White Stones and White Bones: terroir-based Chardonnays from Catena

It was very interesting to try these two high-end terroir-based Chardonnays from Catena, and then the next day to have a look at the soils that produced them.

They both come from the same block in the Adrianna Vineyard, high up in the Uco Valley at 1450 m altitude. But even within the same block, there’s [...]

Dinner at 1884 Francis Mallmann, Mendoza

On my last night in Mendoza I dined alone. It’s something I rarely do on my travels: often I’ll use a free evening as a chance to skip a meal and try to avoid becoming fat, but my hosts had kindly booked me a table at 1884 Restaurante Francis Mallmann, one of Mendoza’s most highly [...]

Some pictures from Mendoza, Argentina

I have been in Mendoza for two and a half days now, and it has been a remarkable time. I have been with Catena’s Instituteof Wine, a research department bringing together academic resources with those of the winery, to look at some very interesting questions in wine research, in a scientifically credible way.

For now, some [...]

In Argentina

I’m in Mendoza, Argentina. I just arrived, so the picture above is from my last visit, showing Catena’s high-altitude Adrianna vineyard.

Today started around 5 pm yesterday when I left for the airport. I flew overnight to Sao Paolo with TAM, then this morning flew to rainy Buenos Aires, and from there to sunny Mendoza.

I’m here [...]

Chandon Brut, serious fizz from Argentina

Chandon have just launched their Argentine sparkling wines in the UK. They are really impressive, made in a rich but balanced style. Retail price is around £16, which is expensive for non-Champagne sparkling, but I think these wines justify this price.

Chandon Methode Traditionelle Brut NV Argentina
A blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Very rich and [...]

Cheval des Andes vertical tasting

It was in March 2008 that I visited Cheval des Andes, a vineyard owned by LVMH in a joint venture with Pierre Lurton of Cheval Blanc, based in the Las Compuertas district of Luján de Cuyo in Argentina’s Mendoza wine region. So, some five years later, I caught up with winemaker Nicolas Audebert (pictured above, [...]

The 2013 Polish Hill and Springvale Rieslings from Jeffrey Grosset

Jeffrey Grosset is widely regarded to be Australia’s top Riesling producer. Based in the Clare Valley, in South Australia, he makes two premium Rieslings from different sites, and they are both brilliant. I had a chance to try the recently released 2013s and here are my verdicts.

Grosset Springvale Riesling 2013 Clare Valley, Australia
Lively, precise, very pure and bone [...]

Some picture highlights from the Beautiful South tasting

I went to the Beautiful South tasting at Olympia, London, today. It was brilliant. Three countries – South Africa, Argentina and Chile – combined to put on quite a show, with over 300 producers present pouring their wines. The venue was great, with lots of space and lots of natural light. I spent most of [...]

Five eclectic wines at the DIAM Rioja conference

Today I gave a talk on social media and the wine industry at a conference in Logrono (Rioja) organized by DIAM, the closure company. Also speaking was José Penin, author of the respected wine guide, chosen to represent the existing media. I was chosen because I have made a reputation with more modern media.

As well [...]

A brilliant, but rather different, Argentine Malbec

I’ve been following this wine over the course of a couple of days. It’s an Argentine Malbec, but not as you know it.

It is made by Vincent Wallard, a former wine bar owner, and Emile Heredia, a natural winegrower from the Vendomois in France. According to the blog of Les Caves de Pyrene, the UK importers, [...]