Burgundy and Rhone, Cathiard and J-L Grippat

Met for pre-dinner drinks with Raj Parr and his cousin Prerna at 28-50 yesterday. Two bottles between three before dinner wasn’t a smart idea, but they were super wines. The Cathiard is, as you might expect from the producer and vintage, a big expression of red Burgundy – ripe and rounded. The Jean-Louis Grippat was [...]

Lunch with two great South African wines, and a good northern Rhône

Had a lovely long lunch yesterday. It was at Bread Street Kitchen, part of the Gordon Ramsay empire, located next to St Paul’s Cathedral.

The dining room is huge. Really huge. Impressively huge. It’s beautifully finished in a faux vintage, semi-industrial style, but it’s really noisy. We could hardly hear the waitstaff as they talked to [...]

Lunch at Mission E2 with some nice Californian wines

On Thursday I had lunch at one of London’s most exciting new wine destinations: Mission E2, the second venue from Sager & Wilde. It’s a beautiful space in a nicely converted railway arch near Bethnal Green tube station. Lots of dark wood, good natural light and a palm tree! The food was really good. I [...]

Vidal Fleury Crozes Hermitage 2012

Regulars here will probably know that the northern Rhône is one of my favourite regions, and that I am crazy about cool-climate Syrah. It would be fair to say that negociant Vidal Fleury is not one of the northern Rhône’s elite producers, but they seem to be getting better, and this is a very smart [...]

Wind Gap Syrah and Grenache - class from California

I’ve written recently about Pax Mahle’s Wind Gap, giving his Trousseau Gris a positive review. Now it’s the turn of two Rhone varieties, Syrah and Grenache. They’re both beautiful, but my preference is for the remarkable Syrah.

Wind Gap Old Vine Grenache 2012 Sonoma County, California
13.75% alcohol. 420 cases made in two concrete eggs. Sweetly [...]

Three lovely Rhones: two Chaves and a La Turque

Had a great lunch at The Glasshouse restaurant in Kew yesterday, hosted by Keith Prothero. In attendance: Malcolm Thwaites, Greg Sherwood and me. The Glasshouse is such a great restaurant. I have never been disappointed with the food there: really beautifully presented, but also perfectly judged flavours. And the service is super – we were [...]

Two cool wines from the Okanagan, Canada: Riesling and Syrah

Tried these rather lovely wines from the Okanagan Valley in Canada, and thought they deserved a write-up, even though they might be hard to find. You heard it here folks: Canada deserves to be taken seriously for both Riesling and Syrah.

Le Vieux Pin Tramonto Syrah 2010 Okanagan Valley, Canada
A private label from the [...]

From the road in South Africa: Delaire Graff and 96 Winery Road

I’m on my way home from a brief trip to South Africa to judge a Chenin Blanc competition. I spent just two nights here, although because of the overnight flights this translated into the best part of four days on the ground. Both nights were spent at the fabulous Delaire Graff estate, in one of [...]

Cambridge Road Syrah from Martinborough, New Zealand

From a small biodynamically managed vineyard in New Zealand’s Martinborough wine region, we have this, a supremely elegant and drinkable Syrah with the poise of a ripe Pinot Noir and more than a hint of the northern Rhone about it. It’s not cheap, but it’s quite brilliant.

Cambridge Road Syrah 2011 Martinborough, New Zealand
Ripe, smooth, complex [...]

Domaine Camp Galhan 'Les Pérassières' 2012 - a brilliant, affordable Rhone red

This is a really super wine, made from a lesser known IGP on the edge of the Cevennes, not far from Avignon and Nimes. One of the best value reds I have had of late.

Domaine Camp Galhan ‘Les Pérassières’ 2012 Vin de Pays Duché d’Uzès, Rhone, France
13.5% alcohol. A blend of fresh cherry [...]