Hambledon Classic Cuvée Rosé

Hambledon is one of the most exciting of all the English sparkling wine producers. They’ve just released their first rosé, and it’s really impressive.

Hambledon Rosé NV Hampshire, England
12% alcohol. 90% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Noir (red wine). 95% of 2014 vintage and 5% reserve wines, some aged in barrel. This is beautiful. It has vivid, slightly [...]

Impressive sparkling wines from Blue Mountain, Okanagan, Canada

Just tried these impressive sparkling wines from Blue Mountain (who I visited a couple of years ago) in Canada’s Okanagan Valley. They are really good, and compared with their peers they represent amazing value for money.

Blue Mountain Brut NV Okanagan Valley, Canada
Pinot Noir (56%) and Chardonnay (39%) with a bit of Pinot Gris (5%) from [...]

Jamie and Treve's Sekt Tape, the start of a new collaboration

Published today, a focus on Sekt, Germany’s sparkling wine. Including Jamie and Treve’s Sekt Tape.

This in-depth focus on Sekt is a collaborative effort. Canadian wine journalist Treve Ring and I have crossed paths around the globe with a joint goal to visit wine regions and tell their stories in a fresh way, making full use [...]

In Nova Scotia, Canada, visiting the remarkable Benjamin Bridge sparkling winery

It was my first time in Nova Scotia. This is on the Atlantic coast of  Canada, and it’s the youngest of Canada’s cool climate wine regions. I was here to visit Benjamin Bridge, the sparkling wine producer that’s making waves, and has the reputation of being Canada’s finest sparkling winery.

I was travelling with three sommeliers [...]

Two rarities from Eyrie Vineyards, Oregon: Pinot Meunier Rosé fizz and Chasselas Doré

I’ve just arrived in Oregon, after landing in Vancouver via Calgary last night. It’s a fair drive down, but on the way back I’ll be stopping in Seattle for the Riesling Rendezvous. Another first: entering the USA via a land border, which took a while, but was uneventful. I’m staying tonight at the Eyrie Vineyards, [...]

In the Okanagan, BC, Canada: Laughing Stock and Bella

The last couple of visits in the Okanagan were really interesting. The first was at Laughing Stock Vineyards on the Naramata Bench. Cynthia and David Enns (above) were financial people who caught the wine bug, and they bought this property in 2003. They were the ninth vineyard on the Bench, and now there are 30. [...]

In South Africa, day 1, Leeu House and a grand MCC tasting

I arrived in South Africa yesterday morning. Greeted by a bright, brisk sunny winter’s day, I headed off to Franschhoek. This is the tourist hotspot of the winelands, and with its natural beauty and attractive town, it’s easy to see why. It’s also the current hotspot of South Africa’s thriving Methode Cap Classique (MCC) sparkling [...]

In Alsace, kicking off with some crémant

I’m in Alsace, and last night I began with some crémant, Alsace’s traditional method sparkling wine, of which over 30 million bottles are produced annually. Here are a few that I tried.

Dirler-Cadé Brut Nature 2013 Alsace, France
Lively and focused with nice bright citrus fruit and a hint of wax and lemon. Lovely fruity style. 89/100

Domaine [...]

Tantalus Old Vines Riesling Brut 2013 Okanagan Valley, Canada

So, this is pretty much a real time tasting note of a sparkling wine from Canada’s Okanagan Valley that’s in my glass at the moment. Tantalus has been growing grapes since 1927, and this Riesling vineyard was planted in 1978, which for Vitis vinifera in the Okanagan, is pretty ancient history. It’s from clone 21B, [...]

The new Exton Park Pinot Meunier Rosé

Had a chance to taste this new varietal Pinot Meunier from Hampshire-based English sparkling wine producer Exton Park, with winemaker Corinne Sealy. She describes Pinot Meunier as ‘a child that has to be well educated.’ She says, ‘it is stubborn.’ In the vineyard they have tried all sorts of ways of growing it, and finally [...]