Côte Rôtie, one of my great passions

I often get asked the impossible question. What is your favourite wine?

For a wine professional, you can’t really afford to have a favourite. Let’s face it, the world of wine is full of amazing discoveries at every turn. To single out one region, or one style, seems absurd.

But you have to answer this question when [...]

Syrah and Serine

I have just written up the wines of Eric Texier, who is doing some really interesting work in the northern Rhone. For me, his two best wines are both made from Serine, which is a special clone of Syrah (some people claim it is actually a separate variety; there’s quite a bit of confusion about [...]

Northern Rhone series 26, Jean-Luc Colombo Les Fees Brunes Crozes 2009

Cornas-based winegrower and negociant Jean-Luc Colombo divides opinion. To some, he’s too modern – and I have had mixed experiences with his wines, finding some a little oak influenced, and perhaps too polished. But I have had some really nice wines from him, too, like this superb and very typical Crozes Hermitage.

Jean-Luc Colombo ‘Les Fees [...]

Northern Rhone series 25, Pierre Gaillard St Joseph 2010

2010 is an incredible vintage in the Northern Rhone, and this is a lovely, balanced wine that displays the best of cool climate Syrah. I love this sort of wine.

Pierre Gaillard St Joseph 2010 Northern Rhone, France
Subtly peppery, fresh and bright with lovely raspberry and cherry fruit. Finely spicy, even with a hint of ginger [...]

Northern Rhone series 24, Jeanne Gaillard Syrah

Jeanne Gaillard is the daughter of Pierre, well known grower in the Northern Rhone. At the age of 24 she landed 13 hectares of vineyards, five in Crozes Hermitage and eight in the Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes.

This is a Vin de Pays Syrah from the region, and it’s really lovely. Interestingly, the cork [...]

Northern Rhone series 23, cracking Cornas from Guillaume Gilles

Oh yes, I like this a lot. When Cornas is good, it can be great. This is a great example, from a young vigneron called Guillaume Gilles, and I believe that this 2007 Cornas was his first vintage. Top notch. Available in the UK from Vine Trail.

Guillaume Gilles Cornas 2007 Northern Rhone, France
14% alcohol. Sweet, [...]

Northern Rhone series 21, Martine Vandre Champ Morel Crozes Hermitage

I’m not giving up on my northern Rhone series, which began almost a year ago, and is now in its 21st installment. It’s a region I love, filled with great wines alongside poor ones – I guess, like most wine regions worldwide. When its on form, it’s brilliant.

This is a brilliantly focused Crozes Hermitage that [...]

A remarkable evening of wine, with Burgundy, the Wachau, the northern Rhone, Champagne and Sherry

Had a fabulous dinner last night at Francis and Bronwen Percival’s pad in Borough Market with a group of wine nuts, including a Burgundy-resident Californian winemaker. Some lovely bottles came out, and Francis and Bronwen’s cooking was on top form.

We started with some cheese, of course: Stawley, Kirkham’s Lancashire and Citeaux (a washed-rind cow’s milk [...]

Northern Rhone series 20, the 2010s from Pierre Gaillard

I was fortunate enough to be sent some cask samples of the 2010s from Pierre Gaillard. He makes wine in a modern style, but avoids spoofiness and over-ripeness. In a vintage like 2010, which I’m beginning to think is the best in the region since 1999, his wines are pretty irresistable. These are all available [...]

Syrah and Pinot Noir, and why I love them

Two wines tonight, shared with friends, which really worked.

The first, a northern Rhone Syrah from the Cornas appellation, but bottled as Vin de Pays. It’s the Les Collines de Laure Syrah 2010 from Jean-Luc Colombo who I met last week. I bought a case of this (direct from Hatch Mansfield because retailers haven’t yet switched [...]