Zorah Karasi, an interesting wine from Armenia

This is an interesting wine, the brainchild of an Italian-based Armenian,  Zorik Gharibian. After extensive research he purchased some land in Vayotz Dzor, which is historically the key Armenian wine region. With help from wnemaker Alberto Antonini and viticulturist Stefano Bartolomei, he has developed a wine that spans the traditional and modern very successfully.

15 hectares [...]

Heida: a brilliant Swiss white wine

Swiss wines are great, but they’re rarely seen out of Switzerland. This is a mountain wine, grown at an altitude of 1150 metres, which makes it one of the highest in Europe. It’s made from the Heida (aka Savagnin) variety, and despite the altitude, manages to get pretty ripe: this weighs in at 14% alcohol.

The [...]

Le Soula Blanc 2007 - a remarkable wine from the Roussillon

I really like this. It’s the latest release from Roussillon producer Le Soula, a partnership between UK wine merchant Richards Walford and celebrated winemaker Gerard Gauby, who discovered this wonderful spot in the Fenouilledes. It’s a blend of eclectic varieties – the vineyard composition of Le Soula reads as follows:

Macabeu 4 ha (on average planted [...]

A Frenchman in Portugal: Francois Lurton's Douro wines

Francois Lurton (website here) makes wine in France, Chile, Argentina, Spain and now Portugal. He bought his first Douro property in 2006 (Quinta Beira), and has subsequently added a second (Quinta Malho).

I tried the 2008 releases, which include the two Quinta wines and two more commercial brands. I’ll be honest: I was a little disappointed with [...]

Chateau Brown 2007: good, affordable Bordeaux

Back in September 2007 I visited Chateau Brown in Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, just before the harvest was about to begin (see my photo gallery here). This week, I’ve finally had a chance to taste the wine made from those grapes that I saw on the vines. And given the vintage, it’s a really impressive result. There’s [...]

Serious Bergerac Blanc from Luc de Conti

Really like this wine. It’s a serious Bergerac Blanc from Luc de Conti. Two thirds Semillon, a third Sauvignon, aged in barrels (half of which are new).

Chateau Tour des Gendres Moulin des Dames Bergerac Blanc Sec 2007 France
14% alcohol. Yellow/gold colour. Rich nose of toast, honey and citrus. The palate has bold, rich, toasty pear [...]

Another superb Riesling - Van Volxem Alte Reben

Isn’t Riesling wonderful? And Germany’s top properties seem to be able to achieve things almost effortlessly with this grape, and at reasonable prices, when compared with most other regions worldwide. This wine is from Roman Niewodniscanski’s Saar estate, and it’s a really superb example of complex dry Riesling that’s drinking well now. I don’t think [...]

One of South Africa's top Sauvignons

South Africa is doing some great things with Sauvignon Blanc these days. Here’s a superb example from De Grendel, in the Durbanville region, near Cape Town.

De Grendel Koetshuis Sauvignon Blanc 2010 Coastal Region, South Africa
13.5% alcohol. Highly aromatic, with striking notes of lime, chalk, minerals and flint, with fine green pepper notes. The palate is concentrated [...]

A stunning Austrian Riesling

This is a really impressive dry Riesling, made from grapes harvested in November. Must drink more Austrian wines…

Franz Hirtzberger Spitzer Singerriedel Riesling Smaragd 2004 Wachau, Austria
13.5% alcohol. Full yellow colour. Beautifully aromatic with rich melon, lemon and crystalline fruit notes. The palate is lively and dry with complex, concentrated flavours of melon, peach and citrus [...]

Graillot Crozes-Hermitage 2008 - beautiful

This is brilliant, and it doesn’t cost a fortune. It has edges – plenty of them – and so it won’t be for everyone. But I really, really like it. It’s an almost Burgundian expression of Syrah.

Alain Graillot Crozes-Hermitage 2008 Northern Rhone
12.5% alcohol. Beautifully aromatic: cherries, raspberries, herbs, pepper, spice and some sappiness. The palate [...]