Folium: interesting dry-grown wines from New Zealand's Marlborough region

Takaki Okada came to New Zealand’s Marlborough region in 2003, and began working with Clos Henri. In 2010, he bought an 8.5 hectare vineyard that had been established by Fromm in the Brancott Valley. He began making his own wines.

Marlborough is quite dry (growing season averages around 340 ml of rain, with 640 ml the [...]

Sylvain Pataille, master of Marsannay

Over the last 15 years Sylvain Pataille has built up his domaine from scratch. He first made wine in 1999, while he was still employed in an enology laboratory in Beaune, but he released his debut vintage in 2001. His domaine is now 15 hectares, all located within Marsannay, which is at the top of [...]

Mac Forbes EB18 'P3' Pinot Gris/Pinot Noir/Pinot Meunier 2015

Mac Forbes is a bit of a legend. He’s been a pioneer of lighter, lower alcohol, naturally made wines from the Yarra Valley. As well as his regular wines, he makes small quantities of ‘EB’ (experimental batch) wines. This is one of those, and just 3000 bottles were made. It’s three Pinots together: Noir, Gris [...]

Underwood: Oregon wine in a can

Underwood wines come in 375 ml cans. It’s striking packaging. I was curious, so I bought a pair to try, for $5.99 each from World Foods in Portland, Oregon. They are made by Union Wine Company. They have the admirable goal of demystifying wine and making affordable, decent wine available so everyone can enjoy it, [...]

The 2014s from Evening Land: Oregon's new pacesetter

Yesterday I got to taste the as yet unreleased 2014s from Evening Land Vineyards. This is the first step in a new phase of the project, which is based on the Seven Springs Vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills of Oregon. Rajat Parr and Sashi Moorman (Domaine de la Côte and Sandhi from the Santa Rita [...]

Extended tasting note: Brooks Ara Riesling 2008 and Brooks Janus 2008, Willamette Valley, Oregon

Sometimes, short tasting notes don’t really tell you all that much about a wine. So, in the past, I’ve tried to write the occasional extended tasting note, bringing in the context of the drinking experience and dwelling a little longer on the wine. I tried this sitting outside in the late evening yesterday, here at [...]

In Oregon: Goodfellow Family Cellars

Marcus Goodfellow and Gaironn Poole

I visited Matello/Goodfellow Family Cellars last a couple of years ago (see report here), and it was great to go back on this trip to catch up with Marcus Goodfellow and Gaironn Poole. What’s changed? A few things. First, they have a kid, Fletcher, who entertained us as we tasted [...]

Tesselaarsdal: a brilliant new Pinot Noir from South Africa

There’s a nice story behind this Tesselaarsdal Pinot Noir, which I drank with Greg Sherwood and Higgo Jacobs on Saturday. It’s made by Berene Sauls, who is an employee of Hamilton Russell Vineyards in Hemel-En-Aarde. The wine is made at Hamilton Russell with the assistance of winemaker Emul Ross (who recently joined from Chamonix), and [...]

Seven older red Burgundies

JF Mugnier Chambolle Musigny 2003 Burgundy, France
Ripe and sweet with bold, textured sweet cherry fruit backed up by spicy warmth. Rich and broad with nice silkiness and good structure. Burly yet still attractive. Atypical because of the hot vintage. 92/100

Fourrier Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru Clos St Jacques 1998 Burgundy, France
Lively, fresh, juicy and bright with [...]

Tolpuddle Vineyard 2014 Pinot and 2013 Chardonnay

I wrote up the first releases of these wines – the 2012s – just over two years ago. Now it’s time to look at some more recent releases. Seriously impressive wines. Not cheap, but very, very good.

Tolpuddle Vineyard Chardonnay 2013 Tasmania, Australia
Aromatic, linear and very pure with nice citrus fruit. Bright and very direct with [...]