A serious Austrian red: Moric Blaufrankisch

I do like Austrian wines. Much of my attention is taken by Gruner Veltliner and Riesling, two varieties that Austria just does brilliantly with, but Austrian reds are also really interesting, especially when winemakers hold back on the oak and extraction. This is a superb Blaufrankisch, from the Burgenland region near the Hungarian border. Elevage [...]

Three Austrian wines from Tegernseerhof

The world is awash with interesting wine, even if you have to dig around a bit to find it. The problem this creates for me is I’m perpetually feeling a bit guilty for not plugging certain interesting regions or styles often enough, and one country that I think over-delivers in terms of interest is Austria. [...]

Planeta Cerasuolo di Vittoria: an elegant Sicilian red

Back in February 2009 I visited Sicilian producer Planeta (report here). It was a great visit, and I particularly enjoyed the Cerusuolo from Vittoria, a blend of Nero d’Avola with the bright, fresh Frappato variety. I even went out and bought some afterwards, which for a wine writer deluged by samples is a true endorsement.

Planeta [...]

An interesting South African Sauvignon: Mulderbosch

Given the climate of the Western Cape, South African Sauvignon Blanc shouldn’t be up to much. But the proof is in the wines, which are frequently very good. This is a nice example, distinctively packaged.

Mulderbosch Sauvignon Blanc 2008 Western Cape, South Africa
12.5% alcohol. Fresh, crisp and fruity with lovely balance between the grapefruit and lime [...]

Alsace season 5: Rieffel Pinot Blanc 2008

Of all the Alsace varieties, Pinot Blanc is the one that gets forgotten most easily, I reckon. It’s underrated. Good Pinot Blanc is lovely. This is a nice one, from Lucas and Andre Rieffel.

Rieffel Pinot Blanc Vieilles Vignes 2008 Alsace
13.5% alcohol. Full flavoured with notes of citrus, herbs and straw, as well as subtly toasty [...]

A 2007 Bordeaux that I like, and on offer, too

UK supermarket Waitrose are doing a French Wine Showcase over the next month, with 25% off a range of French wines. The emphasis is on good value stuff, and there are some bargains. Here’s a 2007 Bordeaux that’s actually really nice. It’s proper Bordeaux, the way it should be, with no spoofiness, and it’s drinking [...]

Brilliant red and white Rioja

These two wines are brilliant. Rioja is a frustrating region: some great old vineyards, but average quality dreadfully low. However, like all leading wine regions, there remains a core of ambitious, talented producers willing to make quality their only goal. One of the new wave producers doing this is actually an old hand: Basilio Izquierdo, for [...]

Clarence de Haut Brion 2007

This is the second wine of Chateau Haut-Brion, which prior to this vintage was labelled ‘Bahans de Haut-Brion’. At around £40 a bottle, it isn’t cheap. It sort of delivers, but this isn’t a wildly pleasurable wine at the moment, although it does have some savoury interest.

Le Clarence de Haut Brion 2007 Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux
13% alcohol. [...]

Heida: a brilliant Savignin from Switzerland

Swiss wines rock. I tasted a lot on a visit in 2006 (write up here) and was really impressed. Of course, in the UK we don’t see all that many of them. But they can be quite serious.

This is a superb Swiss white, part of the Chandra Kurt collection from Provins Valais. Chandra is a [...]

A beautiful, affordable natural wine

Natural wines are often expensive, but frequently worth it. Here’s one that’s fantastic, and affordable. I can’t find it on the Oddbins website, so it may be a case of scouring stores to locate bottles. But this is a wine worth hunting down, I reckon. One of my bargains of the year, especially at the [...]