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 [...]

Some highlights from the New California tasting

Yesterday’s New California tasting, organized by Roberson, was remarkable. So many great wines, with the hallmark being detail, sense of place and balance – traits not always associated with Californian wine. Jon Bonne, who has authored a brilliant book on the subject (The New California Wine: A Guide to the Producers and Wines Behind a [...]

Zind 2010, a lovely Chardonnay-based wine from Alsace

I love Zind Humbrecht’s wines, as you can see from this write-up of the 2010s when I visited Olivier Humbrecht at his winery.

One of the more unusual of the bottlings here is Zind, which is a blend of 70% Chardonnay with 30% Auxerrois from the 2 hectare Clos Windsbuhl vineyard with its calcareous soils. It’s [...]

Two superb Chardonnays, Yarra and Burgundy

I was presented with these two wines blind by my brother-in-law Beavington. It was a fascinating challenge: both were clearly serious expressions of Chardonnay (we share an appreciation for great Chardonnay). But where were they from? I was in and out of Burgundy, Victoria (Australia) and New Zealand a few times. Subtle cues led me [...]

Great value for money Chilean Chardonnay from De Martino

I’m really impressed by De Martino’s high end wines, which for Chile show an unusual (and welcome) sense of adventure. But I was also taken by this wine, an inexpensive Chardonnay with a lot of personality. For the price, it’s hard to beat.

De Martino Legado Chardonnay Reserva 2011 Limari Valley, Chile
Lovely pear and peach fruit [...]