Hervé Souhaut Syrah 2016: seductive, smashable

I’ve been an admirer of the wines of Hervé Souhaut for a while. I remember taking his Syrah as one of my three wines when I was taking part in the Swartland Revolution in 2011, and it went down really well. I also recently reviewed his Gamay, La Souteronne, here. He’s based in the northern […]

Pink bubbles: Cloudy Bay and Gentle Folk

Two bottles of pink fizz that went down well. The Cloudy Bay was a real surprise: encountered on a couple of occasions and really delicious.

Gentle Folk ‘Pink Fizz’ Pinot Noir Chardonnay Pet Nat 2016 Adelaide Hills. Australia
Powerful and funky. Cloudy pale pink with tangy apple, cherry and raspberry, and some spicy phenolic notes. There’s some […]

Interesting Marlborough: Fromm, single-vineyard pioneers

Fromm is an important winery for Marlborough, because they were one of the first to champion single vineyards in the region. They are also unusual in that in a white wine-dominated area, their focus is on reds. But they have had to cave into export demand by making a Sauvignon that’s fairly typically Marlborough in […]

Dinner at Café Sillon, Lyon, with Ganevat and Dard & Ribo

It was my birthday. And I was in Lyon. And at short notice we managed to get space at the bar at Cafe Sillon, which I’d heard a lot about. It exceeded expectations: the set menu was sensitively cooked and very imaginative, with a couple of options for each course (for a small place like […]

Jurtschitsch Pot des Fleurs Grüner Veltliner 'Ernte' 2014 Austria

Amphorae are all the rage, and sometimes – as in this case – the hype around their use is justified. This Pot Des Fleurs is a beautiful wine that has spent six months on its skins, yet it is elegant and textured. Wonderful stuff. If I recall correctly, the ‘flowerpot’ name is because the first […]

Pet Nat focus (1) Kindeli La Lechuza

I’m beginning a series on Pet Nats! This is an interesting style of wine that’s becoming more popular. Also known as Methode Ancestrale, Pet Nat stands for Pétillant Naturel, and refers to sparkling wines that are bottled while there is still some sugar, and they complete fermentation in the bottle, making them naturally sparkling. This […]

Neil Ellis Op Sy Moer 2016, a distinctive white bottled with fine lees

Warren Ellis, son of Neil, showed me this wine on a recent trip to South Africa. It’s a blend of Palomino from Piekeneerskloof (450 m, Table Mountain sandstone soils), with a touch of Chenin Blanc and Grenache Blanc. All old vines. The interesting thing about this wine is the lees contact: it’s even bottled with […]

Two orange wines from Spain

Last night I drank two orange wines from Spain. Both different in style, but both very good. The first, a distinctive Albillo, was on the list at the brill Morito. The second was a Macabeu in a distinctive ceramic bottle, which was purchased at Furanxo, a lovely Spanish deli and bar in Dalston.

Alfredo Maestro Lovamor Albillo […]

Gamay Focus 30, Hervé Souhaut La Souteronne

I had this wine twice in two nights at Scotch Bar, Blenheim. It’s from Hervé Souhaut’s Domaine Romaneaux-Destezet, which is based in Arlebosc in the Ardèche, just west of Tain l’Hermitage. Indeed, as well as his Ardèche holdings, Hervé has some vines in the northern Rhône, with a total of 5 hectares altogether. He started out […]

Loire adventure: visiting the remarkable François Saint-Lô

François Saint-Lô

The rain was easing as we arrived for an appointment with François Saint-Lô, but it was still a cold, damp day. Not ideal for tasting wine. There’s nothing fancy about his place, but it has a good feel about it. It’s a gem of a project: it seems like a wine-making commune, with […]