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 [...]

Northern Rhone series 25, Pierre Gaillard St Joseph 2010

2010 is an incredible vintage in the Northern Rhone, and this is a lovely, balanced wine that displays the best of cool climate Syrah. I love this sort of wine.

Pierre Gaillard St Joseph 2010 Northern Rhone, France
Subtly peppery, fresh and bright with lovely raspberry and cherry fruit. Finely spicy, even with a hint of ginger [...]

Northern Rhone series 24, Jeanne Gaillard Syrah

Jeanne Gaillard is the daughter of Pierre, well known grower in the Northern Rhone. At the age of 24 she landed 13 hectares of vineyards, five in Crozes Hermitage and eight in the Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes.

This is a Vin de Pays Syrah from the region, and it’s really lovely. Interestingly, the cork [...]

Northern Rhone series 23, cracking Cornas from Guillaume Gilles

Oh yes, I like this a lot. When Cornas is good, it can be great. This is a great example, from a young vigneron called Guillaume Gilles, and I believe that this 2007 Cornas was his first vintage. Top notch. Available in the UK from Vine Trail.

Guillaume Gilles Cornas 2007 Northern Rhone, France
14% alcohol. Sweet, [...]

Northern Rhone series 21, Martine Vandre Champ Morel Crozes Hermitage

I’m not giving up on my northern Rhone series, which began almost a year ago, and is now in its 21st installment. It’s a region I love, filled with great wines alongside poor ones – I guess, like most wine regions worldwide. When its on form, it’s brilliant.

This is a brilliantly focused Crozes Hermitage that [...]

A brilliant Hungarian Syrah

Really enjoyed this over the last two nights. It’s a Syrah made by an Austrian in the Sopron region of Hungary. Thrilling stuff.

Weninger Syrah 2009 Sopron, Hungary
13.5% alcohol. really fresh, peppery nose showing black pepper, black cherry and spice notes, as well as a hint of clove. The palate is fresh with pepper and spice [...]

Northern Rhone series 20, the 2010s from Pierre Gaillard

I was fortunate enough to be sent some cask samples of the 2010s from Pierre Gaillard. He makes wine in a modern style, but avoids spoofiness and over-ripeness. In a vintage like 2010, which I’m beginning to think is the best in the region since 1999, his wines are pretty irresistable. These are all available [...]