Lunch with Pol, Cloudy, Lapierre, Jamet, Clair and Bachelet

Popped round for lunch at brother-in-law Beavington’s pad yesterday, which usually means that between us we’ll have something decent to drink. (In the process, I also very nobly assist him with his cellar over-stock issues.) All the wines showed really well yesterday.

Champagne Pol Roger NV France
This is showing really well: toast, peach and nuts, together [...]

Aeternitas, a new Syrah from South Africa

Johan Grimbeek is the winemaker at South African winery Kanu. Through top restaurateur Bertus Basson, I managed to get my hands of a bottle of his home brew – it goes under the label of Aeternitas, and it’s a Syrah from a single vineyard in Stellenbosch, aged half in new oak. It’s a ripe, warm [...]

De Bortoli Shiraz Viognier 2004, the benefits of cellaring

There’s something to be said for buying a few bottles of the same wine, then cellaring them, and revisiting them at intervals. It’s tremendously rewarding if the wine ages well.

This wine is an example of where I have done this. I can find notes on the same wine back in 2007, when it was three years [...]

Five eclectic wines at the DIAM Rioja conference

Today I gave a talk on social media and the wine industry at a conference in Logrono (Rioja) organized by DIAM, the closure company. Also speaking was José Penin, author of the respected wine guide, chosen to represent the existing media. I was chosen because I have made a reputation with more modern media.

As well [...]

Rhone 2011, a pretty good vintage

 

Isabel Ferrando

It has been a busy day. I was leading a team at the Sommelier Wine Awards in Vauxhall until 3.20 pm, and then I hot footed it along the Thames to Westminster, and One Great George Street, for the Berry Bros & Rudd Rhone 2011 en primeur tasting.

This is a great chance to [...]

A superb, inexpensive Ventoux

Continuing in my theme of brilliant wines under £10, here’s a Ventoux that I was seduced by. It’s one of those wines that manages to hold the sweet fruit and savoury notes in tension. It’s almost Burgundian, in a southern Rhone sort of way.

Gonnet La Jeannette Ventoux 2011 Rhone, France
14.5% alcohol. Not too deep in colour: [...]

Three New Zealand Syrahs from the Gimblett Gravels

There isn’t a lot of Syrah in New Zealand. But it’s a grape that does very well here, when it is grown. I’ve had great examples from Waiheke Island, Martinborough, Marlborough and even Central Otago.

The Gimblett Gravels in Hawkes Bay is probably the most famous locale in Kiwiland for Syrah. Here are three good examples: [...]

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.