In New Zealand, day 1, Central Otago

It was hard to get my head round the contrast. One day I’m shivering in a snowy, dark-skied London. The next, I’m sitting on an internal flight crossing the dividing range in New Zealand’s South Island, looking down at dramatic snow-capped peaks in laser-sharp light on my way to Queenstown, Central Otago.

I very nearly missed [...]

A brilliant Pinot Noir from the Auvergne

This is, dear readers, the best sub-£10 wine I have consumed this year. It’s a Pinot Noir from the southern Loire region of the Auvergne, which is a story in itself (I hope to visit next year), and it has been unearthed by the talented Richard Kelley MW of ABS Wine Agencies. It comes from [...]

A great game of rugby followed by some wine

Took older son along to Twickenham today for his first England international. It was against the mighty All Blacks (that’s the New Zealand team for the benefit of those who don’t follow sport at all, in which case this may not prove to be your favourite ever blog post of mine), so I was expecting to [...]

A delicious German Pinot Noir

There are some things that I like more the older I get. I tweeted yesterday about how much I a growing to like white Rhone varieties such as Marsanne, Grenache Gris and Blanc, and Viognier. I also find that I’m appreciated Champagne more. And also Pinot Noir, which is a bit of an addiction.

Here’s a [...]

Newton Johnson Family Vineyards Pinot Noir 2011, a five-star Pinot from South Africa

A couple of days ago I blogged on South African Pinot Noir, with a film interviewing some key winegrowers. Well here’s the wine that prompted me to make that film. I tracked down a bottle in London, having already tasted it at the Green Tie party at Cape Wine. It’s superb. Five star quality.

Newton Johnson [...]

Video: Pinot Noir in South Africa - an emerging story

This is the first of three films I made at Cape Wine, each focusing on individual varieties with a story to tell. It’s about Pinot Noir. South African Pinot used to be fairly poor, with one or two noteworthy exceptions. Now there’s a buzz about it, and there are a critical mass of interesting Pinots [...]

Quinta de Sant'Ana Pinot Noir 2010

I’ve written before about this Pinot Noir. Its debut vintage, 2009, impressed me, and can be found online at a bargain price of £12. This follow-up is equally convincing. A really nice wine. I likened the 2009 to a Marlborough Pinot Noir; I notice that this time I’ve likened it to a Martinborough Pinot Noir.

Quinta [...]

Two stylish Pinot Noirs from Neudorf

You know, I just love Pinot Noir. And I get a lot of my Pinot pleasure from New Zealand these days. Here are a couple of recent releases from Neudorf, who make their Pinot Noirs with a distinctly savoury twist. It’s not just about sweet fruit here.

Neudorf Moutere Pinot Noir 2010 Nelson, New Zealand
14% alcohol. [...]

Te Tera Pinot Noir from Martinborough

Kiwi Pinot Noir rocks. And this is one of my favourite inexpensive examples. It’s made by Martinborough Vineyard, and comes from the wonderful Martinborough/Wairarapa region, not far from the capital city Wellington.

Martinborough Vineyard Te Tera Pinot Noir 2011 Martinborough, New Zealand
Supple, fresh and smooth with bright cherry and raspberry fruit. Midweight with nice purity of fruit [...]

An English Pinot Noir from Chapel Down

English fizz is getting a lot of attention. What about the table wines, or still wines, or whatever you want to call them? Here’s a Pinot Noir that’s actually incredibly drinkable. Love the admirably pure cherry fruit: it actually tastes like Pinot Noir. The Englishness shows in the green characters, but they are more good [...]