I’ve spent the last day and a half in the Ahr Valley in northern Germany. It’s my first visit here. This is a small, compact region that’s a tight valley with vineyards on either side, many of which are incredibly steeply sloped. The predominant soil type is slate, and this is Pinot Noir country. I [...]
This is a pretty serious Riesling. It’s made by Gerd Stepp, from a single vineyard, Kallstadter Saumage, with loess and loam rich soils with a high limestone content, in Germany’s Pfalz. The soils here have lots of tiny fossil shells, resulting in high calcium content. Apparently Saumagen translates as pig’s stomach. Gerd used to buy [...]
One of the star wines at this year’s IPNC was actually a dry Riesling. Erni Loosen popped by the table I was at with a remarkable dry Riesling, aged for two years in large barrels on the lees.
It was the 2011 Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Reserve Trocken, and it was remarkably complex, textured and detailed. It’s [...]
You have to love the way Fortnum & Mason get the world’s greatest wine producers to make their own-label wines. Here are two such examples, which we drunk yesterday afternoon while judging the Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards. They were superb. The judging was fun, too. Anthony Rose, Victoria Moore and I were [...]
I like this. It’s a German Pinot Noir in a modern, almost New World mould. I’ve had some good German Pinots in the past, but the best ones have been really expensive. And many have had a green herbal/sweet fruit combination that has been a tiny bit sickly, and has stopped them being serious. Now [...]
This lovely Mosel Riesling deserves a plug. From a vineyard I’ve never heard of before.
Max Ferd Richter Veldenzer Elisenburg Riesling Kabinett 2011 Mosel, Germany
10% alcohol. From grey slate and quartz soils, and a cool microclimate. Complex, precise and lively with lovely sweetness balancing the minerally acidity. Spicy and crisp with grapefruit, lychee and apricot, as [...]
So tonight, I have four Pinot Noirs open. A chance to do some comparative tasting.
I love Pinot Noir. It’s such a great grape variety. So, for me, this is a joy of an evening. How do the wines rate?
Cono Sur 20 Barrels Pinot Noir 2011 Casablanca Valley, Chile
I actually opened this wine yesterday evening, and [...]
I’m giving away the fact that I’m a wine trade person (of sorts, do journalists count as wine trade?) by pimping another Riesling. We wine trade folk love Riesling, but no on else seems to. Still, it’s MY blog and so I get to decide what appears here, OK?
This is a really lovely dry German [...]
Yum, it’s Riesling weather. The sorts of places that make great Riesling aren’t always the ones where it is most useful: I find it the perfect hot weather wine, yet it grows best in cool climates. Here are a couple of good ones.
Paul Cluver Ferricrete Riesling 2012 Elgin, South Africa
10% alcohol. Delicate, pure citrussy nose with [...]
Today I gave a talk on social media and the wine industry at a conference in Logrono (Rioja) organized by DIAM, the closure company. Also speaking was José Penin, author of the respected wine guide, chosen to represent the existing media. I was chosen because I have made a reputation with more modern media.
As well [...]