Some highlights from the Waitrose Press Tasting

We wine journos are in the middle of press tasting season at the moment, with all the major supermarkets showing off their ranges. Buying standards for UK supermarkets are very high, but what makes life difficult for the buyers are their margin requirements, especially in the days of 25% off entire range special offers. So [...]

Fine wines with lunch, old-school wine trade style

These wines were recently tasted at a rather fine lunch at La Trompette, which is a great restaurant. It went on a long time, as you can imagine. I’m always struck by how well older bottles of top Bordeaux show in these situations, and how inconsistent red Burgundy can be. And the Rhône can be [...]

Lunch with Olivier Bernstein

Had lunch on Thursday with Olivier Bernsteinm (above), along with some other journos and the fabulous Simon Staples at Berry Brothers & Rudd.

Olivier was born in the Loire, and his grandfather founded a music publishing house. It was while he was working in international management that Olivier caught the wine bug and did a [...]

Casa Silva's Cool Coast Wines

Impressed by these. A Chilean Sauvignon and Pinot from Casa Silva’s Paradones estate in Coastal Colchagua, a new-ish cool climate region of Chile. It’s just six kilometres from the chilly Pacific Ocean.

Casa Silva Cool Coast Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Cochagua, Chile
13% alcohol. Very mineral, fresh and direct with taut grapefruit and citrus fruit, as well as [...]

The Kalfu Sumpai wines from Chile

Kalfu is a new series of nine wines from innovative large Chilean producer Vina Ventisquero. They haven’t been released yet, but I got to try two of them. The Sauvignon in particular is of great interest. It’s an edgy wine, not a perfect one, but it shows the potential of Chile’s most northerly vineyard area, [...]

Three lovely wines: Rousseau, Dujac and Cotat

So, the final instalment of my write up of Tuesday’s lunch wines. The great thing about sharing a bottle among four is that you get to drink a decent quantity, and you have time to consider your opinion. Great wines often do change in the glass. Also, as tasters, we change with time – even [...]

The lovely Antikythera Pinot Noir 2011 Antica Terra

One of the most exciting wines of my Oregon trip was also one of the last. It was at Antica Terra with the fabulous Maggie Harrison, on a day in wine country nicely captured in pictures with my travelling companion Elaine Brown here.

When it came to tasting Maggie’s wines, I was a little apprehensive. [...]

Some great wines with Professor Scholefield

For my first three days in British Columbia, Canada, I was being shown around by David Scholefield (aka ‘The Prof’, pictured above). He’s a total dude and we shared some nice bottles together, which I thought I would write up.

Sea Star Siegerrebe 2013 Pender Island, British Columbia, Canada
Not the greatest wine in the world, but [...]

Four lovely wines - Weinbach, Zidarich, Puzelat and Valli

On my first night in Canada a group of friends gathered to share some nice wines. I think they deserve a write-up, although – as usual – notes and scores do little to capture the specialness of wines shared with good people.

Weinbach Cuvee St Catherine Riesling Schlossberg Grand Cru 2009 Alsace, France
Taut, almost spicy and [...]

In Canada, day 1, at Pearl Morissette

Chickens at Pearl Morissette, a special breed from South Africa

So I arrived in Canada yesterday afternoon and headed down to Pearl Morissette winery in Jordan, Niagara, where I am staying for a couple of nights. A few friends joined from Toronto, and we had a great in-depth tasting with Francois Morissette in the winery.
Francois [...]