Two fantastic Chardonnays from Yabby Lake

Just tried these two brilliant Chardonnays from Tom Carson at Yabby Lake. Two more examples of the amazing revolution in Aussie Chardonnay that has taken place over the last few years.

Yabby Lake Vineyard Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2010 Mornington Peninsula, Australia
Strongly mineral nose with mtachstick, citrus and pear. The palate is taut and lean with citrus, pear, [...]

Oakridge Lusatia Park Chardonnay 2011

I love this wine. It typifies what is happening with high-end Aussie Chardonnay at the moment – the embrace of elegance and freshness over weight and richness – picking earlier and producing complex, taut wines.

Oakridge Local Vineyard Series Lusatia Park Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 Yarra Valley, Australia
From a north-facing vineyard with red volcanic soils. This was [...]

Three lovely wines: Burgundy, Martinborough and Tasmania

It was a beautiful pre-spring day today in London. I was doing some staff wine training for Hakkasan, the brilliant Chinese-inspired restaurant chain with two London outposts. The first session was on ‘smooth reds’, and among the tasting wines were these three beauties.

Domaine Daniel Rion Nuits St Georges Les Hauts Pruliers 1er Cru 2006 Burgundy
This [...]

Shaw & Smith Shiraz 2010

Met with Michael Hill-Smith today at the shiny new Liberty Wine offices in Clapham, to taste the latest releases of Shaw & Smith.

For me, this is one of Australia’s leading wineries. They make just four wines, all of which are excellent, from the cool-ish climate Adelaide Hills region in South Australia.

The Sauvignon Blanc 2012 is [...]

Two great wines with dinner: Zidarich Malvasia and Jamsheed Garden Gully Syrah

Had Ryan Mostert and Samantha Suddons over for dinner on Thursday night. They are a young couple working at one of South Africa’s most exciting wineries, Reyneke, and so we opened a lot of nice bottles. 11 in all, between four of us. (But we’re lightweights, and we didn’t drink all of them to the [...]

A great game of rugby followed by some wine

Took older son along to Twickenham today for his first England international. It was against the mighty All Blacks (that’s the New Zealand team for the benefit of those who don’t follow sport at all, in which case this may not prove to be your favourite ever blog post of mine), so I was expecting to [...]

A superb Hunter Valley Semillon

This is rather good. It’s a Tyrrells exclusive for UK retailer Marks & Spencer, and it’s the real deal. Proper Hunter Semillon, just entering its long drinking window. It’s not cheap, but this is a serious fine wine that will age well. And occasionally, M&S have 25% off the range, when this becomes a very [...]

Chateau Chunder, an interesting documentary about Australian wine reviewed

I’ve just watched Stephen Oliver’s excellent documentary on Australian wine, and how it changed British drinking habits. The title, ‘Chateau Chunder,’ comes from a 1972 Monty Python sketch knocking Aussie wine.

This is not a wine for drinking. This is a wine for laying down and avoiding.

This reflects the attitudes towards Aussie wine in 1970s Britain. [...]

An English white Pinot Noir and an Aussie Topaque

Headed over to Denbies wine estate today, in Dorking, Surrey, for a meeting of Elevage. Elevage is the organization I’m involved with that runs the International Sparkling Wine Symposium (ISWS). The last one was held last November, and we are in the stages of planning the next. (If you’d like to get hold of a [...]

Two lovely, full-on wines from First Drop

I love the packaging of the First Drop wines. The labels seem to resonate with the wines.

And while I’m all for elegance, sometimes it’s great to have full-flavoured Aussie wines from regions like the Barossa and McLaren Vale, when the bigness is allied to freshness and definition, and appropriate oak use. Big can, of course, [...]