Two nice Chardonnays: Seresin and Lafon Mâcon

Two Chardonnays tonight. Both quite lovely. My vote goes to the beautiful biodynamic Chardonnay from Seresin, but the Lafon is nice too.

Seresin Chardonnay Reserve 2010 Marlborough, New Zealand
13.5% alcohol. Wild yeast, 20% new oak. There’s a richness here, with a bit of mealiness and some spice, as well as lovely complex citrus fruits. Lovely tension [...]

Negociants Lunch with Armagh, Contours, Nautilus Pinot and others

I’ve kind of got out of the habit of lunching well. You know: old school wine trade lunches where you leave your desk before noon and write off the rest of the day. So it was nice to have a chance to lunch properly, and in good company, at 8 Hoxton Square with Negociants. Their [...]

Bell Hill, one of New Zealand's finest producers

I just love the wines of Bell Hill, a boutique winery in Waikari, North Canterbury, New Zealand (not far from the Waipara Valley). I visited seven years ago on my first trip to New Zealand, and was blown away by the wines and the vineyard. So I was really pleased to catch up with owners Marcel [...]

Gamay focus, 9 - Te Mata Gamay Noir 2014 Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

Continuing the Gamay quest, we are off to New Zealand. There are just 7.3 hectares of Gamay Noir in New Zealand. And the producer who has led the way with his variety so far has been Te Mata, in Hawke’s Bay. This is their Gamay, and it’s pretty good. [The other famous example from Kiwi [...]

Sam Harrop Cedalion Chardonnay 2013 Waiheke Island, New Zealand

So, Sam Harrop’s new wine has just been released. It’s a Chardonnay from Waiheke Island, near Auckland, and it’s superb.

As many of you know, Sam is a buddy of mine (although, as you can imagine with most of my relationships, I probably like him more than he likes me). We have written a book together [...]

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 [...]

Craggy Range Avery Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Very impressed by this. It’s the Craggy Range Avery Vineyard Sauvignon, and it’s a very stylish, refined expression of the Marlborough style. It’s from a mature (22 year old) vineyard planted on stony soils between Blenheim and Renwick (in the Rapaura subregion), and it’s a relatively warm site.

Craggy Range Avery Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Marlborough, [...]

So it's Sauvignon Blanc day

I don’t really like grape variety days all that much. There are, I am told, some 1400 grape varieties grown commercially in the world. So that means that you’d have to share each and every day among at least three varieties, if their allocated days are spread evenly through the year. That could be boring.

It’s [...]

Seven organic or biodynamic wines from New Zealand

These wines were part of a seminar at ProWein. The seminar, presented by Romana Echensperger, was a sell out, so I tasted these wines afterwards on the New Zealand Winegrowers’ stand.

Quartz Reef Brut NV Central Otago, New Zealand
‘L2012′ on the label indicates that the base wine here is from 2012. It’s a really nice fizz [...]

Great New Zealand Pinot Noir, from Yealands and Greystone

Nik Mavromatis of Greystone

I’m at Prowein. It’s a huge trade fair, with 50 000 attendees from around the world. The scale of this fair is daunting. It is the first time I’ve attended:I’d been scared off by its size in the past. Once you get past the frustrations of having 50 000 people swelling [...]