Rootstock Sydney highlights (2)

Yes, there were a lot of highlights at Rootstock. It feels entirely unfair to pick out individual wines or producers. After all I didn’t taste everything, despite my best intentions. And I’d have to write dozens of blog posts to give all the interesting wines justice. Despite these reservations, I will share some more of [...]

Rootstock Sydney highlights (1)

So Rootstock is half way through. Yesterday was a great day. The energy and enthusiasm for wine shown by all the people who flocked to the Carriageworks was quite electric. And it was fun, too. I can’t understand people who moan about how doomed the wine industry is, and how it needs to produce fruit [...]

The remarkable Cortez 2014 from Testalonga

I’ve admired Craig Hawkins’ Testalonga wines for a while now. They are just so brave. And delicious. [See here, here and here for reviews.] This is his Chenin that’s made without skin contact. It’s fully beautiful, and has no additions at any point: it’s a truly natural wine. Just 10.5% alcohol, too!

Testalonga ‘Cortez’ [...]

Some nice wines at The Remedy - Don Chisciotte Fiano, Salvaje Blanco, Vin Nu, Oliveras Verdelho 12

Popped into The Remedy a few days ago for a drink with Mr Primack. We had some interesting things, as you’d expect. Here are my notes.

Barranco Oscuro Salvaje Blanco 2014 Spain
This comes from Europes highest vineyards. Barranco Oscuro have 12 hectares in the Sierra de Contraviesa near Granada in the south of Spain. This wine [...]

Three interesting whites: LAM, Gramona Ovum and Montinore Borealis

We tasted quite a few wines at the Tampere Wine Symposium, and one of the highlights was this flight of three whites. These aren’t expensive wines, but they’re really compelling and delicious.

Gramona Ovum Xarel-lo 2013 Catalunya, Spain
From a 4 hectare vineyard, fermented and aged in concrete eggs and amphorae. Lovely complex wine with nuts, lively [...]

Alfredo Arribas and his SiurAlta wines, from high altitude Montsant, Spain

Alfredo Arribas grew up and lived in Barcelona, and developed a successful career as an architect. He travelled the world working on interior design and architecture, and among other things had a hand in the Barcelona Olympics.

In 2001 he started his second life: in wine. There were two factors that led him this way. First, [...]

Three lovely wines from Čotar, Slovenia

These are interesting wines. And no, not in the English sense, where, when asked our opinion of wines that we don’t really like, out of politeness we say, ‘interesting’, in a considered, thoughtful sort of way. They’re genuinely lovely and interesting.

Čotar are based in Karst, Slovenia. The family planted their first vines in 1974 to [...]

Barcelos de Biobra 2014 Valdeorras, a brilliant naturally made Spanish red

This is a lovely wine. It’s a varietal Mencia from Galicia, from the Valdeorras appellation, which is quite a bit inland on the river Sil. Some background on the wine from importer Ben Llewelyn of Carte Blanche:

Biobra is a Mencia from a tiny vineyard in the eastern end of Valdeorras produced by the excellent Gallegos-speaking [...]

Does extended maceration obscure terroir?

Does extended maceration, to the extent that occurs in many amphora or orange wines, obscure or trump site and grape variety? This was a really good question that I was asked by a good friend today. So I thought I’d draft some sort of answer.

First, let me state that I am a fan of many [...]

Natural wine: a fad or here to stay?

This is the text of a talk I am giving today in Lisbon. It’s titled: ‘natural wine: a fad or here to stay?’

Historical context

Some historical context. Consider wine in antiquity. What would it have tasted like? Most of it would have been bad: in the absence of effective preservatives and frequently exposed to oxygen, it [...]