This is probably one of the best South African reds I have tasted. And I have tasted quite a few. It’s a blend of 60% Syrah and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, and a third of the Syrah fraction was whole bunch, crushed by foot, with the remaining destemmed grapes added on top. It was wild yeast [...]
I love the packaging of the First Drop wines. The labels seem to resonate with the wines.
And while I’m all for elegance, sometimes it’s great to have full-flavoured Aussie wines from regions like the Barossa and McLaren Vale, when the bigness is allied to freshness and definition, and appropriate oak use. Big can, of course, [...]
I’ve only visited California’s most famous wine region – Napa Valley – once. But I was quite taken by the place. It’s actually a really good place to grow wine grapes, and makes some really superbwines. You can’t bash the wine region for the stylistic extremes and bad taste of some of the wineries, while [...]
So, after my good experience with Cain’s Five, here’s another serious Napa wine – this time, a varietal Cabernet Sauvignon. Again, this was drunk, not tasted. It also passed the drained bottle test – after tasting it, I took it along to dinner at my friend Rob’s place (he’s a fellow Man City fan, btw), [...]
Last night’s meal at Shimo, Healdsburg will live long in the memory. It describes its offerings as ‘modern steak’, and the steak we had was probably the best I’ve ever experienced.
Between five, we ordered two significant hunks of meat. A porterhouse (below), and a bone-in ribeye (above). They were prepared on the rare side of [...]
This is a really superb Cabernet Sauvignon from South Africa. It’s beautifully put together with seamless structure and real purity of fruit. If I have one criticism of it, however, it is that it lacks a little soul – made very much in the international, placeless modern style, it delivers a great deal of pleasure [...]
As regular readers know, I’m a bit taken by New Zealand’s top reds at the moment. Here are two more good-uns, both from the wonderful Gimblett Gravels terroir.
Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Merlot 2006 Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
14% alcohol. Sweet, fresh plum and blackberry fruit nose with a gravelly, tarry edge. The palate shows sweet, [...]
I’m painfully aware that while I’ve focused in-depth on Portugal, I’ve neglected Spain. I’m sorry about that. In an attempt to begin to redress this balance, here are two rather classy high-end Spanish reds, in rather different styles.
Numanthia Toro 2007 Spain
From ungrafted old vineyards of 50 years and older. 14.5% alcohol. Dense with sweet, ripe [...]
Penfolds have revived their Koonunga Hill label by releasing two new wines in retro packaging. Back in 1976, the Koonunga Hill red was first released. It was cheap, but surprisingly serious, and able to develop over many years.
During the dark years when Penfolds lost their way a bit, the Koonunga Hill brand lost some quality, [...]