In Bordeaux

I’m in Bordeaux. Tomorrow I get to taste most of the top 2017s in bottle, which will be my first look at this vintage. But this afternoon I had a few hours spare, so I wandered around the city on a perfect spring day and took some pictures and made a short film. It’s a […]

Central Otago (13) Akarua

Akarua’s terraced 25 Steps vineyard in Lowborn: one of the most instantly recognisable vineyards in the region

Akarua is an important producer for Central Otago. In a region of small outfits, they are a reasonable size, and of late have been on a vineyard-buying spree. With winemaker Andrew Keenleyside (who fairly recently took over from […]

People, places, landscapes and change

I’m currently intrigued by the idea of being from a place. Thanks to a friend, I discovered the author Robert Macfarlane, and I’m currently working through his book The Old Ways. He’s a gifted writer with an incredible voice, and in this book he takes us on his journeys discovering old paths and routes throughout […]

Central Otago (12) Domaine Rewa

Philippa and Yannick Fourbet

In a privileged site in the Lowburn subdistrict of Central Otago, Domaine Rewa – a small biodynamic vineyard – is turning out some very smart wines. And there’s a great story behind it, too.

Back in 2010, Philippa Shepherd (now Fourbet, but we’ll get to that later) was working for Deutsche Bank […]

The wines of François Lurton

François Lurton

It was great to meet and taste with François Lurton. His father, Andre Lurton, is a very important figure in Bordeaux. Lurton senior, who owns Château Bonnet, was active in establishing the Entre-Deux-Mers appellation and helping improve the quality of the affordable white Bordeaux wines that come from here. The family also own […]

The wines of Nyetimber, England

Nyetimber are probably the most famous winery in the UK, and along with a good number of other English sparkling wine producers, they were present at the ProWein fair in Dusseldorf this week. I popped along to try through their range, including a first look – for me – at the new prestige 1086 cuvées.

Nyetimber Classic […]

Some high-end wines from Cramele Recas, Romania

Philip Cox is the man behind Cramele Recas, an incredibly smart, adept, market-sensitive Romanian winery. They sell 24 million bottles a year under a whopping 247 different labels, and they specialise in well-made affordable supermarket wines. But they also make some more premium offerings, and I got to try a few of these. Here are […]

Nyetimber Blanc de Blancs 2013

I was excited to try this new 2013 Blanc de Blancs from leading English sparkling wine producer Nyetimber, because it is the first vintage to feature wine from their Hampshire vineyards (30%), which have chalk soils (in addition to the Sussex greensand vineyards they began with, which make up 70% of the blend).

The Chardonnay grapes […]

Champagne highlights (2)

These bottles were all drunk on the trip. Some great discoveries here – these are all from smaller growers.

Champagne Emmanuel Brochet Le Mont Benoit Extra Brut NV France
Emmanuel Brochet farms 2.5 hectares with an average vine age of 35 years, working organically. He began in 1997, and all his wines are pressed with a […]

Two nice Sauternes

I don’t drink enough Sauternes (or Barsac). No one does, which is why this – one of the world’s great wine styles – is relatively under appreciated. If you bought lots of top Sauternes en primeur a decade or two back, you’ll probably have lost money. If you’d bought top red Bordeaux, you’d have made […]