Ruggabellus: remarkable wines from the Barossa

I have a soft spot for the Barossa. It was the first wine region I ever visited. I’ve been there a few times now, and know it a bit. But I have struggled with some of its wines, which have expressed a bit too much ripeness, a little too much added tartaric, and a generous [...]

Three brilliant Swartland wines from Mount Abora

Here we have three brilliant Swartland wines from Mount Abora. They are really compelling, made with low alcohol in a natural way, with lots of interest. They are also living wines, that continue to evolve in the glass, and even overnight in the bottle: I visited them a number of times over a couple of [...]

Two from Mas Belles Eaux

Mas Belles Eaux is the Languedoc outpost of AXAs wine empire. Christian Seely was captivated by the potential of the terroirs here, and since 2002 has invested heavily in the property, which is situated in Caux, near Pézenas. A new winery was built and has been in operation since the 2008 vintage. This is a [...]

A Monastrell from Artadi

Liked this. It’s a bit of a bruiser, but there’s lots of interest. It’s an ambitious Mourvedre (aka Monastrell) from the south of Spain, made by Rioja company Artadi, and imported into the UK by FMV.

Artadi El Sequé 2009 Alicante, Spain
14.5% alcohol. 100% Monastrell, which is the same as Mourvèdre. Powerful and intense with [...]

Domaine Tempier Bandol 1999 - the benefit of cellaring wine

Drinking a very attractive Bandol tonight – one that illustrates the benefit of cellaring wine. It’s Domaine Tempier’s 1999, from a half bottle. Now half bottles age faster than regular bottles, and they don’t tend to reach as good a destination (otherwise halves would save us the hassle of extended cellaring). But this is drinking [...]