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 […]

Two high-end southern French reds

The south of France, with its varying appellations, was one of the first wine regions that I fell in love with. I still retain an affection for the likes of Pic St Loup, Corbieres, Faugeres and Cotes du Roussillon, but it’s ages since I have visited – something I should try to address next year. […]

A serious Kiwi Riesling: Framingham F-Series

Framingham, who I’ve reviewed before here, are one of New Zealand’s most underrated producers, I reckon. All their wines are good, but it’s Riesling for which they are best known. This is their top Riesling, and it’s pretty serious. It’s the oldest vines on the estate (this is Marlborough, so they’ll be 30 years old […]

Three very interesting Aussies: First Drop

Three wines from innovative Aussie producer First Drop (see their website here). They specialize in alternative varieties, but also do a pretty good job with their more conventional wines. The packaging and marketing is spot on. These wines have just become available in the UK, so RRPs are attached. I’m chasing up where they are […]

A lovely Languedoc white

I’m on a bit of a Languedoc roll at the moment. Here’s another really delicious, quite serious, yet well-priced wine. And it’s white.

La Chapelle de Bebian 2009 Coteaux du Languedoc, France
A blend of Grenache Blanc, Roussanne and Clairette. Very distinctive nose: fresh, minty, herby with a hint of fennel and some anise. The palate is […]

A brilliant southern French red

This is fantastic. It’s a blend of seven different grape varieties (Syrah, Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mourvedre, Counoise, Grenache Noir, Terret Gris), made without any oak. And it manages to catch an almost Burgundian precision and elegance, with a natural, unadorned purity to the fruit. This is the sort of southern French red that I love.

Gravillas […]

A great value, fairly serious Riesling

This is a strong contender for one of the best value whites of the year, at the discounted price of £7.99. It’s from a producer I reviewed a short while ago, Prinz von Hessen.

Prinz von Hessen Riesling Kabinett Trocken 2008 Rheingau, Germany
11.5% alcohol. Taut lime and lemon nose with a hint of honey. The palate […]

Two superb South African whites

I’m getting quite enthused about South African whites of late. Especially the white blends. Here are two very good wines, both made by winemaker Ian Naude. One is a blend of different varieties; the other a blend of different regions.

Naude 2008 Western Cape, South Africa
A blend of Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, weighing in […]