Voyager Estate Shiraz 2009 Margaret River

I have been drinking this young Margaret River Shiraz for the last couple of evenings, and it’s impressive. Normally, you’d associate this rather beautiful part of Western Australia with Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux varieties, but it can also do good things with Syrah/Shiraz. It’s ripe and sweetly fruited, but there’s also freshness, definition and restraint. [...]

I wish more Chilean wines were like this

Costero Syrah 2008 from Vina Leyda, in the Leyda Valley. Bright, vivid, peppery. Sweet fruit, but not too sweet. Some notes of olive. Black cherry and blackberry fruit, with a hint of Chileanness, but not too much.

It was a bargain at £6.99 on multibuy from Majestic a year ago. I wish I had bought more, [...]

A Moroccan red from Alain Graillot

I was interested to try this. I love the wines of Alain Graillot from Croze-Hermitage, but here he’s working with a much warmer climate in north Africa.

The warmth of the climate shows itself in the ripe, sweet fruit flavours. This is certainly not northern Rhone Syrah. But there’s more here than just sweet fruit: there’s [...]

Lammershoek's LAMS - brilliant value from the Swartland

Two wines I shall go out and buy: the red and white LAMs by Swartland start Lammershoek, who since the 2010 vintage have been on fire. These were tasted today at the Richards Walford tasting. Retail price on both is £11, which makes them real bargains. And I love the labels.

LAM by Lammershoek Chenin Blanc/Viognier [...]

Syrah and Pinot Noir, and why I love them

Two wines tonight, shared with friends, which really worked.

The first, a northern Rhone Syrah from the Cornas appellation, but bottled as Vin de Pays. It’s the Les Collines de Laure Syrah 2010 from Jean-Luc Colombo who I met last week. I bought a case of this (direct from Hatch Mansfield because retailers haven’t yet switched [...]

Northern Rhone series 19, Ogier Belle Helene 2007

Normally, I’d shy away from a Cote Rotie aged in 100% new oak. But this cuvee from Ogier seems to be able to take it in its stride. It was first made in 1995, and is named after current proprietor Stephane Ogier’s mother. It’s certainly a modern version of Cote Rotie, but it still has [...]

Picardy - elegance from Western Australia

I have just written up the fabulously stylish Picardy wines from Western Australia’s Pemberton region. You can read the full review here.

They’re just so elegant, and probably my favourite is the Shiraz:

Picardy Shiraz 2009 Pemberton, Western Australia
Initially tight on opening, this really blossoms after about an hour. A really elegant, almost Pinot-like Shiraz with smooth, [...]

Northern Rhone series 18, Equinoxe 2009 from Maxime Graillot

I’m so excited by this wine I’m blogging on it minutes after opening it and trying it for the first time. It’s the Crozes-Hermitage Equinoxe 2009 by Maxime Graillot (Alain’s son), and it’s just fabulous.

Made for early drinking, sealed with a screwcap (saranex liner, mind, good choice), this is inky dark and alive, with vivid [...]

Two lovely wines from St Hallett

Impressed with these wines from Barossa producer St Hallett. The Faith Shiraz is riper and quite seductive, but with lovely fruit purity. The more expensive Scholz is deeper coloured, but less intense – it’s an elegant, expressive example of Barossa Shiraz with lots of personality.

St Hallett Faith Shiraz 2009 Barossa, Australia
Very appealing sweet berry fruits [...]

Northern Rhone series 17, Chapoutier Petite Ruche Crozes Hermitage 2009

Now this I like. It’s just been listed by Waitrose at a very good price (£12.99), and it’s quite a serious expression of Crozes-Hermitage in a somewhat modern style. I get a lot of samples, but this is one that got drunk, rather than just tasted.

Chapoutier Petite Ruche Crozes Hermitage 2009 Northern Rhone, France
13% alcohol. [...]