A day in Sydney

After a morning coffee and a quick blog, I set about ensuring internet access for the trip. Roaming is just too expensive, even with bundles, so I bought a cheap android phone and 3 gigs of data, and made sure it supported tethering (thank you Telstra for allowing this: a lot of pre-paid data sims [...]

Thistledown Thorny Devil Grenache 2014 Barossa, Australia

This wine is made by Giles Cooke and Fergal Tynan of Alliance Wine, in conjunction with Aussie winemaker Peter Leske. It’s a single vineyard, old vine Grenache from the Barossa, and it captures the more Pinot-like side of this variety, which I think is a good thing. Winemaking is small batch, with open fermenters, hand [...]

Some nice wines at The Remedy - Don Chisciotte Fiano, Salvaje Blanco, Vin Nu, Oliveras Verdelho 12

Popped into The Remedy a few days ago for a drink with Mr Primack. We had some interesting things, as you’d expect. Here are my notes.

Barranco Oscuro Salvaje Blanco 2014 Spain
This comes from Europes highest vineyards. Barranco Oscuro have 12 hectares in the Sierra de Contraviesa near Granada in the south of Spain. This wine [...]

Testalonga King of Grapes: precise elegance or 'cranberry flavoured wheat beer'?

I was thrilled by this. It’s the latest red from Craig Hawkins in the Swartland, and it has been a bit controversial in the wine press. Andrew Jefford, normally a hero of mine, seems to have it in for Craig, and in a very mean swipe in his Decanter blog he described it as ‘fermented [...]

Wind Gap Syrah and Grenache - class from California

I’ve written recently about Pax Mahle’s Wind Gap, giving his Trousseau Gris a positive review. Now it’s the turn of two Rhone varieties, Syrah and Grenache. They’re both beautiful, but my preference is for the remarkable Syrah.

Wind Gap Old Vine Grenache 2012 Sonoma County, California
13.75% alcohol. 420 cases made in two concrete eggs. Sweetly [...]

Domaine Camp Galhan 'Les Pérassières' 2012 - a brilliant, affordable Rhone red

This is a really super wine, made from a lesser known IGP on the edge of the Cevennes, not far from Avignon and Nimes. One of the best value reds I have had of late.

Domaine Camp Galhan ‘Les Pérassières’ 2012 Vin de Pays Duché d’Uzès, Rhone, France
13.5% alcohol. A blend of fresh cherry [...]

A superb, inexpensive Ventoux

Continuing in my theme of brilliant wines under £10, here’s a Ventoux that I was seduced by. It’s one of those wines that manages to hold the sweet fruit and savoury notes in tension. It’s almost Burgundian, in a southern Rhone sort of way.

Gonnet La Jeannette Ventoux 2011 Rhone, France
14.5% alcohol. Not too deep in colour: [...]

Old vine Garnacha from Domaines Lupier, Navarra

Two impressive, potentially ageworthy Garnacha (Grenache) wines from Navarra. They’re quite difficult to assess right now because they are just so tannic and primary, but I think they will be special with a decade in the cellar.

They’re from Domaines Lupier, which is the project of Enrique Basarte and Elisa Úcar whose mission has been to [...]

Serious Spanish Garnacha from Artadi

Impressed by this. It’s made by high-end Rioja producer Artadi’s Artazu estate in Navarra. It’s expensive, yes, but not when compared with its qualitative peer group.

Artadi Santa Cruz de Artazu Garnacha 2007 Navarra, Spain
A single-vineyard wine made from 80 year old vines at an elevation of 750 metres. Bright red/purple colour. Lovely pure, sweet nose [...]

A brilliant, natural California Grenache

Now this is a superb wine. Before opening it, I admit I was expecting something very sweet and ripe, in the new world mould. But what I got was something thrilling, elegant and amazingly drinkable. It’s from a vineyard planted in 1910, with vines on their own roots. Birichino, pronounced biri-kino, seems a very interesting [...]