lot more tourists, to […]

Nagano region, Japan (9) Izutsu Winery

Based in Shiojiri, Izutsu Winery is, by Nagano standards, quite a big operation. This is part of the Kikyogahara Wine Valley, which is the oldest wine region in Nagano, with over 100 years history. The first winery licence in Nagano was granted in 1872, and in 1890 grapes were grown here: these were the labrusca […]

Vineyards of Hampshire tasting: some of England's best sparkling wines on show

Last week, the vineyards of Hampshire held a tasting showcasing some of the top sparkling wines from this county. Of course, Hampshire is, as a county, a political boundary and doesn’t recognise specific soils or climates, but it does have within its boundaries some very good places for growing wine grapes, and quite a bit […]

Nagano region, Japan (8) Northern Alps Vineyards

I head to Omachi, in the north of Nagano Prefecture, in the Nihon Alps wine region. It’s decidedly alpine here, and we’re fringed by mountains, and the vineyard is covered by a blanket of snow. I’m here to visit Masaki Wakabayashi, who established his small winery, Northern Alps Vineyards, back in 2008.

He’s from here, and […]

Nagano region, Japan (7) Azumino Winery

One of the most beautifully situated wineries in Nagano, Azumino winery was established in 2007 in the Nihon Alps wine valley, in the shadow of the northern alps. Here, on a bright, bracing winter’s day, I met with Akira Kato (chief winemaker) and Kentaro Furukawa (viticulturist).

Akira and Kentaro

The winery is owned by Kashiyama, a […]

Nagano region, Japan (6) Funky Château

Toyohiko (Toyo) and Micchi Kanehashi are running one of the top wineries in Nagano: Funky Château, in Aoki Village. They were working in Tokyo – Toyo as a music producer, making tunes for commercials and movie scores, and Micchi as an orthopaedist. But they loved wine, and one day wanted to make their own. They […]