The new Las Pizarras wines from Errazuriz: high end, terroir-driven Pinot and Chardonnay from coastal Aconcagua

Francisco Baettig, of Errazuriz, is a thoughtful, insightful winemaker. Like many Chilean winemakers, he has been thinking quite a bit about how to make his wines fresher and more interesting, and these two new wines are the latest stage in this journey.

His boss, Eduardo Chadwick wanted him to produce two new icon wines, but Francisco [...]

Video: harvesting and pressing Chardonnay in the Napa Valley, California

Here’s a video from last week’s trip to Napa. We got to take part in vintage, and this short clip shows harvesting and pressing Chardonnay grapes at Truchard Vineyards, Carneros. It’s really interesting to see the process first hand: just look at the colour of the juice that comes out of the press!

Super Chablis from Eleni et Edouard Vocoret

A new discovery for me, courtesy of Roberson. The wines of Eleni and Edouard Vocoret. UK retailer Majestic used to stock the Vocoret Chablis in the early noughties, and they were OK if unspectacular. But Eleni and Edouard have taken over just a small slice of the family domaine (3.3 hectares), and are making these [...]

Bell Hill, one of New Zealand's finest producers

I just love the wines of Bell Hill, a boutique winery in Waikari, North Canterbury, New Zealand (not far from the Waipara Valley). I visited seven years ago on my first trip to New Zealand, and was blown away by the wines and the vineyard. So I was really pleased to catch up with owners Marcel [...]

Three Jura wines: Lucien Aviet Trousseau, Domaine Labet Poulsard and Jacques Puffeney Chardonnay

At Daniel Primack’s home we consumed a number of wine wines yesterday, including this triplet from the Jura. The first two were from Daniel’s cellar; the third was brought by fellow wine writer Matt Walls. I think I love the Jura.

Lucien Aviet et Fils Caveau de Bacchus Réserve Cuvée des Géologues 2012 Jura, France
13% alcohol. [...]

Matrot Meursault 2012

When white Burgundy is good, it is peerless. Well, almost, as the recent Kumeu River tasting showed.

This is a good one. It’s from Thierry and Pascale Matrot, and it’s a village-level Meursault that over-delivers. Shame it isn’t a bit cheaper, but that is modern Burgundy for you.

Thierry et Pascale Matrot Meursault 2012 Burgundy, France
Aromatic and [...]

Sam Harrop Cedalion Chardonnay 2013 Waiheke Island, New Zealand

So, Sam Harrop’s new wine has just been released. It’s a Chardonnay from Waiheke Island, near Auckland, and it’s superb.

As many of you know, Sam is a buddy of mine (although, as you can imagine with most of my relationships, I probably like him more than he likes me). We have written a book together [...]

Niagara wine country, Canada, day 3

Just two visits today. But they were good ones. First, Thomas Bachelder, for the second time on this trip, and that’s no bad thing.

Thomas Bachelder

Thomas is a talented dude, and great to geek out with. We visited his cellar, right next to Fielding and Hidden Bench. It’s not a big or glamorous facility, but [...]

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, [...]

Three lovely wines: Leflaive Pucelles, Wetzer Kekfrankos and Kopke white port 1935

These three lovely wines were brought round by guests. The best sort of guests. The Leflaive Pucelles was served blind, and in a stroke of lucky intuition, I guessed it as very fine white Burgundy, a Leflaive, and Pucelles. But I got the vintage wrong: I called it 2002. This sort of guesswork looks great [...]