Four Austrian reds from Leithaberg DAC

Austrian reds rock. That is, when they don’t pick them too late and dick around with too much oak. And, these days, after a period of excess, generally they don’t. Which is great news for lovers of interesting wine.

Leithaberg DAC (here)  is part of Burgenland in Austria. It was created in 2008 (for whites) and [...]

Tscheppe Green Dragonfly Sauvignon Blanc, amazing Austrian wine

This is quite special. It’s a Sauvignon Blanc from Sudsteiermark (south Styria) in Austria, made by Andreas Tscheppe. He’s one of a group of five producers working biodynamically in this pretty region, and I was introduced to his wines by Doug Wregg of Les Caves de Pyrene. Doug had just visited the region, and was [...]

Chenin Blanc and Grüner Veltliner

Two nice wines, from two of my favourite white varieties. The first is an own-label from Berry Bros & Rudd. It’s a sort of better class of own label: Nikolaihof is one of Austria’s top producers. The second is from Mullineux, the current darlings of the South African wine scene, and it’s a lovely old [...]

Liebkind, a truly great Blaufränkisch

Last year Robert Parker had a little rant about things he doesn’t like in the wine world. It was quite funny, but also – in my opinion – misguided. In it he dismissed Blaufränkisch (including with it Savagnin and Trousseau and a host of other varieties) as being ‘godforsaken’. Yes, really!  He may have been reviewing [...]

Four very fine Rieslings: Germany, Italy and New Zealand

It seems to be a bit of a season for Riesling. Here are notes from four bottles tried a while back which I have found in a notebook, and feel compelled to write up now because they just deserve to be written up.

Wittmann Morstein Riesling GG Trocken 2009 Rheinhessen, Germany
13.5% alcohol. From limestone soils, this [...]

In Austria, up a mountain, and some wines

So for the last few days I have been up a mountain with a group of buddies in the lovely town of Zell am See in Austria. It has been such fun. I only managed one day on skis, though. I am not a very good skier and I damaged my knee on the first [...]

Some highlights from the Waitrose Press Tasting

We wine journos are in the middle of press tasting season at the moment, with all the major supermarkets showing off their ranges. Buying standards for UK supermarkets are very high, but what makes life difficult for the buyers are their margin requirements, especially in the days of 25% off entire range special offers. So [...]

A perfect day of football and wine

So it was off to Selhurst Park yesterday, the home of Crystal Palace FC. They were playing ‘my’ team, Manchester City, and I’d been kindly invited along by Palace co-chairman Stephen Browett, who is also head of Farr Vintners.

This was a crucial game. We’re coming to the end of the premiership season, and City [...]

Seven great affordable Austrian wines

A selfie wine tasting of seven good value Austrian wines. This tasting reminded me how much I really like Austrian wine.

A brilliant, affordable Austrian red

Here’s a really nice Austrian red at a great price. Just the sort of wine I love to drink. It has personality and freshness.

Pittnauer ‘Pitti’ 2011 Burgenland, Austria
A blend of Zweigelt and Blaufrankisch, 13.5% alcohol. Lovely ripe, vivid blackberry and blackcurrant fruit with some floral, spicy, meaty interest. It’s a lovely fresh, robust red wine with pure [...]