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. [...]

The Liberator, an impressive South African red

Richard Kelley MW popped round tonight to drop off a mixed case of Cotat. He also brought along two wines that he has sourced himself from South Africa and which have been bottled under the name ‘The Liberator’. These are small parcels of wines from illustrious producers at very good prices, and the sources must [...]

Northern Rhone series 16, Domaine Clape Cornas Renaissance

Hmmm, I’m enjoying this Northern Rhone series. A chance to drink some wonderful wines. Here’s the latest: it’s a Cornas from Clape, but it isn’t at all rustic. Some people still characterize Cornas as producing rather stern, rustic wines, but I don’t think this is the case any more. It’s a serious appellation.

The Clape family [...]

Jamsheed Silvan Syrah is a beautiful wine

This is the new face of Australian wine. Wines from distinguished sites, naturally made, with personality, elegance and a sense of place.

It’s from Jamsheed, a small producer making wines from privileged terroirs in Victoria, and this Silvan Syrah comes from the Yarra Valley. More specifically it is from vines planted in the 1990s on red [...]

The IMW Australian Shiraz masterclass

Just on my way back from the Institute of Masters of Wine Australian Shiraz Masterclass. It was led by a distinguished group of Aussie winegrowers: Tim Kirk (Clonakilla), Julian Castagna, Prue Henschke, John Duval and Ron Laughton (Jasper Hill).

Julian Castagna flanked by Prue Henschke and Ron Laughton

The line up of wines, was – on [...]