It has been a good year. Not always straightforward, but rewarding. One measure of the success of a year is how much I have learned, and this year I have learned a great deal. Here are some of the highlights.
First trip of the year, a brief visit to Bordeaux, to talk at a conference on [...]
So, Rudy Kurniawan is the first person to be convicted in the USA by a Federal Court of counterfeiting wine. It seems that the fine wine auction market is awash with fakes, and the auction houses haven’t been up to the task of authenticating the lots that have been consigned with them. It has been [...]
So, here are my wines of the year. It’s a strict meritocracy, I am afraid, and as this has been a very good year, it looks a little boastful. I have tried to restrict the list to wines that I have actually drunk rather than just tasted. Here goes.
I’m starting with the Shobrook Giallo 2011, [...]
I first met Rod Easthope when he was winemaker at Craggy Range, based in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, back in 2008. I met him again in 2010 at the Hawkes Bay Syrah symposium, when he gave a deeply impressive talk on Kiwi Syrah. And then again, I met him in Wellington in January this year, [...]
There’s another interesting piece by Andrew Jefford in Decanter looking at a census of grape varieties. He states:
The plantings of the major varieties are steadily growing more dominant. Some 21 varieties accounted for half the world’s plantings in 2000; by 2010, that total had dropped to 15 varieties. The share of the top 35 global [...]
I was at a tasting recently, when a colleague whose opinion I respect asked me what I thought of a particular wine. He’d given it a score of 58/100.
It was the 2012 LAM white from Lammershoek (a leading winery from South Africa’s Swartland region), a blend of Chenin, Chardonnay and Viognier, priced very reasonably at [...]
I have a worry. It’s that wine critics are doing too much tasting and not enough drinking.
The competition amongst the critics is becoming intense. As the Robert Parker era closes, there’s a bit of a power struggle. The point-scorers are vying for power. Who will have influence?
The wine world is now too big for one [...]
Wine industry commentator Robert Joseph has recently written about wine on television. The reason we don’t have much wine on TV, he asserts, is because wine isn’t interesting as a subjectfor TV. It’s not visual enough. He lays down a challenge to anyone who disagrees: make a pilot program and see how many views you get [...]
OK, this is a plug. For an event of which I’m one of the organizing team. But I just wanted to bring everyone’s attention to the International Sparkling Wine Symposium 2013, which is being held at Denbies in a couple of weeks’ time.
There’s a stunning line-up of speakers, so if you have any [...]
The Sampler is such a great wine merchant. I spent some time at the South Kensington store this evening tasting wines from their enomatic machines. You don’t need to spend much money to have a lot of fun here, and they have a lot of interesting things on tasting, including some older vintages. Here are [...]