Meiomi Pinot Noir 2017: amazingly successful, but how good is it?

I’m in the Star Alliance lounge at LAX, having just showered, getting ready for another 12 h in the air. I check out the lounge wines. On offer, Meiomi Pinot Noir. This is a very successful brand. It is huge in the USA, yet virtually invisible in the UK.

The background is beautifully summarised here in […]

Some brilliant Californian imports from Nekter Wines

Jon Davey started Nekter Wines 2 years ago, after spending 16 years working in management consulting. He had developed an interest in wine, and on a holiday to south Africa he decided to bring some wine back. This was the spur for him to make a career change. He tried to get a good job […]

A tasting of wines from Lodi, California, with Abe Schoener

Abe and Christina preparing the tasting

Today I attended at tasting hosted by Abe Schooner (Scholium Project) at Sager & Wilde on the wines of Lodi, California. The idea behind this tasting was to provide us with an introduction to a growing region that’s both not well known, and where it is known it is […]

Three from Melville, Santa Barbara County, California

Tried these three from Melville, in Sta Rita Hills (It’s no longer allowed to be Santa Rita Hills on the label, because of a complaint by a well known Chilean brand). Ron Melville was one of the first winegrowers in the region and farms 120 acres here.

Melville Estate Chardonnay 2014 Sta Rita Hills, California
14% alcohol. […]

Gamay 34, Edmunds St John Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir 2015

This Californian Gamay comes from Barsotti Ranch, a high-altitude (1000 m) vineyard in El Dorado County, with decomposed granite soils. Vines were planted in 2005, but there are also some newer plantings here too. It’s made by one of California’s authentic wine heroes, Steve Edmunds, and it’s really delicious. The wine is fermented in open […]

IPNC: the non-Oregon Pinot Noirs

One of the great things about the International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC) is the chance to taste a wide range of Pinot Noirs from around the world. I’ve already written up my notes on the Oregon wines; here are my notes on some of the other Pinots on show. I apologise for the fact that […]

New releases from Kutch: truly elegant Californian Pinot Noir

The new releases from Jamie Kutch are out. You can read more about him here: he’s making particularly elegant expressions of Pinot Noir from northern California, and also a lovely Chardonnay.

Kutch Chardonnay 2016 Sonoma Coast, California
12.5% alcohol. Beautiful stuff, combining sweet ripe pear and apple fruit with some lively grapefruit freshness, and also a subtly […]

Gamay Focus 29: B Kosuge Wines Gamay Noir 2015 Carneros, Napa, California

I’m in the Napa Valley for a few days, and on my first morning here I found myself at Oxbow Public market for some Ritual coffee. I couldn’t help browsing the wine selection and coming away with an interesting-looking bottle.

It’s made by Byron Kosuge, who worked for 15 years at Carneros winery Saintsbury, leaving in […]

Video: Alternative America - three producers from the USA doing something a bit differently

 

At the Real Wine Fair I caught up with three producers from the USA who are doing something a bit different, and making excellent wines in the process.

Scott Frank is an Oregon producer with a winery in downtown Portland called Bow & Arrow. He’s fallen for the Loire, and makes a compelling Melon (the grape […]

A couple of lovely Chardonnays: Kutch and Bachelet-Monnot

Had a couple of lovely Chardonnays side by side: one from Burgundy, the other from the cool Sonoma Coast.

Bachelet-Monnot Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Referts 2011 Burgundy, France
Lemony and taut, this has a lovely bright mineral quality to the crystalline citrus fruit. It’s beautifully expressive with crisp lemon fruit with well integrated acidity. Very pure and […]