In NZ day 2, Ostler, Waitaki Valley

After leaving Central Otago, we drove to a wine region that I’d never visited before. It’s New Zealand’s newest and probably smallest wine region, the Waitaki Valley. A few years ago, people were getting very excited about Waitaki, largely because of the promise of limestone soils and a cool climate. Some of that excitement has [...]

In NZ, day 2: Prophets Rock, Central Otago

Day 2 of this short visit to Central Otago began with Paul Pujol at Prophets Rock. This was an amazing visit. I’ve met Paul and tasted his wines a number of times, and this – my first time in the vineyard – confirmed to me that this is one of Central Otago’s top 2 or [...]

New Zealand, day 1: Burn Cottage and Two Paddocks, Central Otago

Two more visits on the first day in Central Otago. Burn Cottage is an interesting project. It was started by American Marquis (pronounced Marcus) Sauvage, and he hired a stellar team of Ted Lemon (consultant) and Claire Mulholland (winemaker) to oversee it. It’s a 27 hectare property with 10.2 hectares of vines, on the border [...]

In New Zealand, day 1: Wanaka, Central Otago - Maude and Rippon

I’m back in Central Otago, for my fourth visit. I’m slowly beginning to understand a little about this remarkable wine region, and yesterday saw a lovely set of visits to four different producers, all of whom are doing something quite special. I’ll write the day up in two batches, beginning with a morning in Wanaka.

In the Yarra Valley

The Yarra Valley. It was almost a decade ago that I first visited, back in March 2006. It was a lovely trip owing much to the generosity of Tony Jordan, who hosted me and arranged my appointments, Now, it was time to revisit.

I started off right in the south of the region, at Gembrook Hill, [...]

A really nice Loire Pinot: Eric Louis Sancerre Rouge 2013

I’ve never really been all that interested in Sancerre Rouge before. But when you look at the terroirs, and then consider that it wasn’t all that long ago that this used to be a predominantly red wine appellation, you begin to think that there’s potential for some good Pinot Noir here. This is a lovely [...]

Clos de Tart: a vertical tasting of one of Burgundy's most celebrated wines

 

Clos de Tart needs little introduction for most wine lovers. It’s Burgundy’s largest Grand Cru monopole (where the whole vineyard is owned by one producer) and for the last 20 years it has been under the safe stewardship of the fabulous map-making Sylvain Pitiot (above right). Now Sylvain has retired and handed over to Jacques [...]

A new high end Pinot Noir from Torres, Chile: Escaleras de Empedrado

This is quite exciting. It’s a new high-end Pinot Noir from Chile, made by Torres. And it has been a long time coming. 20 years ago, Torres went prospecting for a special Chilean terroir with slate, to replicate the soils of Priorat. They found a site called Empedrado, which was a forested slope with slate [...]

Two Burgundies I liked: Jobard and Bichot

Gotta love Burgundy. Here are two rather nice ones that aren’t stupidly expensive, but which are delicious.

Antoine Jobard Bourgogne Blanc 2011 Burgundy, France
Wonderful stuff: lovely matchstick and citrus nose leads to a palate showing mineral, tangy citrus fruit with hints of cabbage and tangerine. It’s zippy and complex with an amazing vitality. Complex and precise [...]

The new Las Pizarras wines from Errazuriz: high end, terroir-driven Pinot and Chardonnay from coastal Aconcagua

Francisco Baettig, of Errazuriz, is a thoughtful, insightful winemaker. Like many Chilean winemakers, he has been thinking quite a bit about how to make his wines fresher and more interesting, and these two new wines are the latest stage in this journey.

His boss, Eduardo Chadwick wanted him to produce two new icon wines, but Francisco [...]