Domaine Gayda's Nine Vessel Tasting

Today, I attended a really interesting tasting looking at the effect of the ageing vessel on a red wine. It was hosted by Domaine Gayda, and titled a nine-vessel tasting.

Of late in the world of wine there has been a lot of interest in alternative elevage. In the past, wineries would traditionally use large concrete […]

Serious Kiwi Chardonnay: Neudorf Rosie's Block 2018

After yesterday’s New Zealand wine seminar in Edinburgh, I was curious to try this wine. It’s the Rosie’s Block Chardonnay from Neudorf, and it’s really good. Neudorf have a deserved reputation as being Chardonnay experts, and regularly deliver compelling wines with potential for development.

Neudorf Rosie’s Block Chardonnay 2018 Nelson, New Zealand
13% alcohol. Moutere clay gravel […]

Beyond Sauvignon Blanc: a New Zealand masterclass

These are my notes from today’s seminar on New Zealand wine, beyond Sauvignon Blanc, held in Edinburgh. These wines were selected by Archie MacDiarmid, who I did the seminar with.

Hunter’s Offshoot Pet Nat Sauvignon Blanc 2019 Marlborough
Cloudy, complex, tangy and bright with lovely citrus fruit, as well as some elderflower and peach notes. Such vivid […]

Another BA lounge wine round-up

Flew back from Sicily. Three hours to kill at Gatwick before I head to Edinburgh this evening for a very exciting masterclass of New Zealand wines tomorrow, so I headed to the British Airways lounge and tried all the wines.

Champagne Castelnau NV France
Nice to find Champagne on free-pour in a lounge. Normally you have […]

Chablis (11) Lamblin


The first impressions of Lamblin from the outside, a large warehouse-like facility in Maligny, weren’t promising, but here I found some excellent, typical Chablis. I met with Didier Lamblin, the president, and 12th generation of this family-owned winery, and Alexandra Vailleau, who looks after the export markets.

Alexandra and Didier

The family began making wine in […]

Appellations don't need tasting panels

There’s an issue in the wine world that I think needs discussion, and it’s tasting panels in appellations.

Throughout the wine world, appellation laws exist. There are various reasons for them.

The most important, is to ensure integrity in labelling. If a wine has a name of a place on it, then it should come from that […]

Three whites from Lebanese producer Chateau Ksara

Tried this trio of whites from Lebanese winery Chateau Ksara last night. It’s a twenty-one hectare property located in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, which is at altitude and has a semi-continental climate, with cold winters and long dry summers. Of particular note here is the varietal Merwah, which I believe is the only one made on […]

Chablis (10) William Fèvre

William Fèvre is one of the most highly regarded of the producers in Chablis. I met to taste with winemaker Didier Seguier. He’s been working for Fèvre for 21 years. He was born in Cognac, grew up in Blaye, and he arrived in Burgundy in 1992 after his studies. He started working for Bouchard Pere […]

What I learned about wine from going to a gig

Monday was fun. I arrived at Heathrow at nine in the morning. I’d just flown in from Montreal on a short overnight flight that took some six hours. By the time I’d watched some TV and eaten my meal, I only had about three hours to sleep. Lesson one: skip the bad airline food and […]

Judging the National Wine Awards of Canada 2019

I’m just on my way home from a week spent judging the National Wine Awards of Canada. This was my sixth year of judging this excellently organised competition. I started off in 2014 as an overseas judge, and it’s such a welcoming family that I’ve kept coming back. This year 260 wineries from across Canada […]