Four affordable, lighter reds for summer smashing

Back to the UK and I’m working through some samples on a balmy summer evening. I’m really into lighter red wines at the moment and these four fit the bill for some summer smashing. And they are affordable, too.

Villa Blanche Piquepoul Noir 2016 IGP Pays l’Herault, France
13% alcohol
£8.49 Waitrose
Part of Calmel and Joseph’s Cepages Anciens […]

Some nice wines at the Southern Pinot workshop

At each of the dinners at the Southern Pinot workshop in Hanmer, participants are encouraged to bring wines to dinner. This is a fun exercise, because there is no coordination, and winemakers tend to be curious, generous folk who accumulate interesting bottles and then enjoy drinking them with other winemakers. I didn’t take any notes, […]

Jurtschitsch Pot des Fleurs Grüner Veltliner 'Ernte' 2014 Austria

Amphorae are all the rage, and sometimes – as in this case – the hype around their use is justified. This Pot Des Fleurs is a beautiful wine that has spent six months on its skins, yet it is elegant and textured. Wonderful stuff. If I recall correctly, the ‘flowerpot’ name is because the first […]

From the road in Austria

Carnuntum vineyards

My short but lovely trip to Austria is almost over. For the last few days I have, along with a fine group of international media and trade, been taking a deep dive into the wines of Carnuntum, and then the Danube areas (Kremstal, Kamptal, Wagram and Traisental).

Traisental

Looking over the vineyards in […]

In Austria: tasting exciting older 1er cru wines from the Österreichischer Traditionsweingüter members

Michi Moosbrugger, chair of the OTW

Austria is making some wonderful wines at the moment, and this tasting was a chance to look back at some of the Rieslings from ‘Erste Lagens’ (which translates as ‘Premier Crus’) in the winegrowing area unofficially known as the Danube area, from the regions that are taking part in […]

Wines with Winerackd: Meinklang Konkret and Thörle Hölle

Popped over to spend a very pleasant evening with Daniel Primack, who among other things established Zalto in the UK, to the eternal debt of serious wine lovers across the nation. We had a few lovely wines, including this pair. The Meinklang is a beautiful wine: not perfect, but with immense charm and an astonishing […]

Four Austrian reds from Leithaberg DAC

Austrian reds rock. That is, when they don’t pick them too late and dick around with too much oak. And, these days, after a period of excess, generally they don’t. Which is great news for lovers of interesting wine.

Leithaberg DAC (here)  is part of Burgenland in Austria. It was created in 2008 (for whites) and […]

Tscheppe Green Dragonfly Sauvignon Blanc, amazing Austrian wine

This is quite special. It’s a Sauvignon Blanc from Sudsteiermark (south Styria) in Austria, made by Andreas Tscheppe. He’s one of a group of five producers working biodynamically in this pretty region, and I was introduced to his wines by Doug Wregg of Les Caves de Pyrene. Doug had just visited the region, and was […]

Chenin Blanc and Grüner Veltliner

Two nice wines, from two of my favourite white varieties. The first is an own-label from Berry Bros & Rudd. It’s a sort of better class of own label: Nikolaihof is one of Austria’s top producers. The second is from Mullineux, the current darlings of the South African wine scene, and it’s a lovely old […]

Liebkind, a truly great Blaufränkisch

Last year Robert Parker had a little rant about things he doesn’t like in the wine world. It was quite funny, but also – in my opinion – misguided. In it he dismissed Blaufränkisch (including with it Savagnin and Trousseau and a host of other varieties) as being ‘godforsaken’. Yes, really!  He may have been reviewing […]