Term starts again, and a tasting at the Perfect Cellar

Jose Sanfins, Chantelune

Holidays are over, and the wine tasting calendar starts again here in London. I was in town for the first tasting in a long time – a small portfolio tasting from The Perfect Cellar, a new-ish merchant with an eclectic list of small producers, and a shop presence in luxury retail space [...]

The remarkable Tenerife wines of Suertes del Marques

So excited to have discovered these wonderful wines from Suertes del Marqués, Tenerife. (Website here.)

Based in Valle de la Oratova, Tenerife, Suertes del Marqués was founded as recently in 2006. The work here is as natural as possible. They farm 9 hectares of vineyards, split into 21 plots, with altitude ranging from 350–700 metres, on [...]

Ojuel Supurao, a remarkable, traditional, sweet red Rioja

Website: http://ojuelwine.com

This is something quite unique. It’s a sweet red wine from Rioja, made by Ojuel, a small winery whose focus is on making an old-style sweet wine from dried grapes which has all but disappeared from the region.

In the past, before the industrialization of winemaking in the region, people would typically roam the vineyard [...]

The Flower and the Bee, a wonderful Treixadura from Ribeiro

I love this wine. it’s beautifully packaged, and its contents are great, too. From the northwest of Spain, and specifically the Ribeiro appellation, it’s a varietal Treixadura (in neighbouring Vinho Verde region of Portugal, it is known as Trajadura). This wine has depth of flavour plus freshness, and it’s quite distinctive.

Coto de Gomariz The Flower [...]

Four decades of Beronia Gran Reserva Rioja

I recently got the chance to taste (and drink) Beronia Gran Reserva Rioja from three different decades, spanning four decades in all, which was pretty cool. I’m not the greatest fan of traditional-styled Rioja, but when it’s good, it’s very good, and it can age brilliantly.

These three bottles were all compelling. The 1982 perhaps showing [...]

Tio Pepe Fino En Rama, Fourth Edition, 2013

Just out: the new Tio Pepe Fino en Rama. Taken straight from the cask, unfiltered, and offering lots of flavour. Wines like this are helping to make Sherry sexy again.

Think of this like supercharged Fino, with lovely complexity and depth of flavour. And while it’s a bit more expensive than most Finos, it’s still underpriced [...]

IWC day three, plus some beer, plus some nice Riojas

Just finished day 3 of the International Wine Challenge at Lords. It is going well, and I’m enjoying tasting with some excellent wine trade colleagues. Everyone seems to be a team player eager to do a professional job, and this makes my life as a panel chair a lot easier.

There are signs that spring is [...]

Where does the world's best cheap wine come from?

Where does the world’s best cheap red wine come from?

Spain. It’s official.

I’m on a plane at the moment, sitting in the back, and expecting bad wine. But the Spanish red on offer, Finca Vallero Tempranillo Garnacha 2011 Carineña, supplied by Bibendum, is really tasty. It’s ripe and sweetly fruited, with lush berry fruits, but it [...]

Dinner at Jorg's

A merry crowd gathered in the garden of Jörg Pfützner’s home, for an evening of wine and food, including Bruwer Raats, David Clarke, Harry Haddon, Roland Peens, Greg Sherwood, Justin Knock and a few others. We came in good cheer, many armed with smart bottles.

Proceedings kicked off with a glass of Egon Müller’s Scharzhofberg Kabinett [...]

Some thoughts about Cava, and Raventos leaving

Cava is, sadly, not cool.

The news that one of the leading producers of Cava, Raventos, is to leave the Cava appellation has shocked a lot of people. [Aside: ‘appellaton’ is a bad word for it, because Cava is not a geographical designation, even though the vast majority of its production is from the Penedes region [...]