Friday night saw the official start of the i4c (international cool climate chardonnay conference). This was titled ‘8 chefs, 8 grills’ and was held at Hillebrand winery in Niagara.
The walk around tasting began well, in the early evening sunshine. But soon some epic thunderclouds rolled in, and before long we had to evacuate indoors. There [...]
Just tried these two brilliant Chardonnays from Tom Carson at Yabby Lake. Two more examples of the amazing revolution in Aussie Chardonnay that has taken place over the last few years.
Yabby Lake Vineyard Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2010 Mornington Peninsula, Australia
Strongly mineral nose with mtachstick, citrus and pear. The palate is taut and lean with citrus, pear, [...]
Had lunch today with Marimar Torres and her daughter Cristina at Arbutus, in Soho. It was my first visit to Arbutus, and I loved the food, although the dining room is noisy and quite basic. The food is serious, and much better than the environment. I had warm, crisp pig’s head with potato puree and [...]
I love this wine. It typifies what is happening with high-end Aussie Chardonnay at the moment – the embrace of elegance and freshness over weight and richness – picking earlier and producing complex, taut wines.
Oakridge Local Vineyard Series Lusatia Park Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 Yarra Valley, Australia
From a north-facing vineyard with red volcanic soils. This was [...]
Didn’t want to waste some fine white Burgundy samples that I opened, so headed over to brother-in-law Beavington’s house for some Sunday lunch today en famille. More on the Burgundies later, but for now I wanted to write about two wines he opened.
The first is Kumeu River Hunting Hill Chardonnay 2010 Auckland, New Zealand. Beavington [...]
On Monday night I had dinner with two very interesting Californian producers: Rajat Parr of Sandhi Wines, and Jamie Kutch of Kutch wines. It was hosted by Roberson Wine (www.robersonwine.com) who import these wines into the UK, at the impressive Bar Boulud.
This are the new faces of California: wines of natural balance and complexity.
Rajat Parr [...]
The final visit of my New Zealand adventure was at Kumeu River, a family-run estate a short drive from Auckland. This is close to where the New Zealand wine industry began in earnest, in west Auckland.
Milan and Michael Brajkovich in Maté’s vineyard
The Brajkovich family moved to New Zealand from Croatia, and the current property was bought [...]
Judy and Tim Finn, Nelson pioneers, who established Neudorf in 1978
I worked out that since November 2008, my first visit to New Zealand, I have visited five times in five years. That’s a significant accrual of air miles. But over the course of these visits, I’d never visited Nelson, so as I picked up [...]
Kiwi Chardonnay can be great. It is relatively neglected, but when it’s good, it’s really good, and this is one of the gooduns. It is from Greywacke, whose 2012 Sauvignon Blanc is also really good, but this Chardonnay stood out as even better. It isn’t cheap, but I reckon it’s the qualitative equivalent of serious [...]
The long bank holiday weekend provided an ideal opportunity for a family get together. Remarkably, we managed to find a house big enough to take 15 on budget in the quaint village of Erdisland, Herefordshire.
My job on these occasions is to provide the wine. There’s a strong demand for crisp, dry, unoaked white wine, and [...]