White Stones and White Bones: terroir-based Chardonnays from Catena

It was very interesting to try these two high-end terroir-based Chardonnays from Catena, and then the next day to have a look at the soils that produced them.

They both come from the same block in the Adrianna Vineyard, high up in the Uco Valley at 1450 m altitude. But even within the same block, there’s [...]

Lunch at Mission E2 with some nice Californian wines

On Thursday I had lunch at one of London’s most exciting new wine destinations: Mission E2, the second venue from Sager & Wilde. It’s a beautiful space in a nicely converted railway arch near Bethnal Green tube station. Lots of dark wood, good natural light and a palm tree! The food was really good. I [...]

Iona Chardonnay 2013, a star from Elgin

My South African wine journalist friends have been raving about Elgin Chardonnay for ages. Do you know what? They may just be right. I’ve some good ones of late, including impressive examples from new boy Richard Kershaw, and this stunner from Iona.

Iona Chardonnay 2013 Elgin, South Africa
13% alcohol. A lovely Elgin Chardonnay that blends freshness [...]

Lalou Bize-Leroy Domaine d'Auvenay Les Folatieres Puligny-Montrachet

This was perhaps the stand-out wine of a wonderful weekend of wine. I tasted it with Raj Parr and some friends just before the salmon bake at the IPNC. We were left speechless. It’s an almost perfect wine, even though it comes from a vintage that isn’t one of the strongest (although it was better [...]

Kitten Swish Chardonnay 2012

One of the highlights of judging the Canadian Wine Awards a couple of weeks ago was hanging out with the fellow judges. One of them was sommelier Brad Royale, who possesses the most amazing language for describing wine. If you were to read his notes you’d find them far fetched, but when you are tasting [...]

Ganevat Les Chamois du Paradis 2011, an amazing Jura Chardonnay

Jura wines are becoming increasingly popular, and when you taste bottles like these, it’s not hard to see why. Jean Francois Ganevat is perhaps the most highly regarded producer in the region, and he works naturally: biodynamic in the vineyard and with very little SO2 added in the winery, and – of course – indigenous [...]

The remarkable Talinay Vineyard Chardonnay from Tabali, Limari, Chile

A few years ago I visited a remarkable coastal vineyard in Limari, Chile, with active limestone soils. It was Tabali’s Talinay vineyard, and it’s turning out some seriously impressive Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

I’m impressed with this 2012 Chardonnay. It’s really thought-provoking, with lots of textural detail on the palate.

Tabali Talinay Chardonnay Coastal Limestone Vineyard 2012 [...]

In Canada, day 1, at Pearl Morissette

Chickens at Pearl Morissette, a special breed from South Africa

So I arrived in Canada yesterday afternoon and headed down to Pearl Morissette winery in Jordan, Niagara, where I am staying for a couple of nights. A few friends joined from Toronto, and we had a great in-depth tasting with Francois Morissette in the winery.
Francois [...]

A great evening at The Quality Chop House

So Ferran Centelles, super somm from Spain, was in town. Seeing as he treated Richard Hemming, Xavier Rousset and me when we were in San Sebastian last year, we thought it was appropriate to reciprocate with dinner at The Quality Chop House.

This was my first visit to Quality Chop, which has a deservedly good [...]

A perfect day of football and wine

So it was off to Selhurst Park yesterday, the home of Crystal Palace FC. They were playing ‘my’ team, Manchester City, and I’d been kindly invited along by Palace co-chairman Stephen Browett, who is also head of Farr Vintners.

This was a crucial game. We’re coming to the end of the premiership season, and City [...]