The wines of David Duband, Burgundy

David Duband

I met with David Duband over dinner at Noble Rot. He’s imported into the UK by Keeling Andrews, the agency arm with the same ownership as the restaurant. David is calm and measured, and there was a good energy to the evening as we tasted through wines and chatted.

David’s father, Pierre Duband, began […]

Central Otago (15) Domaine Thomson

David and PM Hall-Jones are based in Hong Kong, but have two wineries: one in Central Otago, and the other in Gevrey Chambertin. In Central, they planted 14 hectares of Pinot Noir in 2000, and their label is called Domaine Thomson.

The view from the Domaine Thomson vineyard, looking down over Pisa to Lake Dunstan

It’s […]

Nagano region, Japan (14) Domaine Sogga/Obusé Winery

This was my second visit with a winery that I’d classify as Nagano’s best at the moment. Domaine Sogga, also known as Obusé Winery, is based in Obusé and is run by Akihiko Soga (just the one ‘g’ in his name, but two in the domaine’s).

Akihiko is fastidious, talented and experienced. The winery is an […]

Nagano region, Japan (13) Saint Cousair

We arrived at St Cousair just before sunset on a crisp winter’s day. This is a winery with a view, perched on the top of a hill. There’s an interesting story behind it, too. It was established in 1990 in Izuno village, at 630 m altitude.

Ryozo Kuze founded the winery. He was originally from Tokyo, […]

Some highlights from the Waitrose press tasting

I’ve just spent two afternoons tasting through the range of Waitrose, a UK-based supermarket. The range is varied and some of the buying is quite brave and imaginative, especially when compared with other supermarkets that have moved strongly in a private label direction. Here are twelve wines that I really liked, in no particular order.

Champagne […]

Gaia Wild Ferment Assyrtiko 2018 Santorini, Greece

Santorini, the well known Greek island, is famous for its Assyrtiko wines, made from vines grown with one of the most distinctive viticultural methods out there (the Santorini ‘kouloura’). This stunning white comes from ungrafted 80 year old vines, and it blew me away. I was expecting it to be good, but not this good.

Gaia […]

Robert Parker retires

It has been announced today that the world’s most famous wine critic has retired. The critic in question, Robert Parker, pretty much invented the genre, and was the first to use the 100 point scale that has now almost universally been adopted by wine critics. There are now perhaps 25 wannabe Parkers plying their trade […]

Shadow work

As humans, we are all mixed. Most of us want to be good, but occasionally we aren’t, even though we may be trying our best to do the right thing.

We sometimes find ourselves behaving selfishly, or we are egotistical, or we react to an adverse situation in a childish way – perhaps we have a […]

Working for free

Lots of chat at the moment, both in the wine world and also the wider world, about working for free. We live in the intern culture. We get offered gigs that pay by giving us experience; the writing jobs that pay by means of exposure.

This is a tricky area. There’s nothing new about the concept […]

#gogamaygo: the rising star of Gamay from Ontario

As part of Toronto’s Terroir Symposium I was asked to lead a tasting of Ontario Gamay. It was titled by the hashtag that Canadian Dr Janet Dorozynski came up with a few years back: #gogamaygo.

This is a variety that’s doing pretty well in Ontario. Ten years ago there were 25 different Gamays from here; now […]