Jaspi Blanc, a lovely affordable Spanish white

I love it when I find a really nice wine at an everyday sort of price. This fits the bill: a Catalan white wine from Coca i Fitó in Terra Alta, and it’s mainly Grenache Blanc. I really like Grenache Blanc and Gris – these varieties just seem to do so well in warm-ish climates. Old [...]

Alvaro Palacios, the Decanter man of the year

Ever since 1984, UK wine magazine Decanter have bestowed an accolade on a figure from the the world of wine, crowning them man of the year. The first recipient was Serge Hochar. The most recent, and a very popular choice, was Alvaro Palacios, who at the age of 50 (he’s 51 on Monday) is still [...]

Two from Spain: Basconcillos and Sandoval

After posting on two Portuguese wines yesterday, I thought I’d stay in the Iberian peninsula and write up two Spanish bottles. The Basconcillos is a low-SO2 red that’s brilliant value for money, and although there’s some American oak here it doesn’t dominate at all, although there’s certainly some oak evident. The Sandoval is made by [...]

Do Ferreiro Albariño Cepas Vellas from 200 year old vines

This was a remarkable Albariño, made from a one-hectare plot of vines that’s over 200 years old. It’s made by Gerardo Méndez of Do Ferreiro, who farms 10 hectares, split into numerous small plots, more or less organically. This Cepas Vellas is from a hillside vineyard with sandy granitic soils. The grapes come in with around [...]

Viña Tondonia Reserva 2002, in a supermarket near you

López de Heredia, who make Tondonia, is one of the classic old Rioja houses. They are super-traditional, and make fabulously old fashioned and brilliantly ageable wines. They are not for modernists: winemaking here is quite oxidative with extended ageing in oak before release. It’s not quite up to Musar levels, but these wines are a [...]

How sherry is transferred from cask to cask

A short film showing the way that sherries are transferred from cask to cask in the solera/criadera system. This is biologically aged sherry (fino), so a special device is used so that the flor isn’t damaged when fresh wine is added. The fresh wine adds nutrients that helps maintain the flor layer in a healthy [...]

Writing up my sherry adventure, and a special plug for Bar Arturo

I have just written up the first two parts of a five part series on my sherry adventure in October, when I got to visit Jerez and helped blend the spectacular Las Palmas sherries for Gonzalez Byass. The remaining three parts will be up tomorrow.

I wanted to highlight a remarkable meal I had on this [...]

In Spain, at the Ecosostenible Wine conference

I am in Vilafranca del Penedes in Spain, at the fourth Ecosostenible Wine conference, where I have been a participant.

It’s a technical conference examining organic wine production, sustainability and climate change. The discussions today were wide-ranging, covering aspects such as replacing copper in organic viticulture, life cycle assessments of the carbon footprint of wooden versus [...]

Four great wines at The Remedy: Jura, Sicily and Tenerife

Was at The Remedy wine bar last night, with a couple of dudes. We had some lovely wines, including two stunning bottles from Tenerife. The red in particular was quite sensational. It was a lovely evening, and I was impressed by the food. We had some great cheese and meat, and also lovely smoked mackerel [...]

Mas Candi: making the most of Catalan grape varieties

Mas Candi is a fairly new project (established 2006) that’s a collaboration between four viticulture and enology students who wanted to make wines from their families’ vineyards. The focus is mainly on indigenous Catalan varieties. They’re really interesting. UK agent is Indigo Wines.

Mas Candi Desig 2013 Penedès, Spain
13% alcohol. This is made from Xarel-lo planted [...]