Alexandre Jouveaux Combarnier (2010) NV Vin de France

This is quite a wine. It’s seven years old, made in a very natural way, and it’s still incredibly reductive, with a strong matchstick/mineral character. There are some subtle oxidative notes, too, but overall the wine is very fresh. This is a wine that clearly demonstrates that reduction is not simply the opposite of oxidation, [...]

Little Farm Pied de Cuve Chardonnay 2015 Similkameen Valley, BC, Canada

I’ve been impressed by the wines from Rhys Pender and Alison Dredger’s Little Farm winery in the Similkameen Valley. This is a valley next door to the Okanagan in Canada’s BC,  and their 4 acre organic vineyard is in in Cawston. I reckon this is their best yet. It’s the first release of this naturally [...]

A couple of lovely Chardonnays: Kutch and Bachelet-Monnot

Had a couple of lovely Chardonnays side by side: one from Burgundy, the other from the cool Sonoma Coast.

Bachelet-Monnot Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Referts 2011 Burgundy, France
Lemony and taut, this has a lovely bright mineral quality to the crystalline citrus fruit. It’s beautifully expressive with crisp lemon fruit with well integrated acidity. Very pure and [...]

Some lovely high-end wines from Catena, Argentina

By a stroke of coincidence, while I was in Victoria (Vancouver Island, not Australia)  today I got to try through this set of wines from Argentina star winery Catena, presented by Catena’s Andrea Nuñez and Daniel Stiefvater of Trialto (the company that brings them into this part of Canada). I was impressed, especially by the [...]

Chile day 2, Errazuriz's Aconcagua Costa property

Day two of the Chile trip was spent in the Aconcagua, with Errazuriz. We began at the relatively new 230 hectare (of planted vines) Aconcagua Costa property, just 12 km from the Pacific. Here they have planted 250 hectares. Initially they began with Sauvignon Blanc (planting in 2005), but then realised that the climate (quite [...]

The remarkable Deconstructed wines of Richard Kershaw, Elgin, South Africa

Richard Kershaw is a British ex-pat and MW who has been making his own wines out of Elgin for a few years now. Previously he was winemaker at Mulderbosch. Richard has received lots of critical acclaim for his Chardonnays, and has been pivotal in leading the current Elgin Chardonnay crusade: his new releases represent a [...]

Jean-Paul Brun Beaujolais Blanc Vinification Bourguignonne Chardonnay 2014

This is a special cuvée from the hero of the limestone-based soils of the southern Beaujolais, Jean-Paul Brun. His wines are excellent, and also very fairly priced (this was retail €15 in Paris). His Beaujolais Blanc wines are really good: they’re not showy, but refined and mineral. I really like this wine, although the internets [...]

Norman Hardie Niagara Chardonnay 2013

So, I’m back today in the UK from spending time at harvest with Norman Hardie in Canada’s Prince Edward County. My sister and brother-in-law ask me where I’ve been. Do you have any of the wines? I find one: the 2013 Niagara Chardonnay. It’s just brilliant. It’s also lovely to be trying this wine in [...]

Vintage at Norm Hardie's (2): making Chardonnay

Chardonnay is a big focus at Norman Hardie. In yesterdays’ post from vintage here, I described the way the grapes are received at the winery in plastic bins. If the fruit is in good condition, there’s no need to sort (the best sorting is done in the vineyard, picking only healthy fruit). Otherwise, they pass [...]

Neudorf Moutere Chardonnay 2015 Nelson, New Zealand

I have a thing for Kiwi Chardonnay. Its day will come. It doesn’t currently get the respect it deserves, but with wines like these from Neudorf, and the stunning wines of Kumeu River and others, things will change.

Neudorf Moutere Chardonnay 2015 Nelson, New Zealand
14% alcohol. Complex, intense lemon and grapefruit with some rich pear notes, [...]