The 2013 Craggy Range Prestige wines: Le Sol, Sophia and Aroha

These are three remarkable wines. Craggy Range are very excited about the 2013 vintage in these two regions, and on tasting these wines it’s easy to show why. ‘In 2013 we felt it was the first time we had really seen the true potential of our great estates in Hawke’s Bay and Martinborough,’ says winemaker [...]

Château Angélus and the paradoxical 2010

I have just written up a vertical tasting of Château Angélus that I attended last week, courtesy of the IMW. It was very interesting, as these sorts of vertical tastings always are. Not all the wines are as incredible as they should be, given the hype that they receive, and there are some surprises. The [...]

Insoglio del Cinghiale, an impressive Tuscan red blend

I’m not usually a huge super-Tuscan fan, but this is really good. There’s a purity and focus here that I don’t often get from Tuscany. Tasted blind, I reckon I’d have put it in the new world, but elegant new world. I followed this over a couple of days, and it was just as good [...]

A superb South African Merlot

I’m not the world’s greatest Merlot fan, and so I was pleasantly surprised by this superb South African Merlot, from Hartenberg, a winery I visited on my first trip to South Africa in 2003. They’re the winery that used to make a varietal Pontac, which I think they’ve since discontinued.

Hartenberg Merlot 2007 Stellenbosch
14.5% alcohol. This [...]

Two Bordeaux-style reds from New Zealand

As regular readers know, I’m a bit taken by New Zealand’s top reds at the moment. Here are two more good-uns, both from the wonderful Gimblett Gravels terroir.

Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Merlot 2006 Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
14% alcohol. Sweet, fresh plum and blackberry fruit nose with a gravelly, tarry edge. The palate shows sweet, [...]