Two superb whites: Radikon 1993 and Shobrook Giallo 2013

So, on Wednesday evening I had one of the best pizzas I have ever experienced. I met up with buddy and fellow Beer Anorak Daniel Primack for a spot of dinner at Pizza Pilgrims. We each bought a bottle, both white it turns out, and they were both fantastic. It was such a nice evening.

Radikon [...]

Craig Hawkins: Testalonga and Lammershoek

Craig Hawkins (pictured above with significant other Carla Kretzel in the background) is one of South Africa’s most talented and brave winemakers. He’s the winemaker at Lammershoek, and also makes his own wines under the Testalonga label. He’s very experimental, and has worked a lot with skin contact and lees. He prefers picking earlier, making [...]

Comments on Bruce Palling's anti-natural wine article

Bruce Palling’s article on natural wine has been the subject of a lot of debate over the last week or so.

I’ve read it twice. Three times if you count the abbreviated version that appeared in the New Statesman. He writes well, and he makes some valid points. But…

The ‘but’ is because I think he’s actually [...]

Talking of natural wine, I'm in love with Racines Blanc 2011 from Claude Courtois

This is just lovely. It’s a natural wine (in that it is made with no additions at all in the winery, from organically grown grapes in a farm that’s practising a form of polyculture) from the Sologne region of the Loire, next to Cheverney.

You can read about Claude Courtois and his domaine Les Cailloux [...]

I love natural wine, but...

I love natural wine, but I worry that the natural wine movement (whatever that is), is becoming a subculture that’s self-contained, self-referential, and living in its own bubble.

Let me try to explain. I like interesting wine. Wine with a story to tell; wine with a sense of place (whatever that is); wine that is [...]

Domaine Gauby La Roque 2011, a remarkable skin-contact Muscat

Gauby is the domaine that put the Fenouilledes in France’s Roussillon on the fine wine map. The wines are brilliant, and because of their fame, they’re also (alas) quite expensive. On a recent tasting, this bottle really took my eye. It’s a skin-contact Muscat, a variety that seems to respond pretty well to this sort [...]

A lovely Jura red from Michel Gahier

Michel Gahier is one of the top insider tips in the Jura. He has just 6.5 hectares of vines, and works very naturally in both the vineyard and the cellar. This wine is from a special Trousseau vineyard with very old (55-80 years) vines on a southwest-facing slope. He’s a neighbour of famous natural winegrower [...]

Video: at the Real Wine Fair

So on Monday, after judging at the International Wine Challenge, I managed to hot foot it over to Wapping (via the wonderful Overground, which makes East-West travel in London so much easier) to catch a bit more of the Real Wine Fair. I’m pictured above with Daniel Honan, aka The Wine Idealist, who’d come over [...]

At the Real Wine Fair

Carla Kretzel and Craig Hawkins, Testalonga, South Africa

Today was a glorious day. Not only was it one of those rare English spring days with a vivid blue sky and freshness in the air, but also it was the day of The Real Wine Fair. It’s a wine fair that brings together producers of natural [...]

Guttarolo Primitivo, a remarkable amphora wine from Puglia

I love this wine. It’s a Primitivo, but not as you know it. Cristiano Guttarolo has just 5 hectares of vines, at 400 m altitude, and this remarkable wine is made from a small 0.6 hectare plot of Primitivo that is fermented in 500 litre clay amphorae from Umbria. After fermentation these amphorae are sealed [...]