La Roncaia Eclisse 2011 a brilliant Sauvignon from Friuli

This is a new wine for me, and I’m glad that I discovered it. It’s from Friuli, near the Slovenian border, and it’s a blend of mostly Sauvignon Blanc with a dribble of Picolit that adds some more tropical/peachy notes. When I tasted it I didn’t know the varietal composition, and I think that can [...]

A pair from Tenuta di Trinoro

These are remarkable wines that are very hard to pigeonhole. On paper, they aren’t really my thing: we are looking at Bordeaux grape varieties, grown in Tuscany, and weighing in at 15.5 and 16% alcohol. And they cost a LOT of money. But they are compelling wines, even though the price tags are hefty indeed.

Andrea Franchetti [...]

Muscat and Moscato

Just had to do a Sunday Express column on Moscato, which gave me a chance to try a few different ones. I’ve included Muscat here, as well as what we normally think of as Moscato – a light, fizzy, sweet and rather delicious wine that offers simple joy.

Curatolo Arini Zibibbo 2011 Sicily, Italy
12.5% alcohol. Zibibbo [...]

Lunch at the Glasshouse

Brian Smith of Elgin Ridge

Had a great lunch at the Glasshouse, Kew on Monday, with Brian Smith, a now-biodynamic winegrower in Elgin, South Africa. I first met Brian and his wife Marion at the same restaurant just over a year ago (so my blog tells me), and they’ve now got to the point where they [...]

Five eclectic wines at the DIAM Rioja conference

Today I gave a talk on social media and the wine industry at a conference in Logrono (Rioja) organized by DIAM, the closure company. Also speaking was José Penin, author of the respected wine guide, chosen to represent the existing media. I was chosen because I have made a reputation with more modern media.

As well [...]

A profound Valpolicella Ripasso

I have been sampling this wine over the last three nights, and it has got better each time. It’s made by Nicola Ferrari (a bloke – in Italy, Nicola isn’t a girl’s name), who has been for 12 years the winemaker at Quintarelli, a job he took at the tender age of 26. He’s now [...]

Dinner at Jorg's

A merry crowd gathered in the garden of Jörg Pfützner’s home, for an evening of wine and food, including Bruwer Raats, David Clarke, Harry Haddon, Roland Peens, Greg Sherwood, Justin Knock and a few others. We came in good cheer, many armed with smart bottles.

Proceedings kicked off with a glass of Egon Müller’s Scharzhofberg Kabinett [...]

A brilliant Tuscan Cabernet Franc

Regular readers will know that I’m not really a super-Tuscan kind of guy. But here’s one that enticed, despite its ripeness and richness. It’s a varietal Cabernet Franc, and it’s lovely – although they don’t really give it away, at £40-ish a bottle. Mind you, compared with its peer group, it’s well priced for such [...]

Gulfi's delicious Cerasuolo di Vittoria

Gulfi is an organic winery in Sicily, specializing in local grape Nero d’Avola. I recently tried through their range, which is characterized by big, structured, burly expressions of this grape. Impressive as they were, I was rather taken by this wine: a 50/50 blend of Frappato and Nero d’Avola, from Sicily’s only DOCG – Cerasuolo [...]

Reports of vandalism at Soldera

One of Italy’s great wine estates. Soldera, making some mindblowing Brunello di Montalcino, in the south of Tuscany. I reviewed these rare gems a few years ago, after a fantastic lunch at The Square (here).

Apparently, Soldera’s winery has been vandalized, with the loss of six vintages (these are wines that age for a long time [...]