Zorah Karasi, a remarkable Armenian wine

One of the most interesting encounters I had at today’s Liberty Wine tasting was with Armenia, the land-locked country hemmed in by Georgia, Ajerbaijan, Iran and Turkey. This broader area is widely regarded to be the birthplace of wine, and the wine in question that I tasted today is Zorah’s now famous Karasi.

I had [...]

Recently on the main wineanorak site

Some recent articles on the main wineanorak site, which – if you just visit this blog – you might have missed.

Blandy’s: a profile of this important Madeira company, with a tasting back
to the early 19th century
Dirler-Cadé: a great tasting at this biodynamic Alsace producer
Bouchard Finlayson: part 2, visiting South Africa’s Hemel-en-Aarde region
Delheim: part 7, Stellenbosch [...]

A year in the life of a winewriter, 2013

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 [...]

On fake wine

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 [...]

Wines of the year, 2013

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, [...]

New Kiwi wines from Rod Easthope

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, [...]

Grape varieties and the diversity of wine

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 [...]

On some wines we disagree

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 [...]

Tasting versus drinking, again

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 on television

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 [...]