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So, Sam Harrop’s new wine has just been released. It’s a Chardonnay from Waiheke Island, near Auckland, and it’s superb.

As many of you know, Sam is a buddy of mine (although, as you can imagine with most of my relationships, I probably like him more than he likes me). We have written a book together [...]

Cloudburst: the remarkable emergence of a cult Margaret River wine brand

Cloudburst is a really interesting and slightly controversial wine project in Margaret River. Interesting? Because the wines are so good. Controversial? Because of high prices, despite the lack of any track record.

Owner Will Berliner (above) wasn’t previously involved with wine, but has always loved plants. He studied plant biology and owned forests in the USA, [...]

Three lovely wines: Leflaive Pucelles, Wetzer Kekfrankos and Kopke white port 1935

These three lovely wines were brought round by guests. The best sort of guests. The Leflaive Pucelles was served blind, and in a stroke of lucky intuition, I guessed it as very fine white Burgundy, a Leflaive, and Pucelles. But I got the vintage wrong: I called it 2002. This sort of guesswork looks great [...]

Catching up with the new releases from Norman Hardie, Prince Edward County, Canada

I visited Norman Hardie in Prince Edward County in 2013, and was blown away by the wines he’s making. So it was great to be able to taste his latest releases at The Wine Society’s HQ in Stevenage yesterday, courtesy of buyer Sarah Knowles. I also tried a couple of the 2012s that they are [...]

Two lovely whites: Vincent Carême Vouvray Sec 2013 and Ganevat Grusse en Billat 2012

I have just been in the Netherlands, presenting a talk and tasting to wine professionals here over two days, with the same 10 wines both days. I met some really great people and enjoyed talking about organic/biodynamic/sustainable/natural/authentic wine. It was also nice to look at the wines over two days. Interestingly, the wines seemed all [...]

Andrew Nielsen and Le Grappin, a talented Burgundy micronegoce

Website: http://www.legrappin.com/

Lots of people, it seems, have vinous epiphanies. They drink a special bottle of wine, and suddenly they are converted. Wine is no longer just an alcoholic drink for them; it is something more fundamental. For some, it becomes their life.

Andrew Nielsen (above), originally from Australia, was working in advertising with publications such as [...]

New releases from Aussie star Shaw & Smith

I’ve reviewed the wines of Shaw & Smith before, here and here. I got to taste some of the latest releases, and I’m once again pretty impressed. The Sauvignon Blanc pays the bills for the other wines. The Chardonnay is probably the true star in the line up, but everything’s good here.

Shaw & Smith Pinot [...]

Christmas Day highlights: Le Moine Saint-Romain 11, Mulderbosch 13, Floridene 12

Some excellent wines yesterday for Christmas Day with family. I’m going to write up the highlights in two posts. The wines deserve it. First, three whites, all of which exceeded expectations.

Lucien Le Moine Hospices de Beaune Saint-Romain Cuvee Joseph Menault 2011 Burgundy, France
Bottled for Marks & Spencer, this Hopsice wine is sensational. It has an amazing [...]

Port Philip Estate Chardonnay 2012 Mornington Peninsular

Now this is an impressive Australian Chardonnay, from Sandro Mosele at Port Philip Estate. It’s a single site wine, from a 1.64 hectare vineyard block, and it shows massive potential for future development (on day 2, this wine was significantly better than just after opening), which might make my current score look conservative. It’s wild [...]

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 [...]