Some amazing fine wines at The Sampler

Latour 1961 in the glass

Each Christmas The Sampler puts some rather special wines on its sampling machines, and this year is no exception. I popped into the South Kensington shop to try them; Islington has a different set of wines on. They aren’t cheap, but for many of these wines it’s a once in [...]

Jamsheed Garden Gully Riesling

I love Jamsheed. One of my favourite Australian producers. This Riesling has just a hint of sweetness but it finishes quite dry. It’s a serious effort, and a good bet for the cellar.

Jamsheed Garden Gully Riesling 2011 Great Western, Australia
11.8% alcohol. Hand picked Riesling from vines planted at the end of the 19th century, barrel [...]

The remarkable Penfolds recorking clinic comes to London

Since 1991, celebrated Australian producer Penfolds have been running a series of recorking clinics for owners of bottles of their wines that are over 15 years old. ‘We’ve recorked/certified over 120 000 bottles,’ says chief winemaker Peter Gago, who was hosting this London event, the first to be held here since 2008.

Peter Gago with [...]

Cullen Mangan East Block

This is pretty special. It’s a biodynamic red from Western Australia that weighs in at just 12.5% alcohol, but has no lack of flavour at all. There’s currently a bit of oak sticking out, but this is a super wine that will age well.

Cullen Mangan East Block 2012 Margaret River, Australia
A blend of 54% [...]

Impressive new wines from Tasmania's Tolpuddle Vineyard

Very excited to be able to try these two new wines. They are a Pinot Noir and a Chardonnay from Tasmania’s Tolpuddle vineyard, and represent the first vintage to be released under the new owners, Shaw & Smith.

In 2011 Martin Shaw and Michael Hill Smith bought the 20 hectare vineyard, which had been planted in [...]

A big night out at the chief's!

Feeling a little tired after a wonderful evening at the chief’s last night. The chief is Harpers editor Richard Siddle, who convened a gathering of chums to eat and drink well together at his pad in Clapham. It was a very late night, but the company and the wines made it worthwhile. The evening began [...]

Two super Australian Chardonnays: Oakridge and Yalumba

Australian Chardonnay is probably the wine style that has changed most in the last decade. The best examples are totally brilliant, and while I still have a nostalgic fondness for the big bad-assed rich examples of the past, the new super-lean Chardonnays with their mineral tension are just so good. Aussie Chardonnay went on a [...]

Two summery sweet wines worth checking out

Sometimes you just want something fun and summery to drink. Here are a couple of really fun, sweet, fizzy wines with real points of interest.

Innocent Bystander Moscato 2013 Victoria, Australia
5.5% alcohol. From a really attractive crown-capped 37.5 cl bottle, this just works. It’s pink and sweet and fizzy, with grape and cherry fruit. Simple, fresh [...]

Video: time to taste some Riesling

So, here I taste, on camera, two different Rieslings. One from Australia’s Eden Valley; one from Alsace. I like them both.

Shobbrook Giallo, a remarkable Sauvignon from Australia

This is an unbelievably good wine. I love it.

It’s Tom Shobbrook’s Giallo. A Sauvignon Blanc, but made naturally, with some skin contact. And fabulously packaged, too.

‘The Sauvignon is fermented on skins for about 6 weeks or until I get the structure I want,’ says Tom. ‘Then it’s pressed and put into casks. It’s bottled 9 months [...]