Conceito Bastardo 2007 Douro, Portugal

A few years ago – back in November 2008 – I was judging wine in Porto. I met up with some Portuguese wine people for dinner, and ended up leaving with a magnum of this. I remember getting a lift up to my floor at 3 am with the manager of the Canadian rugby team [...]

10, 20 and 40 year old Tawnies from Fonseca

Had a chance to run through these aged tawnies from Fonseca. The 10 year old is pretty good, but the 20 and 40 year olds are remarkable wines, showing lovely elegance and purity, and some red fruit character still. When Tawny is good, it’s pretty irresistible.

Fonseca 10 Year Old Tawny
Warm and spicy with lovely depth. [...]

Dinner with Dirk: Chave 1988, De Vogüé Bonnes Mares 1969 and Taylors Vargellas 1976

Dirk Niepoort is one of my favourite people on the planet. Last night we dined at Noble Rot, and shared some very special bottles.

Chave Hermitage 1988 Northern Rhöne, France
This bottle was pretty much perfect. In beautiful condition and still a deep, primary colour. Lovely detailed black cherries, spice, tar, pepper and meat notes, as well [...]

O-Port-Unidade 2013 Vintage Port

This is a great project – one that I mentioned last year when I tried a cask sample with lunch. It’s a charity Port project to which 20 of the leading Port producers from the Douro each contributed around a ton of grapes. These were fermented together in a lagar at the Niepoort winery, and [...]

In the Tejo region of Portugal

I’ve spent the day in the Tejo region of Portugal. I left my hotel at 0745 and arrived back past 11 pm. During that time I visited six producers, had lunch, and had dinner, so there was no free time and I have only enough energy left for a quick blog post. With some pictures.

The [...]

Latest Douro wines from Dirk Niepoort, and his brilliant Mosel collaboration with Kettern

At ProWein I caught up with Dirk Niepoort, and took a look at his Douro wines, and also a new project from the Mosel that he’s involved with: a collaboration with Phillip Kettern (from Weingut Lothar Kettern) It’s always great to taste with Dirk.

Both of the Niepoort white Redomas are made the same way, but the [...]

More highlights from Simplesmente Vinho

Marta Soares

Some more highlights from Simplesmente Vinho to mention. There are a few more to come after this. A show full of interesting wines, for sure.

Marta Soares is an artist and a winemaker. She still lectures in art, but her main gig is wine. At Casal Figueira in Lisboa she makes wine from just one [...]

Visiting Aphros, Vinho Verde

Vasco Croft

At dinner last night, Vasco Croft, owner of Aphros, a biodynamic Vinho Verde producer, decided to invite a group to lunch. So Joao Roseira asked me this morning: how nervous are you with planes? My flight was at 1740, and there might just be time to drive there, have lunch, drive back, and [...]

In Porto for Simplesmente Vinho 2016

I’m in the lovely city of Porto, northern Portugal, for Simplesmente Vinho 2016. Held over this weekend at the Convento Monchique, an impressive run down Manueline building that is in the first stages of being restored, it’s a two-day festival of small, authentic wines combined with food, art and music.

60 producers are attending this [...]

Dow's 1960 Vintage Port

This was stunning. Dirk Niepoort brought it along to lunch the other day (for the sake of disclosure, the picture is of another bottle of this wine – an empty magnum – he had with him; the actual bottle was unlabelled – and thanks Sam Suddons for the pic). 1960 is thought of as a [...]