Amid excessive travel and a few tight deadlines, I have steadily been writing up my notes from the Pinot Noir 2013 conference in Wellington, New Zealand this January. Over the three days, I diligently tasted a lot of Kiwi Pinot Noirs, and I’ll be publishing my notes in full.
This is a useful exercise, although having [...]
Didn’t want to waste some fine white Burgundy samples that I opened, so headed over to brother-in-law Beavington’s house for some Sunday lunch today en famille. More on the Burgundies later, but for now I wanted to write about two wines he opened.
The first is Kumeu River Hunting Hill Chardonnay 2010 Auckland, New Zealand. Beavington [...]
It was a beautiful pre-spring day today in London. I was doing some staff wine training for Hakkasan, the brilliant Chinese-inspired restaurant chain with two London outposts. The first session was on ‘smooth reds’, and among the tasting wines were these three beauties.
Domaine Daniel Rion Nuits St Georges Les Hauts Pruliers 1er Cru 2006 Burgundy
The second keynote at the recent Pinot Noir 2013 conference was given by actor Sam Neill, who has a vineyard – Two Paddocks – in Central Otago. This was a beautifully delivered bit of stand-up comedy.
Neill begins by showing a video of him standing in his vineyard behind a table laden with bunches of a [...]
Popped into my sister’s for a quick lunch today, picking up our boys who had been staying over while we were at a wedding. Ended up being served three very good wines.
First of all, Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc 2012. This is the second time I’ve had this wine, and I don’t think there are many [...]
The final visit of my New Zealand adventure was at Kumeu River, a family-run estate a short drive from Auckland. This is close to where the New Zealand wine industry began in earnest, in west Auckland.
Milan and Michael Brajkovich in Maté’s vineyard
The Brajkovich family moved to New Zealand from Croatia, and the current property was bought [...]
On Friday night I went to a strange but enjoyable concert.
Neudorf Vineyards in Nelson were hosting a gig by the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra.
There were quite a few members of this odd ensemble. I counted 9, of which 8 were armed with ukuleles and one with a double bass. Pretty much all of them all [...]
Three visits in Martinborough, on a Sunday where I could have been playing cricket. An English touring side with connections to the wine trade were playing a Kiwi side, and I’d been asked. But I’m conscientious, so I denied the English my slow-medium in-duckers in favour of my schedule, only to find that two of [...]
Pinot Noir kicked off with two contrasting keynote speeches, the first of which was delivered by Matt Kramer of the US publication The Wine Spectator, and author of a string of books whose titles frequently begin with ‘making sense of…’.
Kramer’s delivery is polished and engaging. He begins by talking about Burgundy, the ‘mother house’. ‘It [...]
Annie and James Millton
Annie Millton was honest enough to admit that she’d read the diary wrong and that her and James weren’t expecting me, when she picked me up from Gisborne airport. Despite this, I spent a lovely afternoon and evening with them, when we finally tracked down James in one of his vineyards.