Penfolds Max's Chardonnay and Cabernet

These are two of three wines under the relatively new Penfolds label ‘Max’s’, which pays tribute to former chief winemaker and creator of Grange, Max Schubert. There’s a third wine in the range, the Shiraz/Cabernet, which is just a little cheaper at £16.95.

Penfolds Max’s Chardonnay 2017 Adelaide Hills, Australia
13% alcohol
£19.99 Waitrose
Bright, lively and focused with […]

Two lovely wines at The 10 Cases: Heitz and Gonon

Two lovely wines last night at the brilliant The 10 Cases. The first was a BYO that Gareth Birchley brought along (from Hedonism), and the second was off the list. The list at The 10 Cases is amazing.

Heitz Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon 1992 Napa Valley, California
This is an incredible wine from a slightly different era in […]

Napa Valley Cabernet, a question of style

After writing up yesterday’s Napa Cabernet tasting, I dug around and found this report, from a tasting held at the Jackson Family Wines internal meeting in Napa back in May 2017, which I hadn’t previously published.

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world’s most famous wine styles, but it’s not without controversy. Sometimes over-ripe […]

Hawke's Bay, New Zealand (4) Collaboration Wines

Julianne Brogden is only 40, but she’s already been making wines for 23 years now. She’s Hawke’s Bay born and bred, and worked briefly in the region, before heading out on vinous travel.

Julianne Brogden, Collaboration Wines

She ended up spending 8 years in the Napa Valley, California, where she initially worked a vintage at Havens […]

Lokoya, high-end Napa mountain Cabernets, with winemaker Chris Carpenter

The WE Keyes vineyard in Howell Mountain 

Chris Carpenter, winemaker, introduced this tasting of the four Lokoya wines, after taking us for a quick tour of the beautiful WE Keyes Howell Mountain property that’s the source for one of them.

Lokoya is a ‘cult’ Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon label that is part of Jackson Family Wines. […]

Washington wines on the world stage: a seminar looking at Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon

This was an interesting tasting that attempted to put Washington State’s wines in context by blind tasting them with some stiff international competition. We tasted double blind, although in each flight the first wine was sighted, and from Washington State.

Greg Harrington of Gramercy Cellars led the tasting. He was an MS (master sommelier) in the […]

In California, day 4 - Napa Valley with Peter Michael, Corison, Trinchero, Silverado and Chimney Rock

Les Pavots, Kinghts Valley

Day four of the California trip. By now, the group was certainly performing, and this was to be one of our strongest days in terms of banter and general foolery. Of course, we were utterly professional. But bus banter is so important for a trip like this, and everyone played their […]

Some wine highlights so far from Napa

Over the last few days we’ve tasted quite a few wines. It seems a bit unfair to pick favourites, but here are is a personal selection of some highlights.

Antica Townsend Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Atlas Peak, Napa
This is from the Foss Valley, which is a valley in the Atlas Peak AVA above Napa Valley, at […]

Four nice SA reds: Restless River, Pofadder, La Motte Syrah Viognier, Spioenkop Pinotage

A few interesting South African reds tasted together. I’d heard a lot about the Restless River, and didn’t quite know what to make of it: Hemel-en-Aarde is cool climate for Cabernet, and the wine is pretty distinctive. Pofadder is a known quantity: it’s a lovely expression of Cinsault, a variety that’s superbly adapted to the […]

Cloudburst: the remarkable emergence of a cult Margaret River wine brand

Cloudburst is a really interesting and slightly controversial wine project in Margaret River. Interesting? Because the wines are so good. Controversial? Because of high prices, despite the lack of any track record.

Owner Will Berliner (above) wasn’t previously involved with wine, but has always loved plants. He studied plant biology and owned forests in the USA, […]