Some nice wines from small importer Tiger Vines

Tiger Vines is a small import business run by James Thomas. He worked with Domaine Laroche, then spent two years at Majestic Wine, three years at Bibendum and eight years with Billecart-Salmon UK. His philosophy with Tiger Vines is to find the most tenanted producers working with great terroirs, and he began with Champagne and the US West […]

A pruning masterclass: cane-pruning Sauvignon in Marlborough

The Awatere: time to prune

This morning Mike Eaton kindly took me out to a vineyard he’s working with in the Awatere Valley (Marlborough, New Zealand) to give a quick pruning masterclass.

Here’s the film – it’s quite long at 14 minutes, but it goes into detail about some of the decision-making process in pruning a vineyard.

In […]

A mixed case of reds from The Wine Society

Following hot on the heels from my selection of 12 top whites from The Wine Society tasting, here are notes on 12 top reds. There’s some great drinking here: these are all wines that I would buy.

Aldinger Trollinger Fellbacher Alte Reben 2015 Neckar Valley, Germany
12.5% alcohol. Light red in colour. Pretty, supple and expressive with […]

Texsom: S&M wines seminar

Not all wines are easy. There’s a stream of thought in the wine world that the wine industry should do better at giving ‘consumers’ what they want. We change wines to suit peoples’ tastes and preferences. If people find sweetness in red wines delicious, then let’s give them red wines sweetened up with a bit […]

Top wines from ProWein 2017

Three famous South Africans caught at ProWein

[This is a post in collaboration with my Canadian colleague Treve Ring.]

There are wine trade shows the world over, but there is only one that covers all bases from vintage Port to natural wine, from bag-in-box to classed Bordeaux, and from products ranging from Canada to China to […]

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 […]