Two great wines with dinner: Zidarich Malvasia and Jamsheed Garden Gully Syrah

Had Ryan Mostert and Samantha Suddons over for dinner on Thursday night. They are a young couple working at one of South Africa’s most exciting wineries, Reyneke, and so we opened a lot of nice bottles. 11 in all, between four of us. (But we’re lightweights, and we didn’t drink all of them to the [...]

A brilliant, affordable Languedoc Syrah

Love this wine. Affordable but with some complexity. Fun yet a bit serious. Chunky but not inelegant. Ripe yet savoury. A perfect house red for autumn/winter.

Domaine Coudoulet Syrah 2011 Pays d’Oc IGP, France
14.5% alcohol. Fresh, vivid black cherry and blackberry nose, which is rich but defined with sweetness and some floral, peppery notes. The palate [...]

Syrah in South Africa, a film with some leading wine growers

The third and final of my varietally focused films interviewing leading South African wine growers focuses on Syrah. I love Syrah, and it is slowly but surely beginning to do really well in South Africa. Here’s what they have to say.

Côte Rôtie, one of my great passions

I often get asked the impossible question. What is your favourite wine?

For a wine professional, you can’t really afford to have a favourite. Let’s face it, the world of wine is full of amazing discoveries at every turn. To single out one region, or one style, seems absurd.

But you have to answer this question when [...]

A really good New Zealand Syrah, tasted on video

One of those funny clip things where I taste a wine on video. In this case it is the rather good Legacy Series Syrah 2009 from Vidal in New Zealand’s Hawkes Bay.

Another lovely Kiwi Syrah, at an affordable price

Following on from yesterday’s plug for Trinity Hill’s rather tasty Syrah, here’s another lovely Kiwi Syrah, this time at a nicely affordable price.

Villa Maria Private Bin Syrah 2009 Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
13% alcohol. Amazingly fresh, peppery, spicy black cherry nose. The palate is fresh and supple with light, juicy berry, plum and cherry fruit, as well [...]

A superb New Zealand Syrah

New Zealand reds are exciting. They’re getting better all the time. I caught this Trinity Hill Syrah – a wine I actually bought with my own money (shock!) – in a good place. It held up well over two days, although it’s a miracle that any was left for day 2.

Trinity Hill Syrah Gimblett Gravels [...]

Syrah and Serine

I have just written up the wines of Eric Texier, who is doing some really interesting work in the northern Rhone. For me, his two best wines are both made from Serine, which is a special clone of Syrah (some people claim it is actually a separate variety; there’s quite a bit of confusion about [...]

Mullineux Schist and Granite 2010

Swartland-based Mullineux is one of the most respected of the new wave of South African wine estates, and in the 2012 Platter Guide they achieved a remarkable clean sweep of three out of three five star wines.

Last year they added two more wines to their portfolio: a pair of high-end Syrahs named ‘Granite’ and ‘Schist’. [...]

Northern Rhone series 26, Jean-Luc Colombo Les Fees Brunes Crozes 2009

Cornas-based winegrower and negociant Jean-Luc Colombo divides opinion. To some, he’s too modern – and I have had mixed experiences with his wines, finding some a little oak influenced, and perhaps too polished. But I have had some really nice wines from him, too, like this superb and very typical Crozes Hermitage.

Jean-Luc Colombo ‘Les Fees [...]