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 [...]

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 [...]