Guttarolo Primitivo, a remarkable amphora wine from Puglia

I love this wine. It’s a Primitivo, but not as you know it. Cristiano Guttarolo has just 5 hectares of vines, at 400 m altitude, and this remarkable wine is made from a small 0.6 hectare plot of Primitivo that is fermented in 500 litre clay amphorae from Umbria. After fermentation these amphorae are sealed [...]

Tara Pinot Noir, a lovely wine from Chile's Atacama

This is a remarkable wine, made by large producer Ventisquero on a very small scale from vineyards in the Atacama desert, in the far north of the country. It hardly every rains here, so the soils are quite unique. I reported on the Tara white a while back after tasting it in Chile; this red [...]

At the Feria Vinos de Lujo, Santiago

Last night I headed over to the Grand Hyatt in Santiago for a remarkable wine festival. It was fortunate that of the two nights I was in town, one should coincide with this event. Organized by Patricio Tapia, It wasn’t cheap at 42000 Pesos (around £50), but there was an amazing array of Chilean wines [...]

Shobbrook Giallo, a remarkable Sauvignon from Australia

This is an unbelievably good wine. I love it.

It’s Tom Shobbrook’s Giallo. A Sauvignon Blanc, but made naturally, with some skin contact. And fabulously packaged, too.

‘The Sauvignon is fermented on skins for about 6 weeks or until I get the structure I want,’ says Tom. ‘Then it’s pressed and put into casks. It’s bottled 9 months [...]

Eyrie Original Vines Pinot Gris, and a synaesthetic label

This is a remarkable wine on two counts. First of all, it’s a superb Pinot Gris, made without the use of any sulfites. Secondly, the label, which is synaesthetic. Winegrower Jason Lett has painted the wine. That is, he has represented the flavour of the wine visually in a painting that forms the label. In [...]

Three amazing natural wines from Mas Coutelou

These are lovely, lovely wines. I followed them over the course of a few days, so I’m fairly confident in my recommendations, too. They are made by Jeff Coutelou, in France’s Languedoc. Jeff works naturally, using very little sulfur dioxide at all. All are young, dense and grippy, and I think that you’d be safe [...]

Lapierre Morgon 2010

Marcel Lapierre, who died in October 2010, was a leading light in the dynamic natural wine movement in Beaujolais. He took over running the family domaine in 1973, and in 1981 – inspired by Jules Chauvet – began vinifying his wines with no added sulfur dioxide.

This wine, made by his son Mathieu, was the first post-Marcel wine (Marcel [...]

Natural wine, a primer

One of the hot topics of the wine world is the concept of ‘Natural Wine.’

Travel to Paris, and you will find lots of bars that specialize in vins natruels. It’s a hipster movement, and it’s beginning to catch on elsewhere. London has at least four natural wine bars at present, and this year there were [...]

A brilliant, affordable natural Salice Salentino

Come with me to the south of Italy, and to a winery who I know very little about, and about whom there is very little on the internet. This is a natural wine, made with no added sulfur dioxide, and it’s deliciously open and drinkable. It’s not expensive (I can’t find a UK stockist, but [...]

Julien Sunier Fleurie 2010, a delicious, serious Beaujolais

This is a really good example of how Beaujolais is becoming SERIOUS.

It’s naturally made, from organically (in conversion) farmed vineyards. It is from vineyards at almost 500 m in elevation, on a south-facing plt on pink granite, planted at high density from 50 year old vines (10 000 vines per hectare).

Julien Sunier Fleurie 2010 Beaujolais, France
12.5% [...]