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 [...]

A brilliant, affordable natural Salice Salentino

Come with me to the south of Italy, and to a winery who I know very little about, and about whom there is very little on the internet. This is a natural wine, made with no added sulfur dioxide, and it’s deliciously open and drinkable. It’s not expensive (I can’t find a UK stockist, but [...]

Fighting jetlag with Querciabella

Now this is my style of Sangiovese. It’s savoury, but it has elegant fruit, too. Both elements are held in lovely tension. It’s helping me fight my body clock, which is rather messed up at the moment. There are all sorts of circadian cycles that go on in the body, and when they are out [...]

A big night out in Melbourne, with a good feed and lovely wines

James Suckling, David Bicknell and PJ Charteris

Sunday night in Melbourne. Just before the beginning of the Royal Melbourne Wine Show, which I am here to judge.

The evening started off in the City Wine Shop, Spring Street (http://www.citywineshop.net.au/). A brilliant place – sells wine, and is also a wine bar, with an amazing selection that’s [...]

Two very nice affordable wines, from Portugal and Italy

It’s always good to stumble across wines that over-deliver for their price point. Here are two that I tried today and was impressed by.

Tenuta Roveglia Lugana 2011 Italy
From the shores of Lake Garda, this is a really fresh white, made from the Trebbiano (aka Ugni Blanc) grape variety. Crisp, tight and steely with lovely citrus/grapefruit [...]

Great value, biodynamic, natural wines from Nuova Cappelletta in Piemonte

Tasted these three attractively priced wines from online retailer Piemonte Wines recently. They are from biodynamic estate Nuova Cappelletta, and two of them are made with no added sulfur dioxide. The prices indicated are valid to the end of the month.

Nuova Cappelletta Cortese Piemonte 2010 Italy
13% alcohol. No added sulfites. Full yellow colour. Rich, warm [...]

Two brilliant, affordable summer whites, from Sardinia and Greece

For when the sun shines again in this stop, stop, start, stop summer, let me recommend two lovely, affordable wines from The Wine Society. Wines like this are in a real sweet spot for me: they have personality and give pleasure, and they are priced so I can enjoy them whatever the occasion.

Melis Ioacalia Vermentino [...]

Serious Sangiovese, Il Molino di Grace Gratius 2006

Now this isn’t a perfect wine. But it’s a very good one, it’s interesting, it’s edgy, and it tastes like the essence of Tuscan Sangiovese.

Sangiovese is not an easy grape. It doesn’t make accessible, fruity wines. It can be difficult, and it has a tendency to err in the direction of drying tannins and away [...]