Burgundy and Rhone, Cathiard and J-L Grippat

Met for pre-dinner drinks with Raj Parr and his cousin Prerna at 28-50 yesterday. Two bottles between three before dinner wasn’t a smart idea, but they were super wines. The Cathiard is, as you might expect from the producer and vintage, a big expression of red Burgundy – ripe and rounded. The Jean-Louis Grippat was [...]

Lunch with two great South African wines, and a good northern Rhône

Had a lovely long lunch yesterday. It was at Bread Street Kitchen, part of the Gordon Ramsay empire, located next to St Paul’s Cathedral.

The dining room is huge. Really huge. Impressively huge. It’s beautifully finished in a faux vintage, semi-industrial style, but it’s really noisy. We could hardly hear the waitstaff as they talked to [...]

Some highlights from the Waitrose Press Tasting

We wine journos are in the middle of press tasting season at the moment, with all the major supermarkets showing off their ranges. Buying standards for UK supermarkets are very high, but what makes life difficult for the buyers are their margin requirements, especially in the days of 25% off entire range special offers. So [...]

Casa Silva's Cool Coast Wines

Impressed by these. A Chilean Sauvignon and Pinot from Casa Silva’s Paradones estate in Coastal Colchagua, a new-ish cool climate region of Chile. It’s just six kilometres from the chilly Pacific Ocean.

Casa Silva Cool Coast Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Cochagua, Chile
13% alcohol. Very mineral, fresh and direct with taut grapefruit and citrus fruit, as well as [...]

The Kalfu Sumpai wines from Chile

Kalfu is a new series of nine wines from innovative large Chilean producer Vina Ventisquero. They haven’t been released yet, but I got to try two of them. The Sauvignon in particular is of great interest. It’s an edgy wine, not a perfect one, but it shows the potential of Chile’s most northerly vineyard area, [...]

The lovely Antikythera Pinot Noir 2011 Antica Terra

One of the most exciting wines of my Oregon trip was also one of the last. It was at Antica Terra with the fabulous Maggie Harrison, on a day in wine country nicely captured in pictures with my travelling companion Elaine Brown here.

When it came to tasting Maggie’s wines, I was a little apprehensive. [...]

Some great wines at lunch, including Cristal, Faiveley Corton and Schlumberger GC Saering

After judging the Roederer Awards on Tuesday, we repaired to Chez Buce, where – naturally – we popped a couple of bottles of Roederer’s Cristal. This was followed up with some other gems from the Roederer portfolio (they own MMD, who distribute Roederer and other wines in the UK). Yes, these bottles were a little [...]

Some great wines, tasted blind

So Stu, Joe, Will and I rocked over to Andrew’s pad in Fulham for an evening of wines tasted blind, together with some rather nice food. We’d initially agreed to keep it to one wine each, but we ended up with quite a bit more than this. It was a fun evening. Our blind tasting [...]

Four lovely wines - Weinbach, Zidarich, Puzelat and Valli

On my first night in Canada a group of friends gathered to share some nice wines. I think they deserve a write-up, although – as usual – notes and scores do little to capture the specialness of wines shared with good people.

Weinbach Cuvee St Catherine Riesling Schlossberg Grand Cru 2009 Alsace, France
Taut, almost spicy and [...]

In Canada, day 1, at Pearl Morissette

Chickens at Pearl Morissette, a special breed from South Africa

So I arrived in Canada yesterday afternoon and headed down to Pearl Morissette winery in Jordan, Niagara, where I am staying for a couple of nights. A few friends joined from Toronto, and we had a great in-depth tasting with Francois Morissette in the winery.
Francois [...]