Dinner at Taras and Amber's with the Basket Range crew

After our tour of the Basket Range it was off to dinner at Taras and Amber’s place, which is secluded and fringed with green. This is not what you’d expect from, Australia in late November. We arrive to find quite a crowd gathered, all relaxed, happy and engaged with each other. This is pretty much [...]

The Manon Wild Nature wines, made from abandoned vineyards

At my dinner with the Adelaide Hills Basket Range guys, it was great to meet Monique Millton (daughter of Gisborne, NZ’s James and Annie Millton) and Tim Webber. They are making wine together under the Manon label. One thing they are doing that is, as far as I know, pretty unique, is to make wines [...]

Rootstock Sydney highlights, 3

More Rootstock highlights.

Christian Tschida’s wines, from Burgenland, in Austria, are full of nervous detail and intensity.

Shashi and Devendra Singh have a 4 hectare dry grown Syrah vineyard on the Mornington Peninsula and their Avani Syrah is very fresh and elegant. The 2014 is delightful, and just 11.6% alcohol.

Herzog are not your typical Marlborough (NZ) producer. I [...]

Rootstock Sydney highlights (2)

Yes, there were a lot of highlights at Rootstock. It feels entirely unfair to pick out individual wines or producers. After all I didn’t taste everything, despite my best intentions. And I’d have to write dozens of blog posts to give all the interesting wines justice. Despite these reservations, I will share some more of [...]

Rootstock Sydney highlights (1)

So Rootstock is half way through. Yesterday was a great day. The energy and enthusiasm for wine shown by all the people who flocked to the Carriageworks was quite electric. And it was fun, too. I can’t understand people who moan about how doomed the wine industry is, and how it needs to produce fruit [...]

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 [...]

Barcelos de Biobra 2014 Valdeorras, a brilliant naturally made Spanish red

This is a lovely wine. It’s a varietal Mencia from Galicia, from the Valdeorras appellation, which is quite a bit inland on the river Sil. Some background on the wine from importer Ben Llewelyn of Carte Blanche:

Biobra is a Mencia from a tiny vineyard in the eastern end of Valdeorras produced by the excellent Gallegos-speaking [...]

Does extended maceration obscure terroir?

Does extended maceration, to the extent that occurs in many amphora or orange wines, obscure or trump site and grape variety? This was a really good question that I was asked by a good friend today. So I thought I’d draft some sort of answer.

First, let me state that I am a fan of many [...]

Gamay focus, 4 - Julien Sunier Fleurie 2013

Julien Sunier is one of the rising stars of Beaujolais. He makes wines naturally from organically managed vineyards, and this is a brilliant expression of Gamay.

It’s from a single 2.4 hectare vineyards named ‘Niagara’. It’s a steep slope that can only be managed manually (he quips on his excellent website that those who work here [...]

Natural wine: a fad or here to stay?

This is the text of a talk I am giving today in Lisbon. It’s titled: ‘natural wine: a fad or here to stay?’

Historical context

Some historical context. Consider wine in antiquity. What would it have tasted like? Most of it would have been bad: in the absence of effective preservatives and frequently exposed to oxygen, it [...]